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Outsider Exercise

One activity for teaching students how to narrow their topics for a Literacy Narrative Essay is to help them define what a Literacy experience is. The Outsider Exercise is designed to help them narrow their general personal experience into specific experiences that may be related to Literacy.

During this activity you will ask students to think and write about an experience they have had when they felt like an outsider. Then you will ask the students to think about why they were an outsider in that particular community. Generally, what will come out of this exercise is the idea that frequently when we feel like outsiders it's because we don't understand the culture or customs of the community we are trying to join. As one part of culture/customs is the way we communicate, this idea can then naturally lead to how their lack of literacy caused them to feel like outsiders. The narrowing process takes them from a personal experience, to a personal experience that relates to feeling like an outsider, to what caused them to feel like an outsider, to the idea of literacy.

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