Thursday, 15 January 2015

HARKNESS DISCUSSION #1: Author's Choices

*We did this as an exemplar in class. You DO NOT need to have this as a post on your own team blog.*

Your first round table will be a discussion of the choices that Nancy Farmer has made in the front matter of the novel. 

The moderator will ensure that the discussion stays focused, and can use the discussions guide below to help with this.

The cartographer will map the discussion using the provided form. This map should be posted along with the discussion (take a picture!)

There will be no recorder for this discussion.

Please use the Discussion Guide below to help with this first conversation, and remember that the goal of this activity is to inquire deeply and to help each member of the group fully develop their ideas and have their questions answered.

1. Recorded conversation addressing questions provided in discussion guide, including reflection questions. (You may use Soundcloud or Youtube to do this, both will allow you to embed the content directly in your blog. Remember to always consider how to engage your audience!)

2. Copy of completed discussion map


1.     What is the meaning of the dedication and what it might tell us about the author? About the novel?

2.     Why did the author make the choices she did with regard to the table of contents?

3.     Most fiction novels do not include a cast of characters. Why do you think Nancy Farmer chose to include this information at the start of the novel? How might this information change your experience with the novel?

4.     Why is there a family tree included in this novel? This is not something that we normally encounter, but there must be a reason for this choice! What might this choice be? And again, how might this change your experience with the novel?

5.     Have you noticed any other author’s choices thus far? If so, what are they and what do you think their importance may be?


6. How did we support quieter people during the discussion?

7. How did we support the more talkative people in the group?

8. What is the timestamp of our best moment of discussion, and why?

9. What is our main goal for our next discussion?