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Multiple Lenses

HannahB's picture

I found the discussion of the poem "Cinderella" in class on Thursday extremely valuable, particularly in the small group discussions. My favorite part was discovering and discerning all of the initial "first readings" of the poem. For some, their first readings and imaginings followed the traditional fairy tale, for others the poem raised connotations sex trade and for me personally, I set the poem in a modern sense--thinking of the business world, cultural capital, etc.

 As my group of three began devising a form of lesson plan, we kept circling back to these multiple readings. We decided then, that a great initial part of our lesson in a workshop would be to have everyone free write on the poem individually first, only later sharing their initial readings with a larger group. The purpose of this, while of course meaning to promote personal reflection, more importantly shows another example of multiliteracy.

By showing that people can interpret the same poem in so many different ways, within different contexts and deriving different meanings from it, eccentuates the point that people come from different backgrounds with different forms of literacy. I think that understanding and validating various interpretations of one story can help people in the process of learning to understand and validate various forms of literacy as well. We can come from different places and we can create various new places, both are important.

While I like this connection between different readings of a poem and the recognition of a multiliteracies approach, I do not think I have fully worked out the connection--particularly in terms of presenting it to a class. But I do think the themes are worth continuing to explore. I appreciated the multi-layerings of the poem and I would like to be able to use this appreciation in also creating a respect for the layering of literacy that exists on a daily basis between our primary and secondary discourses.