Learning Center
Plans & pricing Sign in
Sign Out

Jackie Glasgow_


									      Multigenre Paper
Sandra Wilson and Chris Little
       May 27th 2003
                                                                             May 20th 2003

Jackie Glasgow,

       We are excited about writing a multigenre paper. We decided to write our
multigenre paper on our research of this topic and our experiences exploring this topic
with our students. We believe that it is necessary to start small and work our way up
from there. We wanted our students to have successful experiences. To be successful we
knew that we needed to break the paper down into manageable parts.
       We started by gathering information. Our starting point was Tom Romano‟s book
Blending Genre, Altering Style, Writing Multigenre Papers. Romano‟s book says that a
multigenre paper arises from research, experience, and imagination. It is composed of
many genres and subgenres, each piece, self-contained making a point of its own, yet
connected by theme or topic and sometimes by language, images and content. We also
did an exploration of the Internet to see just what was out there. Exploring the topic with
our students gave us a unique perspective. We understood the problems that the students
were having and could anticipate many of the questions. . Our theme will be making
       Writing a multigenre paper is all about making connections. It seems to me that
that is what we really want students to do anyway. We need to teach students to make
connections among science, citizenship, writing, and reading, and ultimately connect the
things that we learn to their every day lives and whatever job they have. Students always
ask when will I ever need to know this? Writing a multigenre paper will maybe help
students make those connections will answer that question. The students will use each
genre as a lens to examine life. By using a variety of genres they will avoid the danger of
looking through only that one lens.
       All in all, we would say that writing a multigenre paper was a successful
experience. We really just began this process with our students in a very structured step-
by-step kind of way. We are looking forward working further with our students on
multigenre papers next year using the Zindel novels in the seventh grade and Sharon
Draper‟s Tears of a Tiger in the eighth grade. The students were responding to literature
in a new way; they got excited about reading! The students learned and were successful.
We were responding to literature in a new way and got excited about teaching.
Excitement is contagious. We also came away with lots of new ideas to try next year.


                                                   Sandra Wilson and Chris Little
September 25, 2002
       Students have been reading a play called Choices. The play is an exploration of
adolescents, their lives and what is important to them. Maybe students can relate this
play to their own lives and write a monologue. They could write their monologues, read
them and perform them much the way that Choices would be performed.

October 13, 2002
       It would be interesting to write a multigenre paper on one topic. I know that is the
intent. But, for my students I think I will spread it over several pieces of literature. This
facilitates my exploration. Maybe it will help the students to make connections between
the things they have read. The connection that I see between these two activities is the
exploration of character, not just the character in the book but the student‟s own
character, exploration of self.

October 8, 2002
       The next activity I want to try with the kids is the Poem in Two Voices. The
students seem excited about the idea but are unclear where to begin. My classes are
reading And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie, A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine
L‟Engle and Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes. I always individualize my reading
selections to the reading level and interests of the class. The great thing about trying this
multigenre paper is that it will work with all the classes, no matter what they are reading.
I can individualize with out having three totally different plans.

October 10, 2002
       Students are having trouble knowing where to place their lines. Lines that are
said together need to be on the same line. Typing this is difficult. I am having some
trouble with it myself. This is a good activity for character development. Students are
looking more closely at character development and character motivation. They are also
making connections between themselves and the characters. I decided to give the
students a choice they could write the poem between two characters or between
themselves and a character. Both ideas seem to be working.

March 24, 2003
       I have discovered a wonderful novel written in a multigenre format. Tears of a
Tiger is a powerful book written by Ohio author Sharon Draper. The students are
enthused about reading it. Tears of the Tiger is an example of fictional writing
multigenre writing. This book can serve as an example of multigenre writing that
students can, read, respond to and model.

March 26, 2003
       We will start by writing a dialogue between two of the characters in the novel.
The students will write some monologue or dialogue based on the information in the
book but will go beyond what is written to speculate on conversations that might have
been. They will make connections that aren‟t spelled out. The following are choices for
student performances.

