Language & Literacy Narrative Brainstorms Worksheet

Your name:

Instructions: Please respond to the questions that follow with as much detail and description that you can. The more you put into reflecting now on the complexities of your language and literacy development, the better off you’ll be in completing our major assignment for our first phase of this course. Take as much space as you need.

When it comes to your experiences with language (speaking and listening) and literacy (reading and writing), what specific moments in your life can you recall that are particularly vivid or that emerge as being significant to you? Yes, it could be an example from your earliest memories of learning to speak, read, and write (in school or elsewhere), but it doesn’t have to be. It could be a memorable encounter—a moment of tension, confusion, or triumph. It could be about experiences developing additional dialects/languages and advanced literacies (i.e., learning to speak/write in different peer groups, at school, at work, with family, online, in different locations across the nation or world, etc. Please select 3 moments to describe. Then, explain why each is interesting or significant.

What specific materials or artifacts (i.e., objects, writing, learning materials, pictures, video recordings, etc.) from your past can you locate/recall and that in some way represent a meaningful moment in your reading/writing development? This can be something like a journal or book, but also anything at all (e.g., a toy, piece of furniture, cereal box, art supplies, etc.) What memories and feelings can you extract from these examples you’ve gathered/recalled? Explain.

For better or worse, who and what impacted how, when, and why you developed your languages and literacies? Who in your family, at school, among your peer group, or in your community played a part? How did your particular situation or experience shape your literacy? That is, what sorts of issues, experiences, organizations, or life circumstances played a part? What kinds of languages and literacies did you gain from those people and your particular situation? How? Why? Explain.

In what ways do you see your language, reading, and writing capabilities as having social consequences or impacting your life circumstances—that is, what advantages did/do you have and what disadvantages did/do you face as a result of your language and literacy learning? 

How might your experience with language and literacy connect to larger social realities (e.g., of your life, family, generation, gender, race, culture, nation, geographic location, historical moment, etc.)?