So, this was probably the most successful exercise I used for ink-shedding, which I feel helped develop some confident workshop personas. You will be responsible for giving them more definite criteria when you get to the actual workshop phase, but this can be helpful in giving them the confidence to mark up a text for later discussion. I tried to put as little restriction on what they could write for the short piece, but it is always appropriate to remind them of a level of mutual respect that they need to exhibit during the ink-shedding exercise.
Why do this? For one, student work-shopped papers read easier and it always feels more satisfying as a teacher when the work merits high marks. But on the other hand, the importance of the exercise lies in getting the student to be critical of a piece of writing. The idea is that the critical eye will carry over into their own writing, but is more readily acquired when applying critical techniques to another text.
I realize that the pictures I am using are rather spare, but I tried doing this with ‘charged photos,’ just kind of bizarre, older family photos, and because I encouraged a bit of silliness, that is how the assignment was met.
What I do is first explain what ink-shedding is — I gathered my info from this site:
I found that trying to discuss what ink-shedding is generated more questions concerned with what I want from them and I wanted this left unsaid. You can give tutorial information, but I don’t think it is necessary. I just gave them these guidelines:
- Inkshedding needs to be read, immediately and for what it says
- The reading has to be social, and cannot be evaluative or judgmental
- Inkshedding is part of a social situation, and needs to be read in a social context — and it has to have the potential to affect that situation
Divide the class according to picture. I gave them ten minutes to compose because the actual shedding can last longer than expected. Once done, I had them reflect on the comments. I did one of these for every module and it ended up as a short assignment in which they assess their strengths and weaknesses, as pointed out by their peers, and then charting their improvements or their persistent problems.
Of course, this is open enough for a multitude of purposes and intentions.
Use the space below to write a short fictional piece about this woman. Where is she? What year is it? What is she thinking? Try in the form of an interior monologue, though you can choose whatever form you wish this to take.
Use the space below (and the back of the page) to describe what you see in this photo. Describe what you don’t see– the interior. Describe the person who comes out of the place. What does the person do?
LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW IF YOU TAUGHT THIS LESSON IN YOUR CLASSROOM. HOW DID IT GO? WOULD YOU DO IT AGAIN? DID YOU MAKE ANY MODIFICATIONS?