                                    Student Handout

   1. Andrew Jackson has one last conversation with Robert Washington. What would
       he like to tell him? What would he ask him?
   2. Robert Washington comes back to give a message to Andrew. What would he tell
       him? What would he tell him what would he ask him?
   3. Andrew and the Coach are talking after the first winning game since Robert‟s
       death. What is Andy thinking? Why was he late for the game?
   4. Tyrone and Rhoda are talking. Tyrone confides in Rhonda. Their relationship
       develops. They become friends.
   5. Monologue – Robert Washington. What does he think about what is happening
       since his death? Does he blame Andy? Does he take responsibility?
   6. Monologue – Andrew Jackson – How does it feel for him to get up and go to
       school every day and face his classmates? What is he thinking? Feeling?
   7. Keisha and Andy are talking about things in general and the accident. How has
       their relationship changed since the accident? How is Keisha trying to help
       Andy? What is Andy telling her?
   8. Rhonda and Keisha are talking. They are discussing their boyfriends, Tyrone and
       Andrew, the accident, and things in general.
   9. Gerald and BJ are talking. Are they suffering from survivor‟s guilt? What do
       they have in common? They discuss the accident, things in general, and how they
       are dealing with things.

The students actually seem excited about the script. They are writing their own and will
perform them in two days. Austin asked me to write a script. “Hey Mrs. Wilson, If you
write a script, I‟ll perform it with you. This assignment has gotten a positive response
from my students.

                                       Sample Script

Script between two Hazelwood students in the courtyard before school written by S.

Yvonne- Can you believe that Andy‟s back in school already?

Vern – I thought he‟d take some more time off. Actually I didn‟t think they‟d let him
come back. I thought the courts would charge him with vehicular homicide. I‟m
surprised that they didn‟t.

Yvonne- Do you know who painted KILLER on his locker?

Vern- I think it was Alex. Alex lost his sister to a drunk driver last year. He‟s still really
angry about it. I saw red spray paint in his locker.

Yvonne – I heard someone spit on Andy from the top of the stairs.
Vern- Yah, boy, I‟d hate to be Andy. You know after prom last year, a bunch of us went
out drinking and cruising around. It could have been me behind the wheel of that car.

Yvonne- Yah, Vern, but you were careful.

Vern – Maybe Andy was careful too. But when you‟re drinking man everything looks

Yvonne- I don‟t know if I could live with the guilt. Even Andy didn‟t intend to kill
Robert. He has to live with that for the rest of his life. Robert was Andy‟s best friend
too, and now Andy even has his position on the team.

Vern- You know I don‟t think Andy‟s parents even care. They weren‟t at the game last
night, and I heard that Andy almost didn‟t come.

Yvonne- Robert‟s parents were at the game. That must have been hard for Andy playing
Robert‟s position with his parents watching.

Vern – What happened to Andy, Robert, BJ and Tyrone is bad all the way around. It
looks like they „re all going to need our support right now.

Yvonne – I only hope I know what to say to him.

Vern - Maybe we don‟t have to say anything. Just be his friend.
March 30th

             A man shrieks in pain
          crying to the universe.
                     Panic is abrupt.

           This is a quote from Tears of a Tiger. Students could respond to this quote as a
formal essay, in stream of consciousness, with a picture, with a poem or some other

Response to quote:

          Pain happens to each and every one of us at sometime in our life. Life is not so
much about what happens to us as what we do with what happens to us. Pain is
inevitable, but suffering is optional.
          To me panic is a reaction. Today I want to learn how to respond and not react.
When something bad happens to me, my initial reaction is panic. But if I take time to
think, I can respond in a more reasonable way. Often times for me this is a process. I
have friends who listen, understand and do not judge. I need to avail myself of these
people. Andy had people who were there for him. He reacted and made the wrong

May 4, 2003

There is a wonderful essay in Tears of a Tiger on pages 33-34.
                            If I Could Change the World
                             Gerald‟s English Homework
                                     November 29

Gerald Nickleby
English Homework
November 29

Personal Essay
Topic – If I Could Change the World
        If I could change the world I‟d get rid of peanut butter, Band-Aids and
five-dollar bills. I know this sounds like a weird list, but I got my reasons
        First, I‟d get rid of peanut butter. When I was little, peanut butter was my
favorite kind of sandwich. Mama would fix it as a special treat and it always
made my lunchbox smell good. But Mama left and the peanut butter stayed. We
get it free so there‟s jars of it sitting around. Sometimes that‟s all there is. It
sticks to my teeth and it seems like it sticks my bones together- it always makes
me feel clogged up.
        I‟d also get rid of Band-Aids- for two reasons. One, They‟re beige. They
say on the box, “skin-tone” is the color of the bandages inside. Whose skin? Not
mind! So I HATE wearing Band-Aids because they are so noticeable and people
always say, “How‟d you get that cut, or that bruise, or those stitches?” And I
always have to make up a reason about how I hurt myself. When Andy came
back to school after the accident, he was wearing a bunch of Band-Aids. At least
it took the attention away from me for awhile. But I‟d still eliminate Band-Aids-
at least beige ones.
        Finally, I‟d get rid of five-dollar bills. With a five-dollar bill, somebody‟s
stepfather can buy a bottle of whiskey, a nickel bag of pot, or a rock of crack. He
smokes it, or drinks it, and goes home and knocks his kids around or his wife
(before she got sick of it and left). He makes his kids wish they could leave. The
next morning he doesn‟t remember what he did. With a five-dollar bill, Andy and
the guys bought a six-pack of beer. They ended up buying five dollars worth of
death. It seems like all a five-spot can do is buy trouble, so I‟d get rid of five-
dollar bills.
        So, To make my world better, I‟d get rid of peanut butter, Band-Aids, and
five-dollar bills.

