Teaching author's perspective, author's purpose, tone and mood, characterization and other literary elements are some of the most difficult reading skills for students to untangle. Because of time constraints, teachers often ignore discussing an author's life experiences as part of front-loading a text to be read. I have always been a proponent of less is more, so I make the time to let kids learn aboout a writer's life before we read his/her book, and we research the historical period in which the book was written. Both the author's life experiences and the historical period provide an invaluable insight that helps readers understand themes, allusions, plot events, characterizations, conflicts and other literary elements. Of course, now more than ever technology can facilitate teaching all of these reading concepts.
Using myfakewall.com, students can create a fake profile page `a la Facebook to explore the life of an author, a character, a historical figure, an idea, a process, an animal or anything students would like to personify.
Using Myfakewall to teach Author's Purpose
Teachers can assign students to create Myfakewall.com
profiles and posts that reveal the author's purpose, i.e., why the author wrote a piece: to entertain, inform or teach, persuade or convince. Students can add "friends" such as other writers or people who influenced the writer to write a particular piece, or even characters, and have those influential "friends" post questions or comments on the writer's wall so the posts and the writer's responses to the posts reveal the author's purpose for writing.
Using Myfakewall to teach Author's Perspective
The concept of author's perspective can also be taught in the same manner by having students write posts revealing the writer's feelings or beliefs and how these views prompted the writer to create a particular piece of writing. High order skills are at work because students apply what they learned after reading a biography or autobiography about the author's life. To write thought-provoking posts and comments on the Myfakewall.com
page, students must analyze and evaluate the author's life circumstances, choices, and beliefs and synthesize a post using texutal examples to reveal how and why an author incorporated his/her life views in his/her writing.