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Reading Options for Myth-Folklore


For this assignment, you'll be learning about the reading options for this class which cover a huge range of different myths, legends, folktales, and fairy tales from around the world. Each week you will be choosing a new reading unit, and I hope this assignment will help you get oriented so that you'll be able to make good choices each week. The assignment has four parts, and it will take you anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour to complete, depending on how much time you want to spend browsing and exploring:

Part 1. Think about reading-to-write.

Part 2. Make a reading choice for Week 2.

Part 3. Browse through the reading options for later in the semester.

Part 4. Write up a blog post with your thoughts.


PART ONE. Reading-to-write.


In a lot of the classes you take in college, you are reading in order to learn the content and to then take a test about it later on. That is not how this class works. Instead, in this class you will be doing reading in order to find raw materials to use in the stories that you tell, and you will also be learning about different ways to tell stories. So, as you read, the idea is to look for stories you want to tell and also to look for writing you want to imitate. I really hope that as the semester goes on, you will find yourself looking at stories in new ways, appreciating the twists and turns of every plot (and thinking about the way you want your plots to twist and turn), paying attention to the way that characters are brought into the story (so that you can find good ways to weave characters into your stories), and also zooming in on the details of the writing itself: the sentences, the dialogue, the vocabulary, all those little details that will help you to write your own stories.


Each week when you do the reading for class, you will be taking notes in your blog, and what I want to emphasize now is that these are notes you will use when you are writing. There are no quizzes or tests, so don't take notes the way you would for a quiz or for a test. Instead, you need to learn to read like a writer, looking and listening for the "stuff" you can use when you are writing stories. You'll learn more about that when you do the first Reading Notes assignment this week, but I wanted to emphasize right from the start that you should think about those notes as something like a "writer's notebook," not like a study guide for some future exam. Take a look at the Reading Notes posts this student's blog last semester, and you'll get an idea of how that can work; each person will do the posts in their own way, but looking at this one example will hopefully get you to start thinking about how you can start creating your own writer's notebook.


PART TWO. UnTextbook Overview: Week 2.


You can begin by learning about what the UnTextbook is and how it works: The Myth-Folklore UnTextbook. In particular, notice the week-by-week tabs across the top.



Each week, you will be using those tabbed pages to see what you want to read that week. For this assignment, take a look at the reading options for Week 2 and see which of the Classical and Biblical units most appeals to you. You can change your mind later, but for now the idea is to pick out one of the Week 2 units so that you will be reading to go.


Browsing the units. It's important to browse through the unit; don't just choose based on the title. Take a look at the unit's table of contents and also look at some of the stories to see if they are written in a style that appeals to you. The idea is that you will be reading the WHOLE unit, but it counts as two assignments: you will read all the stories in Part A first and write up a blog post about that (zooming in on your favorite one or two stories), and then you will read all the stories in Part B and write up a blog post about that. You might do those on the same day, or you might do it on separate days. If you are really busy, you might do just one part only, not both — and that's fine. As long as you do some reading each week, you will have the raw materials you need for a storytelling assignment.


Unit contents. Each unit has an index page, along with individual pages for the stories. There is usually one story per page, but sometimes multiple short stories on one page or sometimes a long story spread out on multiple pages. All the units are about the same length (appx. 15,000 words), but the number of pages will vary. So, for example, the Jewish Fairy Tales unit contains 11 pages total, while the Cupid and Psyche unit has 21 pages. The two units are the same number of words overall, but they are divided up into different sections: each page of the Jewish Fairy Tales unit is a separate story of its own, while the Cupid and Psyche unit is one long story divided up into smaller episodes.


PART THREE: Browse the whole semester.


After you have made your choice for Week 2, browse through the other sections of the UnTextbook and see what jumps out at you for later in the semester. You can use the tabs across the top to look at the Middle Eastern and Indian units, the African and Asian units, the Native American units, and finally the British/Celtic and the European units. Maybe you will find some units that you are really excited about. You might even find something that you could use for a Storybook project in the class! (You'll start thinking more about your project options next week.) For now, find at least two different reading units for later in the semester that grab your attention, and feel free to write about more if you want of course! :-)


PART FOUR: Write the blog post.


When you are done exploring, write up a post about the reading units that grabbed your interest (your reading choice for Week 2 plus at least two other units), with a LINK to the unit and a brief PARAGRAPH for each one about your choice. Is this something familiar that you want to learn more about? Something new? Are you seeing connections to books / movies / art that interests you? The more I can learn about your interests now, the more I can try to help you find good stories to work on this semester.


Here are some more guidelines for the post:


  • TITLE: include the phrase "Reading Options" in the title of your post
  • LABELS: use "Week 1" to label your post
  • IMAGE: choose an image to illustrate your post, along with image information


After you have published your post, you are ready to do the Declaration, and then to move on to the next assignment: planning your study time for this class.



I have published a blog post about my reading choice for Week 2 and my other reading interests, with links to each of the units I mention.

TITLE: The phrase "Reading Options" appears in the blog post title.
LABEL: I used "Week 1" as the blog post label.

IMAGE: I have included at least one image with Image Information.




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