Nonfiction Unit of Study

Angela Maiers, Weblog, May 04, 2010
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Some interesting discussion of nonfiction as an object of study, as Angela Maiers describes a series of classes. I like the presentation a lot. In day one she observes her students interacting with nonfictikn material. In day two she creates "a list of things we want to notice as readers of non-fiction that would reveal to us insight into the writers thinking and decision making." These are, as she quite rightly suggests, clues (not definitions, categories, essential features, etc.). In day three she refines that list, looking for unique characteristics. Then in day four she turns it around and talks about having a plan. Each of the four days is presented differently, each with different resources (a drawing, a photo, a video) appropriate to the discussion. Great work.
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