This semester, I am teaching a general education literature course titled, “The Outsider.” This course examines the role of the Outsider in literature. I am using contemporary texts and am striving to have the students examine where they themselves as an Outsider. As with any of my courses, I attempt to build a safe space where all are comfortable sharing and being honest. I believe that to write well, one must be brutally honest. For this course, my first day writing activity will be a stepping stone to their first, longer writing assignment.
Directions to Students:
- On an index card, list all the words and terms that define, limit and circle you. No explanations. No excuses. No defending. Just list. No names. (3 minutes)
- Divide the words/terms up by categories that make sense to you. Home, School, Work… Happy, Sad, Angry. Whatever works for you and your terms.
- Separate piece of paper, list each word/term with 3-4 lines between each one. Write for 45 seconds for each term. Free-association writing. No thinking allowed.
- Use activity as pre-writing activity for Un-Naming narrative.
- Collect index cards and word cloud them with Tagxedo.
- On blog, have students discuss any similarities or differences and why they are there.