Some of you have already asked me about how to take active reading notes. I suggest that you focus on three categories of ideas: 1)passages that significantly contribute to your understanding; 2)passages that illustrate a particular literary technique or characteristic of the text; and 3)passages that elicit a personal response from you. As you can see from the example below, when I read the first chapter of Like Water for Chocolate I underlined passages and made notes about (1) symbolism, foreshadowing, and other hints that helped me "get" what the author was trying to say; (2) examples of magical realism, characterization and plot development; and (3) actions or dialogue that made me sit up and take notice (you may find yourself asking questions, or vehemently agreeing/disagreeing, but any time you have an intense reaction is an important moment in the text).
Because many of you will be taking notes on a book you don't own, use your own paper to write the notes-- and please keep track of the page numbers! That way when we discuss them you'll be able to refer to the context.
Please listen for the orientation announcement in May-- this is a mandatory meeting. Also, please check back here on the blog frequently over the summer. I know what the school calendar says. And I'm starting to teach this class right now. I will post items for discussion so that when we meet in August you'll be ready. The easiest way to keep up is to "follow" the blog by linking it to your email so that you get a message whenever I post.
active reading notes lwcf jan -