Strategies for Reading and Engaging Across Modes
Following the discussion of our previous teacher talk (please see below), we thought about how we can implement some of those creative practices into our actual teaching. In this workshop, we talked strategies!
We started with a strategy on how to teach visual analyses. We looked at the Queen of Wands tarot card and broke our engagement down into steps. First, we picked the card apart by naming all of what we see. We took our time describing what we saw or sensed in the card. Secondly, we read the artist’s intention with the piece by looking up their description within the tarot book (that comes with the card). Third, we listened to what others are saying about the piece, or how other tarot readers or tarot enthusiasts describe and give meaning to the card. Then the grand finale: Taking all of this into consideration, we discussed our own analyses. We took turns offering what we thought the card meant to us. We found that these steps can be applied to engagements in many genres. These steps aren’t necessary the writing about the art object, but rather note-taking to help in the writing process.
We also had some discussion about how to engage with poetry. Poetry allows us to open up to our sensations that we experience while reading the poem. We have to pay keen attention to the rhythm, the line breaks, tone, and structure of the empty spaces. And mostly, we have to ask ourselves, how do we feel with the poem. What bodily sensations does it invoke? This is powerful because poetry, and this strategy to reading poetry, teaches us how to make sense of feelings and sensations as viable, critical, necessary reading and engagement practices.
The conversation was dynamic and invigorating. Both strategies complement each other. Both allow students to bring in their own interpretation of art and poetry while also critically engaging in a community to help foster understanding.