Week 6:  September 28 - October 4


Read "Engaging Apolitical Adolescents Analyzing the Popularity and Educational Potential of Dystopian Literature Post-9/11" by Melissa Ames

This week we are reading the article "Engaging Apolitical Adolescents Analyzing the Popularity and Educational Potential of Dystopian Literature Post-9/11" by Melissa Ames.  I use this article in my English 130: Academic Writing Course to start my students thinking about how social issues in the pages of dystopian novels relate to our world.  Although they are no way close to starting thinking of research projects, eventually they will use these ideas to begin a full-fledged research project.  Although Melissa Ames will not show up in their research it is really important to have them "buy into" the ideas that these novels are launching ground for current research and discussion.  Last we read Karen Fitts and her take on a "pop-culture" driven syllabus for a writing classroom.  I begin to work with the same concepts using Ames's work.  I would like you to think about this article less for content and argument and more along the lines of considering how we engage our students and use that to facilitate engagement within the writing classroom. What we are really arguing is that students write better when they are interested and engaged within the topic.  


Everyone will complete a Blog or Vlog for this reading.  You can think a little more informally about this response.  For this blog/vlog, I think what would be interesting is to consider different lenses that you could use to center your writing curriculum around. What would your class focus on? How would you engage your students in the writing process?   The blog/vlog should be at least 150 words or 3 minutes long for the vlog. 


You can choose to complete a microtheme paper for this article.  You will need to complete 3 microtheme papers during this course. The mircrotheme paper is more formal in aspect.  I'd like you to think about how you would present Ames's ideas about the dystopian novel and its value regarding student buy-in for current subjects and how you would then use this article in order to begin a dialogue with students. I know how I do it?  How would you do it? What would you focus on in Ames's work?  What type of assignments would your students do? Remember they not only need to understand the ideas in the article, they also need to be able to pull on this concept when they embark on their research project! Go!


These papers are 4 pages long in correct MLA or APA format and should cite all of your material properly. Spelling and grammar count, too. You should be quoting and citing in these papers and they should include a separate (not counted towards the 4-page minimum) Works Cited or Reference page.


Good luck!


To the left, there is a PowerPoint icon. If you click on it you will see my MLA PowerPoint.


Upcoming Assignment Alert!

Mid-Term Video Response


Due: Sunday, October 25th by midnight


At mid-term each of you will create a 6-minute video that highlights one of our course materials and how you conceptualize using the ideas in that source in your own classroom.  This video should analyze and synthesize how the pedagogy we have read informs us about the classroom.  You should be able to think of possible directions for this video through the Microtheme Essays and the daily blog/vlog postings. 


The Mid-term Video Response will be worth 150 points and 15% of your grade.