After completing the reading, think about your selected topic. Identify any existing patterns and try to capture and represent them. Next, try to come up with new patterns that can be applied to the same content. Explain how this would help your students to better understand and handle your topic.
Write about 500 words discussing: a) briefly your understanding of the cognitive tool of patterning (approximately 1 sentence), b) your original pattern, c) your new patterns, and d) how this understanding impacts your topic.
Patterning is the identification of common or repeating elements in a work and the recombination of those basic elements into a different and often more complex piece.
In thinking about how patterning applies to my subject area, genre, I started by thinking about what various genres have in common. Most of the books my students will read are fiction, so the most basic element of fiction is plot. In teaching plot elements over the years, a tool I often use to help students see the parts of a story is a plot chart, sometimes called a story arc. Below is a plot chart I have had students complete when reading short stories or analyzing a novel.
In thinking about how to re-imagine another pattern for looking at fiction, I thought about how this chart focuses on what is the same. When discussing genre, I really want students to understand what is different about books in different genres.
Genres exist as groupings of books with common elements and features. Those patterns allow us to know what to expect in particular kinds of stories. We instantly recognize a mystery by identifying an inciting event that must be solved. Historical novels are recognized by the time period of the setting of the story. Even though these novels can be parsed using a plot chart like the one above, one kind of pattern, it only shows us how a mystery or historical novel is like all other books. To understand how a mystery is like other mysteries takes recognizing a different kind of pattern.
I began to imagine a series of questions that students could ask themselves to help them decide what genre a book fit into. Like a "choose your own adventure" book, I pictured a sort of flow chart they could follow leading them to the category that fit. As mentioned in Sparks of Genius on pg. 106, "Questions...are also patterns."
For my re-patterning, I thought an infographic might help me visualize this process. I have never created an infographic, but enjoy reading interesting ones I find online. I looked back over some articles I had bookmarked about tools for creating infographics and decided to try Piktochart. Below is my infographic.