Leading Reading Discussions

The reason I have you choose the stories we read is because I’d like you to be invested in the reading. To this end, I want to remind you that it is the job of your team to come with questions for the class. As a team, you should have fifteen or so questions (total). These questions might be related to (but are not limited to):

1) Are there thematic or formal similarities between the work you’ve read for this week and the work we’ve been workshopping?

2) How does the reading offer answers to technical questions that might have been raised in class or workshop? How satisfying do you find those answers?

3) How might the writing from workshop address a question the reading seems to raise?

4) What further questions or issues might be connected to the initial similarities between this reading and other reading we’ve done (student or not)?

5) You might ask questions about how the formal features are functioning within the story (POV, tone/voice, dialogue, pacing, character, etc.) .

6) You might look at the evolution of a story, its themes and motifs, its characters, from beginning to end.

7) You might even ask us to spend a few minutes to write a short response to a question you’ve generated. The floor is yours.

These are just a few ideas to get you thinking about ideas to raise with the class. The thing driving your questions should be the particulars of the story we’re discussing. The main idea here is to bring exciting, thought-provoking questions about the reading and writing to class—so feel free to bring some personality, as well as intellectual rigor, to these responses. Respectful engagement with others’ work is also a great way to get some interesting issues on the table.

Your team will turn in a single copy of your questions on the day of the discussion; it will include all team members' names at the top as well as a descriptor of what the questions are for, for instance:

Jim Smith
Carrie Johnson
Randall Kessler
Questions for discussion of John Updike's "A&P"

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