Draw the chapter
After reading (a portion of) a longer text, such as a novel, make a drawing or work of art that shows your understanding of what you've read. Start with an A3 paper. You may want to depict one large scene from the chapter. You may want to divide the page into smaller frames. You do not have to be an artist to show your understanding. Stick figures are fine. In your portfolio, write about why you chose the images that you decided to draw. How did you go about your creative process? So what? Now that you've created this, how will it help you explore the text further?
Model portfolio entry
WHAT: Here are several pictures that I drew in response to the first 21 pages of The Bluest Eye by Toni Morison
WHY: I made this drawing to show my understanding of the text. I was struck by the images of poverty and hate. The puke on the bed and the three girls squished together in the cold bed show to the poor situation of the Frieda, Claudia and Pecola. The burning of the house and Cholly in jail show the violence and hate in the novel.
HOW: I'm not a very good artist. I picked some easy images to draw for this reason. I actually did a Google image search for leaves and kind of copied what I saw. In class we looked at an example and I thought 12-frame A3 page would make this assignment easier for me. I added captions too, to make it perfectly clear how my drawings related to the novel.
SO WHAT: I think I could have depicted some other things. I may have made some easy choices. The image that I remember most was actually the girls picking coal off the train tracks near the steel mill under a gloomy, polluted sky. I noticed this from a classmate's drawing. All in all, this activity helped get me into the novel. Even though it's terribly depressing, I'm looking forward to reading the rest of it.
This activity is good for visualising a play or novel and identifying key quotations. It help generate a discussion on symbolism, setting and atmosphere.