Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Dot and the Line

Endless discussions at low and high levels about Internet reading v. Core reading (print text).  Well, I think that every pundit should revisit The Dot and the Line, an allegorical text that some of us grew up with.  As is true of all great allegories, it carries many levels of meaning and metaphor.  As is true of many of today's texts, it can be purchased on Amazon (new or used), viewed on YouTube (animated), and previewed in Google Books.

Here is one interpretation:  Dot = student; Line = "reading"of value to students; Squiggle = other reading, presumably but not limited to Internet reading and casual reading (graphic novels, email, text messages, graffiti...). 

I personally like the YouTube version, and hope to be able to download it so my students can view it.  If they see themselves as Lines, great. As Dots, then they will have some thinking to do.  As Squiggles, then they will have more thinking to do (I have at least 3 Squiggles every year).

And talk about great vocabulary!  Visual literacy!  This little text/video has it all.  I could spend a week on it (won't).

But, I am going to recommend that all members of our upcoming Literacy Institute view The Dot and Line.  I can definitely see another interpretation that relates to curriculum and instruction...

Or is it The Dot and the Lion, as my daughter always insisted?  I guess it depends upon your point of view.  Middle School kids tend to want to be Squiggles.  Do we need to straighten them out?  I can't wait to open this up to an ELA meeting.

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