Edited by Richard Davies and Glen Kirkland.
Richard Davies and Glen Kirkland.
Volume 10 Number 4.
First in a series of three texts designed for the non-academic student, Imagining is sure to appeal to English teachers. Connections 2: Relating* and Connections 3: Discovering** complete the series. Its overall plan and the thematic structure for each text are the result of the editors' premise that students in non-academic courses have not developed opinions about social and moral issues. In Imagining, the selections lead to discussions about what the students would do if faced with the same issue or problem as the story presents. In Relating, the student is made aware of the value systems of others. In Discovering, the senior students further develop their personal value systems through the activities.
Thematic units in Imagining are: 1. "Animals: Mirrors of Man"; 2. "The Bizarre, the Fantastic, and the Supernatural"; 3. "Innocence and Experience"; and 4. "Against All Odds." The teacher's guide contains other suggested theme groupings for the same selections. Even the most lethargic students will be provoked and aroused by such selections as "Committing Insecticide" by Eric Nicol or "After the Sirens" by Hugh Hood. Students will also be attracted by the familiar: the Canadian setting, or personalities like Gordon Lightfoot, Mick Jagger, Woody Alien, and Joni Mitchell, or the humour of Charles Schulz and Lynn Johnston.
Although the only colour in this text is on the cover, the illustrations by Dianne Richardson and Frank Newfeld are bold and imaginative. A collage precedes each unit as a title page and can be used as a springboard for discussion. The stories also have a direct quote at the beginning to develop pre-reading discussion of the theme. The title and author of each selection are presented in large clear type. The stories appear in double columns with ample margin at the top.
Although the teachers' guide is heavy handed in its philosophical statements about non-academic students and teaching methodology, the rationales given for the series and units are helpful. For each selection the editors include pre-reading discussion ideas, glossary, recall and open-ended questions that require conjecture and hypothesis.
The Connections series would be a worthwhile consideration for a foundation purchase for non-academic English courses. Imagining could be used for enrichment at the intermediate level.
*Reviewed vol. X/2 1982 p.122.
Murray M. Heslop, Greenbriar S. P. S., Brampton, ON.
1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995
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