                             If I Could Change the World
                             Sandra‟s English Homework
                                    November 29

Sandra Wilson
English Homework
May 6, 2003

Personal Essay
Topic – If I Could Change the World

        If I could change the world I‟d get rid of fleas, tardiness and I‟m sorry‟s. I
know this sounds like a weird list, but I got my reasons
        First, fleas are the bane of a dog‟s existence. They cause set up
housekeeping on my pet‟s back, or ears or nose and make them miserable. They
literally suck the blood out of them. I try to kill them. When I find one and put it
in a Kleenex, it just crawls away. To really kill them you have to squeeze them
till they pop and blood squirts all over the place. Fleas carry disease and are
expensive to get rid of. When you find one flea that means there are a 1,000 you
don‟t see. I can‟t think of one positive thing about fleas. The world would be a
better place without them.
       There is no excuse for tardiness. If tardiness didn‟t exist think of all the
extra time we would have. There would be no waiting in doctor‟s offices and
dentists office. There would be no waiting at all. I spend at least one hour a week
waiting; that‟s 52 hours a year, 2 1/6 days. That‟s 156 days over an average life
span of 72 years, and one hour a week is a conservative estimate. The time I
spend waiting could be used to write a novel, take a walk, talk on the phone or
invent something. Without tardiness the productivity of the world would increase
       I‟m sorry are words that come too easily to the lips for some people. They
forget an appointment. Hey I‟m sorry. They hurt someone‟s feelings. Sorry
about that. They interrupt a conversation. Sorry. But what happens is nothing
changes. They next week they forget another appointment. Oh, hey I‟m really
sorry. Did I hurt your feelings? Sorry again. Sorry to interrupt but. Without the
words I‟m sorry, maybe people would have to amend their behavior. I‟m sorry is
meaningless without changed behavior. In fact, I‟m sorry is disrespectful without
changed behavior. So what do you say we get rid of fleas, tardiness and never
again say I‟m sorry?
                             Reflection on a Lesson -Chris
       An alternative method for teaching the story format, which provides
students with a structure to use to evaluate and/or discuss fiction stories in
any media, is the “Chain of events” which activates the logical, mathematical
and visual intelligences and visually displays the story elements and events in
the order that they occur. This “story mapping” technique uses different
colored paper links to hook the story together and to describe the
introduction, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution segments
that are integral to all stories. Students summarize various events on the
paper strips as they encounter them in the story. Therefore, they are
involved in the text as they read.
      Students visually experience not only the placement of the specific
colors, and therefore, segments of the story, but they easily observe that
the segments are of a variety of different lengths. Further, students are
able to connect the elements of the story they described visually to other
stories, movies and even television shows that they have enjoyed. Classroom
discussions reveal that students are better able to discuss examples of
literature when they have the tools to identify the parts by the names
associated with the colors used in the chain.
       By providing the visual cues to accompany the discussion of the
elements of a story, I gave focus to their summarizations of various
segments. Each time we stopped to summarize a key happening in the story,
students were aided in isolating those portions of the event that should be
included in the written paragraph on the colored strip. A colored paper link
chain of events becomes a valuable addition to the multi-genre portfolio.
Introduction       green       Associate color with green light; green means
Rising action      yellow      Complications develop, associate with caution
climax             Red         Most critical point of story, point after which
                               nothing is the same. Associate red with danger.
Falling action     Orange      Loose ends are tied up. The readers’ questions
                               are being answered.
Resolution         blue        Associate blue with calmness and the conclusion
                               of the story and the calming down from previous
                               Reef of Death
                             Part A- Chris Little
                             Aesthetic Response
                            Create a Haiku Poem

Purpose of the lesson:
   1. To activate the verbal/linguistic/intrapersonal intelligences
   2. To review and practice using adjectives and phrases to enhance
      written expression
   3. To explore the poetry genre

