The Center for Digital Storytelling sponsors several youtube playlists, including Place. Advanced and basic writers respond well to assignments on place. The cross disciplinary and potential research for the subject makes it compelling and flexible for many classrooms. If you’re looking for prompt inspiration, view some of the playlist, and use your own selected medium for your own project.
ENGL 250 COURSE DESCRIPTION (Updated Feb 2013)
A survey of world folklore studying the more representative literary forms including traditional folk and fairytales, nomenclature, riddles, rhymes, legends, songs, ballads, enchantments, and superstitions. Selected tales, formats, and retellings will be examined to trace the development of worldview and identity. Emphasis is on the uniting qualities of folklore for various civilizations and as constructed by their cultural context. Three class hours weekly. Prerequisite: English 101.
Writing Intensive (WI appears on student transcript.)
J.R.R. Tolkien commented that the greatest value of studying folklore is that it motivates people to write their own culturally significant stories. Thus, the prompts and folk stories written in this course will be evaluated for their development of fluid ideas, character and lore that connect, exemplify, or are clearly inspired by the assigned readings. Special attention will be paid to clear language and well-crafted imagery.
The selected folklore will be distributed widely from across world cultures and countries, such as Germany, Russia, Scotland, Iceland, Peru, North America, Cuba, Africa, Italy, Syria, China, Korea, France, India, Ireland, Papua, Saudi Arabia, and Afghanistan. Topics include:
- Literary and Oral traditions; contemporary storytelling
- Tall Tales, Fooling the Devil, Rogues and Cheats
- Medicine and Death, Ghost stories, Weatherlore
- Place and Family Names
- Young, Old, and Unlikely Heroes; Fools
- Shape Shifters, Animal Fables, and the Not Quite Human
- True Loves and Enchanted Sweethearts
- Folktale and Fairytale differences
- Hobbits, Dragons, & Magic
Writing involves logic (as well as emotional appeals and establishing credibility). To help students’ logic, I assign “Finding the Good Argument OR Why Bother with Logic” from Writing Spaces in English 101. Brain Pickings posted the following concise explanations of logical principles. They’re designed for young teens but really useful for anyone else too.
Faculty may now designate courses “WI” (writing intensive) on transcripts by applying to the WAC Committee. The following slide show is from the Faculty Forum. It provides some resources in defining the writing assigned as Writing-to-Learn (informal writing to help students master course content) and Discipline (WID) Writing that is more concerned with form, function, and formatting.
The template for applying will be available soon.