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Reading Reflection on A Long Walk to Water
Write a brief reflection (1-2 pages) on your impressions about the novel. Please refer to the Reading Reflection Guide for specific details. This is NOT a summary of the story – rather, this is an opportunity to reflect on what you read and to discuss what struck you most about the story and how it relates to what we having been learning about in this course.
Reading Reflection Guide
Too often, when we read the words on a page we do not fully integrate that new information into our existing knowledge structure, and so we fail to gain new understanding of the world around us. Research in cognitive science and learning tells us that “deep learning” requires that the learner reflect on new knowledge and create personal meaning from it. To help us reflect more deeply on readings in this course, we will use reading reflections. These reading reflections are designed to help the reader engage with the material in a deeper way, and to construct new meaning from it. The reflections also have the advantage of providing the instructor with detailed information about your learning in the course. This not only helps guide the daily preparation of course activities, but also helps connect us as a community of learners. Your response need not be long, but must clearly indicate careful reading and thoughtful reflection. Reflections must include response to at least 3 of the questions below (please carefully indicate in your writing to which questions you are responding).
What is the Main Point? Reading assignments often contain a lot of information. What is the main concept that the author is trying to get across? This may, or may not, have been explicitly stated in the reading. Why did the author choose to emphasize this point, and not some other? Your response is not a summary of the chapter or book, but a restructuring and analysis of it in a way that creates new meaning for you.
How does the Main Point relate to what we have been learning in this course? This question requires you to integrate the learning that we have been doing in class with the readings. Reflect on the common themes we have been exploring in class and link them to the themes in the reading.
What is Surprising? Your response to this question should be reflective. Did you learn something that is in conflict with your previous notions of the world? Did you learn something that fascinates you in a way that you didn’t expect? How does this new knowledge connect with material in other courses, or with other parts of your life? Responses must also clearly explain “why.”
What is Confusing? Responses to this question require careful reading and reflection; it is only though the process of reconciling new information with our existing knowledge structure that we become aware of inconsistencies, or “gaps” in our understanding. Responses to this question should be specific and actionable – that is they should outline a clear path to understanding. Responses must also clearly explain “why.”
Can you relate to the main characters in the reading? What are some of the defining experiences and characteristics of the main characters in the story? Have you shared similar experiences or know of someone who has? Responses must also clearly explain “why.”
Was there any topic that was discussed in the reading that you want to explore further or find out more about? Why did this topic interest you? How do you plan on learning more about this topic? Responses must also clearly explain “why.”