What they'll do today in class:
- Further practice of finding and reacting to main ideas
- Practice developing a reaction with specific personal evidence
Connection to course goals: Once again, practicing finding main ideas is a skill necessary to meet the writing context they've been given in Essay 1. The activity on development moves to another skill necessary to meet this writing context - in order to meet it effectively (i.e. make a good choice as a writer) they'll have to develop their points with specific personal experiences.
INTRODUCTION: Using the goals and activities above, devise a brief introduction that explains what they'll be doing today in class and why.
Have students get into groups of 3 or 4
Have them compare their lists of main ideas.
Each group should compile a list of the main ideas from their individual lists.
- Groups to generate the main ideas of the Fiske essay.
Discuss the essay. Here we're again trying to make sure they do understand the main ideas and then get them started on reacting to those ideas. The Fiske essay is a bit more difficult to pin down than the Chapkis, so be sure that students have a handle on the main ideas before getting into reactions and their homework assignments.
- Main ideas of Fiske essay:
- Malls function to reinforce larger cultural notions of consumerism and power.
- The "religion" metaphor often attached to malls and consumerism doesn't really stand up because consumers have more power than it usually appears.
- Malls try to "equal" people out with advertising - "Admits everyone"
- The power of the mall is subverted by youths who come to hang out - they "consume images and space" rather than products.
- The people who browse with no intention to buy and elderly "mallwalkers" also resist. They're not there to do what they're supposed to do.
- This resistance threatens those who supposedly have power in the mall - security, shop-owners, etc.
- Discussion questions for Fiske:
- Who has the power in the malls?
- How much influence does society have over our actions as consumers?
- What is the mall's relationship to the larger culture. What does the mall do in terms of cultural messages?
Practice reacting to an essay's main ideas.
You might have them start with the reactions they generated in their homeworks.
Make sure to emphasize responding to his main ideas, not just anything in the essay.
- Other possible discussion questions:
- Where do you fit with his "groups" of mall people. Are you a consumer? Ever browsed w/out buying? Ever just "hung out"?
- Do you agree with what Fiske is saying? Why or why not?
Transition: We've been reacting to Fiske's essay, but the next step in the context for Essay 1 is supporting a reaction with evidence. Let's take a look now at how you might support your reactions to this and other essays.
Using their homework writings, discuss supporting their responses. Your goal in this discussion is to get students to begin thinking about how to support their reactions.
- Solicit a few specific sample reactions from students that you can put on the board.
- Ask students what type of evidence would be useful in supporting these reactions (i.e. in showing why they had this reaction).
Try to push students beyond "reasons" to actual evidence. Remember that reasons are telling why they reacted the way they did (I think Chapkis is wrong because because I haven't been treated differently based on my attire at work), evidence is specific support showing why they reacted that way (expanding on the aforementioned reason by specifically describing for the reader their attire at work and how they were treated). See the overall course goals for more on Reasons vs .Evidence.
Read in PHG:
Wong, "The Struggle to be an All-American Girl," p. 26-28
A one-page summary and reaction to Wong.
A second one-page reaction to either Chapkis or Zoellner
In both reactions include: The main idea you're responding to, your reaction, and some explanation of why you think you react that way.
Bring your reaction to Fiske back to class