Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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In Search of the Novel: About the Series

Workshop Overview

Workshop 1 – Who Owns the Novel?

This workshop probes the living nature of the novel by illustrating how each reader makes a novel his or her own. It shows that the interpretation of a novel changes, depending upon the reader's culture, class, generation, sex, and personality. In the video, novelists, teachers, and students explore the mystery of how readers assume ownership of the novels they read.

Workshop 2 – What’s the Story?

Many different ways of telling a story are discussed. What are the conflicts, the crises, and the resolutions? This workshop explores how an author spins a story and why it is the most important aspect of the novel. In the video, participants examine the importance of the hook and the story itself, and the “why” behind the events. They also consider various ways into difficult novels.

Workshop 3 – Are Novels Real?

Characters, their motivations, their stories, and the times and places should bear some likeness to reality. Or should they? This program explores how novels connect with the reader. In the video, teachers, students, and novelists probe the origins of stories.

Workshop 4 – Where Do Novels Come From?

This program explores the genesis of the characters, plot, themes, and interpretations from the novelist's point of view. In the video, participants examine the relationship between the novel and the objective reality from which it may spring.

Workshop 5 – Why Do I Have to Read This Book?

The qualities of the ten novels chosen are explored to see why they appear on recommended reading lists and what makes them award-winners. The program also looks at the essential elements of good writing and storytelling. The video examines various ways in which novels are challenged by students as well as by communities, and it explores positive reasons for reading.

Workshop 6 – What’s In It for Me?

A novel can transport readers to other places and times, real or imaginary, allowing them to meet people and experience life in many different ways. In the video, teachers explore ways to help students respond to novels on deeply personal levels.

Workshop 7 – Who Am I in This Story?

The reader steps into the novel in various roles: the protagonist, the narrator, the author, or another character. In the video, students and novelists examine the complex ways readers may identify with characters in a novel.

Workshop 8 – Am I Getting Through?

In this summary, teachers examine their own effectiveness in helping students comprehend and appreciate novels and in setting them on the road to become lifelong readers. In the video, teachers discuss and demonstrate strategies for evaluation.


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