Explore the various abstractions for an idea, topic, object, or person related to your content area or topic. Abstract a single element of your topic and represent that abstraction through 2 different mediums (digital photography, graphic art, poem, etc). The goal is to show us the essential quality of the idea, topic, object, or person through 2 complimentary means.
Once you have abstracted your topic post both abstraction mediums to your workspace and write about 500 words discussing: a) your understanding of the cognitive tool of abstracting (approximately 1 sentence), b) the specific abstractions you chose and why, and c) how this understanding impacts your topic.
In thinking about genre, what struck me as the most recognizable element is the image of a book. Genres are forms of literature and books are the way we most typically access that information. I began thinking about how to abstract a book. I looked at lots of images of books and started forming some ideas of my own.
My first abstraction is based on the image of an open book. When I look at an open book, the silhouette reminds me of a bird. I began to envision the image of an open book in the sky like a bird in flight.
The image of a book in flight can have many connotations. The sky can represent an openness to the ideas in the books. Flight also has a feeling of freedom and recognizing genre is about choice for readers.
My second abstraction is based on the idea of text. Genre is determined by the content of the literature being read and the similarities each work shares with others in the same category. Going back to the idea of books, I wanted to picture the act of reading. To create this image though, I chose to use words and I decided to make two different images.
Action/Adventure A fictional story where the characters are involved in an exciting adventure or face danger at seemingly every turn. This type of story keeps you on the edge of your seat until the end. Drama This is a story intended for performance on the stage. The text includes not only dialogue for the actors, but stage directions for the crew. Fantasy A fictional story in which story elements are not realistic and and often involve magic, talking animals, and settings in unusual and alternate places. Traditional Literature These are stories from the past from various cultures around the world. Folktales are stories that were passed down from generation to generation. Fairy tales are similar to folktales, but often have story elements involving characters such as kings, princesses, witches, and talking animals. Myths often involve gods or mythical creatures. Graphic Novels A form of fiction that borrows from comic book style and contains illustrated scenes with captions and dialogue bubbles. Historical Fiction A fictional story which may be realistic, but takes place in the past. Horror and Scary Stories A fictional story which is intended to, or has the capacity to frighten, scare, or startle its readers. It creates an eerie and frightening atmosphere. Horror can be either supernatural or non-supernatural. Humor A fictional story that is humorous or funny in nature. It is usually light- hearted and has a happy ending. Mystery/Suspense A fictional story that is realistic, but in which the events revolve around a mysterious event or unsolved crime. Nonfiction A book that is about true events and real people. An autobiography is a true story about a real person written by that person. A biography is a true story about a person written by someone else. Poetry A form of writing organized into lines and stanza. It often uses rhythm and figurative language and sound devices such as rhyme, alliteration, and onomatopoeia to help convey meaning. Realistic Fiction A fictional story that takes place in modern times (present day) and the events of which seem like they could really occur. Romance The setting of the story may vary, but this type of fiction involves a love story between two characters. Science Fiction A fictional story which often involves technology or futuristic elements and creatively blends scientific fact with other story elements.
I think the tool of abstracting has a lot of value. In teaching, I find I make comparisons often when trying to help students that might be struggling with a concept. Abstracting is boiling down an idea to its most important or recognizable parts.
I have been developing a genre passport component to my classes' reading requirement this year and I decided to use a badge system to recognize when students have completed the requirements for a particular genre. It was a challenge coming up with the badges because I had to decide for each genre either what was the most recognizable visual aspect or what was something that was related to that genre. They aren't perfect, but I have been happy with them so far and feel like the badges help students recognize the important elements of their genre choices.