Reaction Charts for Daily Readings

Monday's reaction chart should address Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Birthmark." It's expected that you'll bring it to class, typed, to turn in before leaving. The reaction chart assignment, which is an informal writing-to-learn assignment, serves several purposes. One is to insure that you read all the assigned readings, for you can’t write a reaction chart unless you do. Also, these charts should help you organize and articulate your responses to the various readings, and they also provide valuable information to me about what is and isn’t understood. It’s okay to get things “wrong” on the reaction chart. They also prepare you to discuss the readings in greater depth, to probe the ideas presented. Each reaction chart should address the following questions. Each should be illustrated with its own passage from the reading and some explanation as to why that passage was chosen, what concerns it raises. The big question we will consider is “What does this reading do?” To get a sense of that, you’ll answer each of the following for each reading.
  • What does this reading do and why might that be of interest or importance?
  • What ideas in this chapter are new to you and especially interesting?
  • What do you value?
  • What do you question, disagree with, feel like pushing back against?
  • What question about the reading do you most want answered?
When a reading is scheduled to be discussed on your course calendar, a reaction chart is due. I will collect the reaction sheets in class because the information you provide helps me anticipate important issues and questions that we need to address. You must word process/type reaction charts. If you do not bring a reaction chart to class, you will be asked to leave and you will not be able to participate in the discussion.