The Talking Stick Blog

News, Updates, Program Recaps, and Homeschooling Information

Literature Workshop: So Many Books and Characters

So Many Books and Characters

In the last three weeks, we have enjoyed diving into the world of Captain Nemo in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.  We have tracked the voyage of the Abraham Lincoln on a world map, and we are now plotting the location of the Nautilus.  This book has introduced us to dozens of new words and a rich variety of underwater species, both real and imagined.  In our discussions, we have also made some observations about books in translation as we compare the translations we each have (word choices such as “underwater”  versus “submarine,” and “dogfish” versus “shark,” for example).

During the open mic time, led by a different participant each week, the group has shared an impressive variety of texts, including fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and graphic novels.  Here is a sample from the last three weeks: “The Grass” by Emily Dickinson, Far World: Water Keeper by Jay Scott Savage, Athena the Brain in the series Goddess Girls by Joan Holub and Susan Williams, Dreaming in Smoke by Tricia Sullivan, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin, The Midnighters by Scott Westerfield, Ivy and Bean Make the Rules by Annie Barrows, “A Late Walk” by Robert Frost, Listener Supported: the Culture and History of Public Radio by Jack Mitchell, Smile by Raina Telgemeier, “Daybreak in Alabama” by Langston Hughes, The Three Questions by Jon Muth, Star Trek the Next Generation: Omnibus, The Practical Guide to Monsters, Amulet by Kazu Kibuishi, Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat by Lynne Jonell, So Many Dynamos! and Other Palindromes by Jon Agee, The Calder Game by Blue Balliett, Homocidal Psycho Jungle Cat by Bill Watterson, Banksy: Wall and Piece, and Runemarks by Joanne Harris.

We performed the scripts from The BFG and The Hobbit for members of the day program and read and performed for each other excerpts from Pippi Longstocking and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

Last week, on February 7, we transformed our workshop setting into a tea party and stepped briefly into the personas of our chosen literary characters.  Smaug had a tricky time eating from our small paper plates. Jane Eyre was confused about the workings of the microwave that Nearly Headless Nick was using to heat our water for tea.  Professor McGonagall remarked on the fine cookie selection to Gollum, and we enjoyed musings by Vogon Jeltz. It was entertaining and challenging to remain in character while nibbling cookies and making conversation, and a festive feast was had by all.

[juicebox gallery_id="12"]