In this discussion, you will be practicing close reading techniques covered in Sections 1, 2, and 3. You will be working on identifying aspects of short stories. You will also practice annotation skills to help you perform close readings of digital material.
Choose an Aesop’s Fable from the selection below. Read several and choose one that interests you and one that you will be able to work with.
PDF Reading: Choice of fable: Aesop’s Fables
Read through the fable once to get the plot, character, setting, and moral down. You will be treating the moral as the theme of the fable, and you will want to demonstrate how the details of the fable illustrate the theme.
There are four parts to this posting:
1. Annotate Your Fable. Start by using some of the strategies provided for reading: annotate the fable by highlighting and adding comments. If you are using a print copy, that’s fine. Just be sure to annotate it according to the strategies.
For example, as shown in the PDF on annotation, on the left side of your chosen fable, make a few comments where the key points of the story occur. For example, identify the key character(s) and what they do.
On the right side, make notes on the key word(s) that can answer the following question: What details of the fable support the abstract concept of the moral?
If you are able to do so, take a screenshot (or a picture if you’re using a print version) of your annotated fable. Save it as a PDF and attach it to your response in the discussion. LEO does not allow the copying of images directly into the textboxes.
2. Present a Summary. In your discussion posting, provide a one- to three-sentence summary of the fable. The summary should state just the facts, not any opinion or ideas. Then note which details illustrate the moral; importantly, identify the key word(s) that are present in the fable.
Reminder: Summarizing can help you understand complex material. As you decide on what to include, remember to focus only on the key ideas. Identifying the key word(s) first will help you with the writing of the summary. That’s where annotation helps!
3. Provide an Explanation. Once you have completed your analysis of the fable for details, consider how important those details are to the fable and write a brief explanation of their importance.
Example: In “The Fox and the Grapes,” an important detail of the plot is that the fox fails to get the grapes, despite his repeated attempts. The grapes are an important detail as well because they were growing so high above the fox that he cannot jump high enough; thus, the setting of the grape arbor is important too.
One detail that is not present is knowledge of whether the grapes taste sweet or sour. However, the fox imposes judgment upon the grapes in order to justify his failure, thereby not focusing on how he failed but how he wouldn’t have wanted them anyway. He denies that he failed and assumes that the grapes weren’t worth the effort anyway. In the video, then, we see Aesop’s daughter falling under the same parameters of failure: she cannot purchase the handbag because it is so expensive, so she decided she doesn’t like it anyway.
4. Your Annotation Strategy. Include a separate paragraph to explain the annotation strategy you used to develop your response. Also note how you may use this strategy for future readings of digital material. If you had any trouble or areas of concern working through this critical reading strategy, please note them as well.
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