This resource is a fun and engaging way to conduct close readings or critical analyses of literature for the high school student. It helps students pull a variety of information out of a text, creating diverse enlightening perspectives and propelling amazing discussions. Essentially, it trains their brains to focus on details and develop unique ways of viewing a story.
As you assign a selected text in class or as homework, have each student draw from a container a slip of paper (or popsicle sticks, etc.) with a professional job title printed on it (below). Each job description details its narrow field of study which students use like a “lens” to read a text, guiding their focus. For instance, a student who draws “anthropologist” will know to look for the way civilizations, families, social structures, etc. are represented or interpreted by the author. Think of each perspective as a magnifying glass that is helping highlight very specific aspects of the reading in order to find a particular meaning.
Many job titles also help reinforce literary concepts taught in class, such as author’s tone/purpose and story setting, as well as spur creative outside-the-box thinking. A focus question is attached to each job title that the student can ask him/herself to stay on track. Assignments thereafter can be a writing task from that perspective or just being ready to casually share from that perspective in class discussion. There is a handout created for this or you can make your own.
This activity can be used weekly/monthly as a reading tool or randomly as a change of pace to liven things up. There is also a format included to incorporate it as a journaling activity. You can tailor the job titles as well if you want to omit particular viewpoints. There are 15 in all, so if you have a big class, just double up on the most relevant. Take this as far as you want, even having students write critical analysis essays from the perspective of their job titles. It is a great clarifying tool to help students understand how to pull details from a text and write critically about them-and it’s awesome for college prep!
Jennifer L. Weaver
Included in this packet:
PP 3-5…...description sheet to post if you want your students to
familiarize themselves with the job titles in the classroom
P 6-8……...job titles with descriptions
P 9…….......classwork handout
P 10……......handout for journal/binder (eco-style)-punch holes or glue and