, 30 tweets, 18 min read Read on Twitter
I'll break down this collage inspired by @halseanderson's SPEAK in the next few tweets. #SpeakLoudly #DisruptTexts #Room407 #THIS407
@halseanderson First, I want you to know that this "exquisite corpse" (some of you might call these floor or table "storms) came together in ten minutes. Tops. From one brand new magazine delivered yesterday (I didn't want you to think I had been sitting with this and pre-composed in process.
@halseanderson Artist friend Melissa Sweet asked me about "exquisite corpses" in the classroom yesterday. I had been thinking about floor storms in the past couple of weeks. Artists. In community. We seem to know how to tap into something latent in another. The question/invitation is the tap.
@halseanderson So, I wanted to throw one together quickly this morning to demonstrate what one might look like. But more than this, to say something about the composition process. How we work in advance of the "writing" that is expected as product at the end. The end is often now for students.
@halseanderson I wanted to think of a quick book that I could demo and I remembered that many years ago, our students (then in #Room210, pre-Twitter days) created floor storms of @halseanderson's SPEAK. I would create SPEAK for you as a demo. SPEAK is on my mind as I go into the periodical.
@halseanderson Working quietly here (key. . .the activity here is based upon old parlor games and suggests "social" and "collaborative". . .we'll get there), I go page by page, looking for words, phrases, and images that SPEAK to me from my awareness of the book. I'm culling. And incubating.
@halseanderson I'm pulling together and placing on the table what I am finding in the newest @TIME issue related somehow to the book. What stayed with me. What I remember. What I am finding now and bringing forth. Let's drop that image in here one more time for those following the thread now.
@halseanderson @TIME The print from the magazine becomes my canvas. Melinda's finding words in the book is a major takeaway from the novel. I'm finding and extracting words for assemblage here in the "exquisite corpse." During this quick, ten-minute exercise, I am starting to enter into writing.
@halseanderson @TIME Now, I want to come back to that ten minutes. This is all it took to get these words, to lay them down, and to assemble on the table. I have a quick collage of images and ideas from the book that are sourced from inside and outside of me, the reader/respondent. They're here now.
@halseanderson @TIME In a "floor storm," the tradition's to sweep all of this away once it's been assembled and appreciated. But, the student COULD glue this down for artifact of pre-writing into a response. Or, teachers, could this BE the response for at least one book you share together this year?
@halseanderson @TIME As a means of formative assessment, the teacher could be moving about the room, taking in what students are laying down. Even trying to approximate what the student is communicating out of the words and images and ideas. This is how we might help in the composing stage. But wait.
@halseanderson @TIME In an extension of "exquisite corpses," we get "picture consequences." You remember. Three panels of a body that can be interchanged for surprising and inventive. . .and fun. . .possibilities for expression? Now, we move into collaboration. And synthesis. Remember. Ten minutes.
@halseanderson @TIME We might have students sit now with their "assemblage" for the same amount of time. Gather words and phrases now that come out of the assemblage. Out of the "purposeful mess" of words and images. Invite students to build upon these. Perhaps ten quick sentences. Not essay. Yet.
@halseanderson @TIME Then, have students take a "gallery walk" of the other "corpses" and "storms" about the room. Let them sit. Another ten minutes? Drawing words and phrases from peers. Jot ideas down. And jot down the student's name from which an idea was drawn. Thirty minutes in, are we now?
@halseanderson @TIME For block scheduling, lots of time. If you are on a traditional schedule, you might assemble one day and "gallery walk" on the next. Do you see how we are not yet an hour into this process and the work, physical and mental are happening together with the student? And the room?
@halseanderson @TIME Back to formative assessment. The teacher moves about the room taking in what students are taking in now in the movement about the various "corpses" about the room. And we haven't even gotten to the social part yet. . .or have we? We're quietly appreciating the work of our peers.
@halseanderson @TIME Now, we could have our students selecting from the room partners with whom we might connect our temporal assemblage and invite them to see how they might connect together. This part might be a little tricky. We might have to let go of what we have created and put together.
@halseanderson @TIME The social part and the "picture consequences" now takes center stage. In formative assessment, the teacher can see how students connect their ideas to the ideas of others in the room. And, we have an opportunity now to collaborate and to synthesize. The art is informing here.
@halseanderson @TIME I'm going to take a break here in the thread to push back, once again on an idea of "English Language Arts (and Crafts)" used pejoratively as a means of discrediting art as an extension of our literacy practice. Go back through the thread. We're showing our writing. One hour in.
@halseanderson @TIME Assemblages in groups of three or four might come together. Maybe partner work happens. Invite "corpses" and "consequences" come together in synthesis. And then, invite students to jot down eight-ten sentences from this new assemblage of words and ideas. Still anchored in own.
@halseanderson @TIME One hour in and not only have we created a visual response to the book, but we have invited consideration, synthesis, collaboration, and reflection. We're gathering words and ideas that will inform the response (even though there is a response already on the table). Having fun?
@halseanderson @TIME Let this happen for a class period or two. Let synthesis and reflection happen. Perhaps "hot washing" the activity at the end of day one will help students to see where they are going with this "writing." The next period can be for drafting.
@halseanderson @TIME In the drafting phase, remember how we had students jotting down the names of fellow students from whom they drew words and ideas? This invites citation of the book. Of others' work. . We can cite the periodical from which the words and ideas came. We can build this right in.
@halseanderson @TIME From this hour of pre-writing that comes out of a tradition of "exquisite corpses" and "picture consequences" and "storming," we can guide students into a response to the book that literally "looks" different from the other experiences they may have had with literary analysis.
@halseanderson @TIME Returning to formative assessment, remember that this can happen within the book and not just post-reading. What might we draw from formative assessment while reading? What are students taking away from this chapter? These three chapters? How might this approach be "hot wash?"
@halseanderson @TIME Out of all of this, too, we get artifact of student work that goes up on the wall. Or out in the hall. Your principal may not read one hundred papers, but they can see these assemblages that "speak" to process as it informs the writing students do.
@halseanderson @TIME In my experiences with "floor storming," students often take pride in something they create and don't really want to sweep it away. Prepare for this by letting them know that it can be an option to make the "corpse" permanent.
@halseanderson @TIME Final Thoughts: With up to an hour, we can invite the many ways in which a student might respond to text. We get to see culling and sorting and assembling and shaping. These are all verbs that are associated with the writing that happens on the page. We get to see it in gallery.
@halseanderson @threadreaderapp: Please unroll me so I can share this idea with my teacher friends.
@halseanderson @TIME As "exquisite corpse," "picture consequence," and "floor storms" are not my original phrases or ideas, this whole thread is for you to take and run with for you and your students. All ideas shared freely with you, teacher friends. Have fun with this.
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