Mikey T's Reviews > How Does It Mean?: Engaging Reluctant Readers Through Literary Theory

How Does It Mean? by Lisa Schade Eckert
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's review
May 14, 11

Read in April, 2011

This book was helpful. At first, it was a tough read, but I feel that what the latter chapters provided were some of the most relevant, to me, material I could have read. I am an extremely visual person, and this book provides many ides for how to make texts visual for students. I would recommend this novel to any teacher that is curious about incorporating visual elements into the teaching of a text.
You have to know what you teach. You cannot go blindly into a text and expect your students to understand. You have to be the best reader in the room and show your students the techniques it takes to reach a better understanding of the texts and its relevancy.
Chapter 2 of this novel deals with archetypes. I feel that once students understand archetypes, they will be able to identify a text more easily, thus being able to understand the text on a higher level.
Objectivism is also dealt with. I feel a big way for students to understand objectivism is to learn the difference between connotation and denotation. This will allow them to shed personal associations with certain words, and see what the author’s definition is. Then, students must analyze the structure of the work, using both surface and deep structure to connect meaning. Once the student realizes what denotation is needed, the surface structure will become more visible. From there, it is the deconstruction of the text that will lead to a better understanding.
Chapter 4 deals with Reader Response Theory. This is using prior knowledge to understand a text. This helps students with comprehension, but we have to show students have to use valid associations.
Using biographical and historical information from the author helps with comprehension too. It can allow students to see from the author’s perspective.

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