Before we dive into the specifics of the assignment, we want to introduce you to Lobizona by Romina Garber. Inspired by Argentinian folklore, Lobizona is an incisive look at life as an undocumented immigrant in the US. Hiding from both mobsters and ICE, Manu spends most of her days holed up in an apartment in Miami, until one day she escapes to a world of witches and werewolves. “If you’re undocumented, you’re unwritten” (p. 273) is a gut-punching quote as Manu tries to navigate living as undocumented/unwritten and very confused about who she is and we think about all of what is happening in the US currently.
We share these assignment guidelines and turn the students loose to compose their responses.
- Key Ideas, Key Quotes from characters that reveal something that intrigues, challenges you, or shifts something in the novel
- Significant statements that promote theme or character development or raise questions for you
- Important Concepts that question the status quo or challenge your beliefs or show character growth
- New Terms, Events, and Definitions
- Significant statements that help support your understanding and ideas about the text
- What do you think about what you read? What in the text makes you do this? Use evidence from the text (direct quotes, references to scenes, characters, events, etc.)
- What did you know or think you knew that informed how you saw the characters and events? Did that change?
- Explain your understanding/interpretation/analysis of the text.
- What ongoing questions do you have about the ideas and actions in the book?
- How are you making sense of the issues the book is raising and what lingering questions do you have?
- What questions do you have about the cultural representations in the book or what is the book making you question about culture and identity?
- What are you still wondering about?
- How does this text link with other texts you’ve read?
- How does this text link with/contrast with your own experiences?
- What, if anything, in current popular culture can you connect with these readings? Consider what is going on locally, nationally, and/or internationally.
- What connections can you make between the current text and previous texts?
- What connections can you make across coursework?
- What connections can you make to your own experiences?
Here is a student’s example after she read the novel Lobizona.
One of the beautiful things about this assignment is that it works for many, many books and could be submitted in the form of a Flipgrid*, podcast, or other creative tools that your students are familiar with!
*Click here to see Flipgrid directions.