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Flows of Reading

Engaging with Texts

Erin Reilly, Ritesh Mehta, Henry Jenkins, Authors

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4.2 Slowing Down for a Close Reading

According to Wyn Kelley:
Texts of all kinds, if we know and love them well, come to seem in time precious and worth examining more closely. When we teach close reading we are engaging a number of other life skills: the ability to reflect meaningfully on what we know and how we know it, the recognition that we use language in subtle ways…, (and) the awareness that meanings change over time and circumstance. (Reading in a Participatory Culture, Chapter 6)
Continuing with our reading of Flotsam, we’d like to emphasize the virtues of slowing down to read a text, and performing a close reading of parts of the text.


Consider two more images from Flotsam

1. Examine the image above . 
Media creators talk about seams and edits to show how meaning is built into a text.

a. Notice the structure of the above page. Panels separate points in the narrative. Each panel has a seam and an edge. Yet, the narrative has a flow. Ask yourself – does this presentation force you to slow down, or does it keep you moving along?

b. If you were an editor and this was a slideshow, explain how you would rearrange the panels to tell a different story. (You don’t have to use all panels.)

2. Now examine the image below. 

a. Write down a list of 15 objects/creatures/beings you see.

b. Take a break for 3-5 minutes. Finish an everyday chore. This helps open your mind.

c. Discover and write down 10 additional objects.

3. Finally, juxtapose 3 objects/creatures/beings that are not adjacent to each other in Image 5. Write down one sentence in which all 3 objects have a role in expressing the ideas created by your juxtaposition.

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