Reading together

Perusall logoWe’ll use Perusall to annotate and read together. Link here to Perusall.

Instructions for joining on the Week 1: Getting Situated page.


Link to calendar here

Time photoOur course is organized around a series of routines:  gathering and analyzing data, reading, writing, and making artifacts together.

Make Cycle 1: weeks 2 & 3

Make Cycle 1: weeks 2 & 3

picture of collage of peopleWeeks 2 & 3: Aug 28-Sept 10

Make Cycle 1: Our Literate Selves

In this cycle we will carefully trace our literate lives for a few days and we’ll read our first research article about literacy to support our guiding question this semester:

what counts as literacy and whose literacy counts?

Our weekly tasks in a nutshell below with full explanations right after. We’ll repeat this routine for each make cycle all semester: discover, read, write together, make.

In a nutshell for Make Cycle 1:

  • Monday, Aug 30: Discover: trace your literacies (bring your notes to class)
  • Wednesday, Sept 1 (before class): Read & Annotate: David Kirkland’s “The Skin We Ink: Tattoos, Literacy, and a New English Education” (annotate in Perusall)
  • Monday, Sept 6: Labor Day Holiday
  • Wednesday, Sept 8: Make: Create an artifact that represents an idea from this make cycle

Sites you’ll need each week in case you want to bookmark:

Link to Perusall 

Our website: you are here now. ;-)

Full explanation of tasks:

By Monday, Aug 30 (bring to class):

Trace your literacies: As best you can, keep track of your reading and writing for 2 days between Aug 25-Aug 30. This will be challenging. You might keep track by taking a photo every time you switch from one literate task to a new one: from email to reading for class to posting on Instagram. Or you might keep a journal handy (digital or pen/paper). As you’re tracing what you read and write, keep some notes about purpose and the context in which the reading and/or writing is situated (on the couch, in your room, at a desk). Try to keep track of time, the kind of device you use (are you reading/writing on a tablet–what about audio books or podcasts; do those count as reading?–phone, laptop, book, paper…) etc. What would your literacies look like on a school day versus a non-school day?

Once you have notes or a list, consider these questions for our class conversation: How did you decide what to keep track of? What questions emerged as you tried to decide what to record? What did you learn about your reading and writing habits from tracing those two days? What was left out? Do you think what you decided to trace is a representation of you as a reader/writer? We’ll reflect on what we learn together from tracing our literacies.

Examples from previous semester:




By Wednesday, Sept 1 (before class)

photo of tattoo that says the journey is the rewardDavid Kirkland’s “The Skin We Ink: Tattoos, Literacy, and a New English Education” (in Perusall)

Literacy is most often made acceptable—even standardized—when serving dominant group interests and unacceptable—stigmatized—when encouraging the perspectives of the socially marginal.–Kirkland

Annotate/comment on this article in Perusall. Questions, confusions, places you find interesting, links that relate to the ideas in the article, etc. This reading will take about 60-90 minutes to read and annotate.

In class together: Kirkland’s text: what are some key claims? Which ideas do you find interesting or puzzling? Grab a quote you like from the text OR grab a quote that is confusing and we’ll share them during our class session. I’d like to see as a class which quotes we find interesting.

We’ll also prep for our “Make” that’s due next week.

Monday, Sept 6: Labor Day holiday

By Wednesday, Sept 8 (bring to class physically or in digital form: we’ll do a gallery walk)

picture of student workMake:
Create an artifact that represents an idea from this make cycle. You have total control over what you create for our makes in each Make Cycle. Some ideas:

  • Write a reflection about your “day in the literate life …” (blog or short video). Perhaps a Hermit Crab short essay? (See our Slides & Resources page from Sept 1)
  • Create a short film: alternating some day-in-the-life style video perhaps with some narrative and images from you. I would keep this under 2 minutes.
  • Make a piece of art
  • Write slam poetry, poem, or original song
  • Create a Zine
  • Curate a Spotify playlist: what do your day to day literacies sound like? (Note: this should be a curated list that says something about the literacies you traced, as opposed to just a playlist of your favorite songs. ;-))
  • Design a game: imagine a gaming experience for us that immerses the player into your daily literacies
  • Make something: you might have another idea

In class together, we’ll write a brief reflection about the make: what was your intention with this make? what were you trying to convey? what worked? what didn’t?

Super excited to see what you make!