Learning Experience 6

Learning goal: Return to the afterword for a final understanding of crookedness.




Teacher will read aloud the afterword for Scratching River. After that, learners will consider the following questions:
1. Now that you have completed the book, how does the afterword land for you?
2. Did reading the afterword prior to reading the novel help your understanding of the flow of the book?


Invite learners in groups of three to consider the following questions:
1. What was your favourite part of the book? Why?
2. What themes were present in the book?
3. Was the book easy to follow? Why or why not?
4. How did you feel about its crookedness in the end? 


Have two or three students each read a part of this quote.
“The act of writing one’s story is incredibly powerful; it is like being swept up in a strong current. I am not the same person I was. There is a purity in the fragmented nature of this manuscript that I can’t return to. It was written as I was uncovering the shards. I hadn’t begun piecing any of it together. I didn’t have any story for the teenage rage and grief that shook me to my core. This manuscript is honest and jagged. Now, when I try to return to edit or tinker with the manuscript, I bring the healing I’ve worked for as well as the broad understanding of the fuller narrative in which my stories and my brother’s stories live. And because I now bring all this with me, I can’t return to those months when my memories of this time knocked me over as I was writing them. I can’t tell it like it was then because it is no longer like that” (Porter, 144).
Invite learners to engage in stream of consciousness writing based on the above quote by considering the following questions
1. What emotions are evoked when reading this quote?
2. What memories might this quote bring up for you? What “shards” might it be uncovering in your own life?
3. Do you believe that “this manuscript is honest and jagged?” Why or why not?
4. How might you write your own memoir of a specific time and place in your life?