January 4, 2013

How Common Core kills writing and imagation

From a Common Core work project on the Hobbit:
1. In the Ray Bradbury story “The Martian,” the Martian native involuntarily shifts his appearance and attitude to suit whoever he is with, subconsciously becoming what they want him to be, and the strain of this finally kills him. Do you believe that your attitude, beliefs, appearance, or values sometimes change to match circumstances? Convey an experience wherein remaining true to yourself or maintaining your integrity was difficult. Use dialogue in your narrative.

2. Choose a character from one of the texts we have read in class that you think resembles you in some way and explain the ways in which you identify with that character. Using dialogue to sharpen your narrative, convey experiences from your life that shaped you into this type of character. (p. 4)
Teacher and author Darcy Pattison - After reading one of the most amazing stories ever written, this bland writing assignment is enough to put any student off reading any more fantasy. Why are students not writing their own fantasies, using Tolkien as a mentor text (as is the popular jargon these days)? Surely, that assignment would make more sense! And be more fun for the student. “Convey experiences from your life that shaped you into this type character”? What? It makes my head hurt just to think about that essay prompt.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Administrators think caterpillars eat butterfly food and already have wings. Teachers know better.

Capt. America said...

I cannot imagine a worse "mentor text" than Tolkien, who tore his stuff bleeding from Irish and Nordic legend. Always go to the real thing, not the imitation.

fowlbruce said...

Do modern schools/teachers have no concept of modesty or privacy? Back in the dark '50's when I was in grade school I considered "what did you do last summer" essays to be invasive and tyrannical. These are much worse. Is this one more evidence of the oppression that is extrovertism?