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Summer SAVY 2019: Session 3, Day 1 – Archetypes in Literature (Rising 5th/6th)

Posted by on Monday, June 24, 2019 in Grade 5, Grade 6, SAVY.

This morning, to get to know each other better, we talked about our personal heroes and why we consider those people to be heroes. This was a fun way to get to know each other better and consider qualities of heroes–one of the most common and compelling archetypes! Some heroes accomplish great feats of bravery, some persist in the face of difficulty over a long period of time, and others we may consider personal heroes because of something we have in common with them along with their achievements.
Students explored the idea of encounters throughout the day, moving from the personal and specific toward the abstract and universal. Students brainstormed “encounters” they had experienced, along with positive and negative experiences that have had some effect. As we thought about our own personal encounters and shared stories of these with others, some patterns began to emerge. Students realized that not all encounters have to be between two people; a person can also encounter an idea, an emotion, or a situation. Encounters can result in short- and long-term effects, positive or negative. Encounters involve some physical or mental action, and encounters lead to change.
We considered four key generalizations about encounters, which students collaborated to illustrate and explain:
Encounters can result in positive or negative outcomes.
– Encounters allow for reflection and change (positive or negative).
– Encounters may lead to threats and opportunities.
– Encounters allow for predictions.
Students had opportunity to present their posters to each other, with some time for feedback, questions, answers, and even revision. We will be exploring these four generalizations throughout the week as we learn about archetypes and their roles in encounters.
After students enjoyed some “free writing” time, which many used to explore possible story ideas, we had a healthy discussion today about the role of feedback in the creative process and how to give and get good feedback. Both the writer and the person giving feedback have opportunities and responsibilities in this process. The writer has the opportunity to gain another’s insight and encouragement along with the responsibility to specify what kind of feedback is needed and to use feedback wisely. A person giving feedback to a writer has the opportunity to enjoy and support work in process and the responsibility to give feedback that is specific and constructive enough to “move the writing forward.” We discussed the pros and cons of asking a relative stranger for feedback versus a family member or friend; students seemed to agree that the benefits can vary based on what the writer and the work need at the moment.
We closed the day by reading and analyzing the short story “Eleven” by Sandra Cisneros. After considering the idea of encounters from many different perspectives all day, students did an excellent job analyzing the many encounters in this story and their effects on the story as a whole! We also took time to consider the story as a piece of literature and noticed the ways different elements in the story interact. Students seemed to find the story’s symbolism particularly interesting (which is exciting, because symbols are very important to our understanding of archetypes!), and they offered insightful interpretations of the story’s red sweater and the exact age of the narrator and what those symbols contribute to the story.
Tomorrow we’ll dig into Carl Jung’s theory! We have so much to look forward to! Please remember, if you took your notebook home to keep writing, make sure you bring it back tomorrow!

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