Teaching literature with oral presentations


When students read books!

When reading a novel in class I usually ask the students to write about it on their blogs. Not a typical review or character/plot analysis, which is easily found on SparkNotes! The first post they write is about their first impression of the book, usually after reading 3-4 chapters. After that I ask them to write a double entry journal. See info about that here. Since my students get an oral grade attending this course, we need to emphasis the ability to talk about the book and to answer questions. This time I have chosen to have the students work with an oral presentation in the shape of a radio show. The books we will be discussing are:

The White Tiger, and The Joy Luck Club.

The Book Report!

  1. joyluckclubthewhitetigerIn groups of 2/3 prepare the show; The Book Report, as an example see link here! and here!
  2. Assign these roles in the group: 2 authors (both books), one reporter and one person influential in the literary world (your choice!)
  3. Prepare according to your role.
    1. Authors: Be prepared for the most difficult questions. Childhood, inspiration, theme of book, influence in literary circles.
    2. Reporter: ask the difficult questions, probe and find topics that challenge and inspire the authors and allow the literary expert to be critical!
    3. If groups of 3: One influential in the literary world. What is your role, what can you bring to the conversation?
    4. Prepare your roles well, but do not ask and answer the questions in advance. The authors and critic should be prepared to answer without manuscript. The reporter should try to know the questions without using manuscript as well.
    5. Each show is scheduled for 15 minutes, but less if you feel you get to discuss all important themes in a shorter time. You can have music in-between if you find something suitable to the books!
    6. Allow time for the audience to send additional questions to the authors using twitter with hashtag: #bookreport
    7. Use this rubric to grade performance! Interview Assignment Rubric

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