Young Adult Lit/Crit

May 4, 2008

Mandy’s Seminar- Game for everyone.

Filed under: seminar feedback — allison @ 8:29 am

Hi everyone,

I wanted to respond to Mandy’s awesome seminar.

First, let me say that sports literature is certainly outside of my comfort zone. I rarely choose a book that has sports as a central component. When we read Crutcher, I always lost interest on the sports subplots. That being said, Mandy’s seminar actually made me excited at the thought of reading sports literature. She made me excited to incorporate sports literature into my future curriculum.

Since I came into the seminar thinking I had not read and did not like sports literature, the most interesting thing about the seminar was discovering my preconcieved notions were incorrect. I learned that I had read sports literature- Crutcher and Alexie, among others- and that sports literature is not just about sports. Its about building character, examining morals, and exploring social issues. And for those reasons, it can be a powerful teaching tool.

There were two books that I really wanted to read after going to Mandy’s seminar:

Peak by Roland Smith. Why do I want to read it? Mountain climbing is cool, and it’s different. Not what you might think of when you consider sports.

Raiders Night by Robert Lipsyte. Why? Its about complex issues- rape and steroid use- in high school. Sounds compelling.

Mandy is clearly going to be a great teacher. She showed us her kick off activity, which was to give out table topic cards with questions related to sports on them. She passed around a ball to us, and when we had the ball, we had to answer the question. It was a great way to get thinking about the topic and a great way to facilitate discussion. Everyone got a chance to speak, and we all had a different question to answer. I’m definetely going to remember this for my classroom.

The final thing I would like to address is critical literacy. Critical literacy was definitely a part of Mandy’s seminar. For each of her central books, she had suggestions for critical readings. This included marxist and feminist readings. I was particularly engaged by the possibilities for feminist readings. It seems that our perceptions about females in sports is constantly changing, and I think it would be interesting to hear the insight of high school students.

Overall, Mandy did a great job. Like I said, I can tell that she will be an awesome teacher, and I’m glad I had the opportunity to attend her seminar.



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