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A rhetorical approach to teaching children's literature
Dong, Colleen B.
Ornatowski, CezarSerrato, Phillip
The California Common Core Standards require students to comprehend and critique what they are reading, as well as assess an author’s arguments. In order to meet these goals, teachers rely heavily on expository texts, and use literary fiction to meet other learning objectives like reading comprehension and vocabulary development. Because of this, expository texts are seen as more rhetorical, while literary texts are viewed aesthetically. This thesis project seeks to reverse this notion and give literary fiction a proper seat in rhetorical conversations and endeavors. More specifically, though, this project brings rhetorical analysis into the realm of children’s literature, thereby encouraging rhetorical training to begin in elementary school. A rhetorical analysis of children’s literature in the classroom is critical, as it allows the teacher to understand the implications of the story and the impact it may have on the child. As children are particularly vulnerable and impressionable, it is important that teachers expose children to literature that encourages values and virtues. Wayne C. Booth explains that narrators and characters in the books influence us in similar ways as our real friends; these literary friends play a role in a child’s development and it is important to recognize their influence. An effective way to understand this potential is through rhetorical analysis. This project provides three units, progressing by grade and complexity. In each unit I provide an in-depth rhetorical analysis, as well as lesson plans to use alongside the book, and response pages when necessary. The first unit analyzes the picture book Without You and exposes the rhetorical tools used by the author and illustrator to guide their young reader to understand another’s perspective. The second unit analyzes the book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and focuses specifically on identification creation in children’s literature. The final unit analyzes the young adult novel The Princess Bride and utilizes a rhetorical understanding of multifaceted narration. Finally, I provide a list of additional literary fiction that is excellent for rhetorical analysis and can be used in the classroom for moral development in students.
Rhetoric And Writing Studies
Rhetoric and Writing Studies
Arts and Letters
Master of Arts (M.A.) San Diego State University, 2018
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