PCA Reading Jim Butcher @ a Christian College

Jamie Dessart
Teaching Supernatural and Jim Butcher at a Christian College

How would you use Supernatural to teach composition?
How use Jim Butcher to teach literature?

Linda Holmes, “Monkey See,” NPR
Expert on monkeys? Need to “understand what monkeys actually eat”

Stanley Fish “Is There a Text in This Class?”
Need to step back to a point where we share language

All literature is popular culture, TSEliot’s “great tradition”
References classic texts… gateway drug for pop culture

Syllabus: 5 Dresden novels with their literary predecessors.
They had a great time.

Many of the readings are Christian, too.

So you just watch films all the time?

Critical reading skills
Interactive reading/viewing skills
From general to specific
Levels of textual connections
Connections to the students’ lives
Connections to contemporary world issues

Learning critical language
Use first episode of Supernatural for how to use music effectively.

A sample assignment
Before class
“Does Believing in Evil Make Us Less Tolerant” and “Heaven, Hell, Brothers, and an Impala” New York Times
Write and turn in a response to the article. (Looking for how they are connecting.)

In class
View “Jus in Bello” (reference to Augustine’s theology of just war)
Keep notes during viewing on specific dialogue or items or connections
Write a paragraph after.


Inverted Composition Pedagogy and Scaffolding
Writing occurs inside of class
One-on-one encouragement and correction
Repetition of assignment requirements during process
Adjustment of lesson plans as needed
Allows for individual learning styles and speed

Writing in pieces
Body paragraphs over a span of weeks
Research integrated into the writing process
Constant feedback from instructor
Last step is putting it all together

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