What is narrative?

- A story
- A means of conveying morals or lessons
- A means of helping us to understand what it means to be human
- A means of connecting people with one another through shared experiences
- Narratives are inherent to human communication
- Used to illustrate points
- Can apply the lessons of one narrative (fictional or not) to another

The Art of Narrative

- Have recognizable beginnings, middles, and ends
- Follow the plotline: Exposition (conflict introduction), rising action, climax, falling action, denouement (resolution)
- The reader must focus on the present action while still being mindful of the past and its influence as well as anticipating and making predictions for the future
- Careful attention to characterization (motives, desires, personality, flaws, and how they're a reflection of certain human traits)
- Address themes and morals to communicate meaning to the audience that they can apply to their own understanding of themselves and the world
- Leave room open for interpretation of he work
- Employ figurative language for the sake of both craftsmanship and meaning-making (metaphor, symbolism, imagery, tone, mood)
Activity: The Smithsonian's "Myths in Words and Pictures"

- Send students to smithsonianeducation.org/myth
- Under "Myth 1", have students click on "Explore the online interactives"
- Once there, have the students complete the first activity, "Symbols in Art: Who's Who?"
- Create a hand-out for students to submit while completing the Smithsonian activities. For the symbols in art interactive, ask students to: "Summarize how Te Smithsonian defines symbolism. Make sure to summarize information from the entire passage, not just the first paragraph.
- Have students move on to the "Symbols in a Story: What's What?" Interactive. Have them read through the introduction and add to their definition of symbolism.
- Handout question: "What does it mean for a painting to be synchronistic?"
- Have students read the story and complete a t-chart of symbols and potential meanings. Encourage students to first try and identify the meaning on their own and then google the meaning of the different symbols.
- Have students diagram the plot of the story
- Then have them look at the painting and describe how different images represent different plot stages
- Have students read through the symbolism captions on the painting. Afterwards, have students reflect on how the captions helped them to better understand the meaning of the story.
- Follow up this activity by asking students to select a synchronistic painting and labeling the symbols with their own captions. Also have them briefly summarize the different plot stages of the story.
 


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    About Me

    A lover of literature and the arts and an advocate for global awareness and active citizenship, I spend my days with high school English and Social Studies students exploring why it all matters and how they can have a voice in the world.  This is my space to document and reflect on my practice, note happenings in education, and share my appreciation for the arts.

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