     1. Chart paper for brainstorming
     2. Reef of Death by Paul Zindel
     3. Haiku writing guide (attached)
     4. Art paper and coloring supplies

   1. Brainstorm adjectives and verb, adjective and adverbial phrases to
      describe the creature in The Reef of Death. This can be a
      progressive activity and as a form of review, adding to the list as the
      reading of the novel progresses.
   2. Encourage references to the fear evoked by the creature’s presence
      and attacks and by the losses experienced by the characters as well
      as physical descriptions of the creature.
   3. Use the attached guide to develop and write an original Haiku poem.
   4. Edit, write in final copy form, illustrate and practice reading orally

   Peers listen to, appreciate and positively critique classmates’ poetry.
                         Reflection on a Lesson -Chris
   Haiku poetry combined with an appropriate illustration was the intended
lesson. Who wouldn’t find it a better way than a paragraph to do a character
sketch? Apparently a room full of male struggling readers!

                               Boys and poetry
                            Like oil and water mix
                            Rather pull out teeth!

                            Thanks to my neighbor
                          For laughing at my surprise
                            That class was a flop.

                            Next time I will sneak
                            Poetry into the class
                            They won’t even know!

                           Surprised they will be
                         When at the end of the day,
                            Haiku is complete.

                           Look! Teacher will say.
                         See what you have created?
                             You wrote a Haiku!
                  Why was it so scary?
                  (To be used before chapter 3)

In this box, sketch one of the scariest occurrences in your

Where did this take place?

When did this take place?

If you were with someone else, who were you with?

Were they as frightened as you were?

What was your first reaction?

What were some of your physiological responses?


What did you do next?
How do you feel about this occurrence now?


Why do you think this was so scary at the time?

                     Between a teacher and a colleague

Colleague- You want them to write a what?!?
Teacher- A multi-genre paper.
C- It sounds like some sort of a disease.
T- First we will determine the focus of their exploration.
C- You talk funny
T- We will explain it to you better in an opening piece…perhaps as a letter to
       the reader…I’ll have the students give any necessary background
       information in that piece.
C-You mean, like an “introductory paragraph?” Brilliant! Someone should
       have thought of it before now!
T- Are you being sarcastic? This would be far more engaging than an
       introductory paragraph! Maybe it would make you actually WANT to
       read the student’s work!
C- Student papers aren’t supposed to be exciting. They are supposed to be
       well-written, grammatically correct and thorough.
T-How many times have you read a paper that was more of a regurgitation of
       an encyclopedia? Not technically plagiaristic of course… Did you ever
       ask a student questions about their subject and find they had a
       difficult time answering them? I am suggesting a format that
       encourages the student to learn and then to work with and manipulate
       those ideas and to create a presentation of what he or she has
       learned. Kinda like “real life!”
C- You are asking kids to THINK?!?!
T- Wild idea. Huh?
                            Reflection on a Lesson -Chris
       Good readers are able to make connections between the text and
personal experiences or events they have experienced by reading other
fiction or nonfiction materials. Struggling readers require guidance in
forming these connections to ensure that the story finds the necessary
cognitive “hooks” to make the reading a meaningful and enjoyable experience.
As they usually also possess inadequate ability to express themselves in
writing, the combination of illustration and a guided writing experience
encourages them to activate their memories and evaluate the experiences
they have had which in turn heightens their involvement with the text. The
results are more enthusiastic readers with greater comprehension. This
held true when I used this lesson.
       This guide challenged my students to explore a memory with a common
and easily accessible childhood theme. It also generated enthusiastic
classroom discussion, thus activating a variety of learning intelligences.
Having guided them in recalling the proper schemata, I could ask them to put
their experiences in writing. Even though their writing was characteristically
brief, it was on topic and genuine. This was a valuable activity and would be a
valuable addition to the students’ multi-genre portfolios.

                          Why was it so scary?

In this box, sketch one of the scariest occurrences in your
Where did this take place?

When did this take place?

If you were with someone else, who were you with?

Were they as frightened as you were?

What was your first reaction?

What were some of your physiological responses?


What did you do next?

How do you feel about this occurrence now?


Why do you think this was so scary at the time?


Romano, Tom (2000), Blending Genre, Altering Style: Writing Multigenre
Papers. Portsmouth, /NH: Boynton/Cook Publishers.

Draper, Sharon (1994), Tears of a Tiger. NY,/NY: Simon and Shuster.

To top