Perpective Taking and Context

5.2 Perspective & Context

ASSIGNMENT 5.2: Perspective-Taking & Context

People understand text differently depending on their worldviews and perspectives. Texts are socially, culturally, geographically, and historically constructed. This assignment will have you looking at how an author’s background and perspective impact what they write and how they write about it. You will also be looking at how important context is to understanding both the subject talked about and your society as a whole.

Task: You will be reading/listening to three different sources and answering questions as you go. Use quotes from the text to back your points. Go through the steps and questions in the order provided.

PART A: Read this article from the Sioux City Journal.  ( )       Summarize this article in a paragraph. Click through all the images at the top too. What is the most interesting thing you found in this article? In the photos? What is the message of this article? Based on this article, what do you know about the author’s worldview? What is his background and how do you think it impacts his perspective? Find examples of descriptive language that illustrate how he sees his topic.

PART B: Read the two poems written by Norma Dunning. (  )     What are the themes running in her two poems? Why does she say she wrote these poems? Based on her writing, what do you know about her worldview? What is her background and how does it impact her perspective? Find descriptive language from her poems that illustrates how she sees her topic. She also has included images; what do the images represent to her? How do you think she would feel reading the article above? Why?

PART C: Listen to The Secret of the North Podcast. (  S1: The Secret Life of the North |  )  And/or you can read The Secret of the North Transcript. (  ) Write down at least three new things you learned about the Inuit and their past that you did not know before. Discuss at least two unjust actions that were taken against the Inuit. Why do you think most people do not know what was done to the Inuit? What do you think we can do as individuals to change that? Do you think that North American society is in touch with the history and reality of Inuit people or does our status quo perpetuate stereotypes?

PART D: Choose ONE of the following:

1)     Rewrite the article to include Norma Dunning’s perspective and poetry (use quotes from her website to back it).

2)     Write an article highlighting injustices faced by Inuit people. You can use the information from the Secret of the North Podcast. Also, do some of your own research and cite your sources.

3)     Write a poem or article addressing stereotypes and status quo thinking and what we can do to make changes in our society. Go to Poetic Devices for tips in creating your poetry. 

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