Mashups in the Literature Classroom

I’m always on the hunt for good ideas – especially those that are founded on new/21st century literacies. My friend Beth recently posted about a pedagogical experiment in her writing pedagogy class. Beth’s work was grounded in collaboration and multi-modal/multi-genre composing. Reports of such work are always interesting and helpful for teachers looking to expand their range. That’s why I was glad to see a related article in the Chronicle today.

A professor wrote about doing mashups in to help students explore literature more deeply. Doing this kind of work pushes learners into higher order thinking while leveraging the contributive and collaborative nature of modern literacies.

The best mashups juxtapose materials deliberately; they make the implicit explicit. They expose or highlight underlying features of the source materials—formal, thematic, or stylistic—that casual listeners, viewers, or readers might miss.

In my classes, I’ve experimented with mashups in order to help students think about literary style. I started doing this when I noticed that my students often sensed stylistic differences between writers, but had difficulty articulating those differences.

Read more.

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