THE CLASSICS: GOING BEYOND

Workshop I.

This workshop is designed for the elementary level—grades 2-5

The Symmetry of Structure: The Child and the Tale

Using a rich array of children’s books related to the classics, participants will engage in ways to introduce young children to rich and vibrant connections with classical literature such as the story of Beowulf, Charles Dickens, and Pandora’s Box. Using Valídmir Propp’s “syntagmatic” structural analysis or formal organization of a narrative (borrowing from the notion of syntax in the study of language), participants will spend the first portion of the workshop on theory. During the next segment, participants will apply and discuss the theory in relation to retellings of the great classics in children’s literature. In the last and major part of the workshop, participants will synthesize the theory and pedagogy by experiencing hands-on strategies for reading and writing.

Workshop II.

This workshop is designed for middle school and regular high school levels—grades 6-12

The Fictive Frame: The Craft of Stories

Emphasizing craft in writing and analyzing craft in reading, participants will study, among other classics, Shakespeare, The Salem Witch Trials, and the Medieval Period. Using Mikhail Bakhtin’s concept of "grounding the study of myth and ritual in folklore and in the world view of popular culture" as a bridge between Propp’s “syntagmatic” structural analysis and Lévi-Strauss’s “paradigmatic,” participants will spend the first part of the workshop on theory. During the next segment, participants will apply and discuss the theory in relation to YA (young adult) novels and appropriate classic children’s books. In the final and major part of the workshop, participants will synthesize the theory and pedagogy by experiencing hands-on strategies in writing.

Workshop III.

This workshop is designed for advanced, gifted, and honors students—grades 6-12

The Phenomenon of Descriptive Ethnography: Structural Analysis as Technique

Preparing students for the higher-level analysis required in advanced courses and on advanced tests, and giving them an additional edge, this workshop builds upon the approach to literature and writing from a structural ethnographic stance. Participants will concentrate upon the work of Claude Lévi-Strauss’s “paradigmatic” structural analysis (borrowing from the notion of paradigms in the study of language). They will study the
a priori and a posteriori patterns of knowing, Roland Barthes’ binary principle of opposition, and Jacques Derrida’s insight into “binary pairs.” Further, participants will dig into the elements taken out of the “given” order and analyze how they are regrouped in one or more analytic and syntactic schema. Participants will examine how readers and writers mediate paradigms of polar oppositions such as life/death; male/female. The first portion of the workshop will be spent in the study of theory. The second portion will be spent discussing and applying that theory to appropriate literature. The last portion of the workshop will be spent in actively synthesizing the theory into the craft of writing.

Workshop IV.
This three-day workshop is designed for all levels—grades Pre K-12.

The Narrative Unleashed: An In-depth Study of Story

Using the history of story from Genesis to Hillocks, from Artistotle to Bahktin, on day one participants will study story basics, research on the narrative, the elements of a narrative, and strategies for analyzing the structure of stories.
On day two, participants will delve into the brain and its relationship to the reading and writing of stories. They will study the use of story in science, social studies, law, literature, writing, mathematics, and life.
On day three, participants will grapple with story and persuasion.

Presenters: Workshops will be conducted by Joyce Armstrong Carroll, Ed.D., H.L.D., and Edward E. Wilson, Co-directors of Abydos Learning

Text: Optional text: Inspiring the Classics through Children’s Literature by Joyce Armstrong Carroll, Ed.D., H.L.D.

The presenters will provide other books to be used as references by the participants during the workshops.