Note: This post is an assignment for a School Library Media/Materials course.

Wood, S. (Writer) & Pratten, R. (Director). (2010). Lowlifes. Zen Films.

Qualitative Analysis (Text Complexity measure analyzed using SCASS/Achieve the Core):

Text Structure: When using all the materials linked for the item there is more than a single storyline and focusing on only one media (just the novella, video or blog)may make the text difficult to predict. Each element interacts and support and extend the meaning of the other texts.

Language Features: The language is explicit, literal, straightforward, and easy to understand. The text is, familiar, conversational language composed of primarily simple and compound sentences, with some complex constructions.

Purpose: There are multiple levels of meaning clearly distinguished from each other. The theme is clear but is conveyed with some subtlety.

Knowledge Demands: The text explores several themes but the experiences portrayed are common to many readers. There are few to no references or allusions to other texts or cultural elements.

The content is organized (media grammar) in such a way as to seemingly provide equal weight to each element. They are all presented on one webpage together.  None of the elements (blog, novella, videos, etc.) are overtly presented as more important than others but there is a slight bias towards the novella, as it is presented first on the webpage.

Curricular Content standards:

AASL 21st Century Standards:

1.1.5 Evaluate information found in selected sources on the basis of accuracy, validity, appropriateness for needs, importance, and social and cultural context.

1.1.6 Read, view, and listen for information presented in any format (e.g., textual, visual, media, digital) in order to make inferences and gather meaning.

1.2.1 Display initiative and engagement by posing questions and investigating the answers beyond the collection of superficial facts.

2.1.4 Use technology and other information tools to analyze and organize information.

2.2.1 Demonstrate flexibility in the use of resources by adapting information strategies to each specific resource and by seeking additional resources when clear conclusions cannot be drawn.

3.1.4 Use technology and other information tools to organize and display knowledge and understanding in ways that others can view, use, and assess.

3.4.2 Assess the quality and effectiveness of the learning product.

4.1.1 Read, view, and listen for pleasure and personal growth.

Common Core Standards:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.11-12.1 Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.11-12.2 Determine two or more themes or central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to produce a complex account; provide an objective summary of the text.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.11-12.3 Analyze the impact of the author’s choices regarding how to develop and relate elements of a story or drama (e.g., where a story is set, how the action is ordered, how the characters are introduced and developed).

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.11-12.7 Analyze multiple interpretations of a story, drama, or poem (e.g., recorded or live production of a play or recorded novel or poetry), evaluating how each version interprets the source text.

This was by far the most novel item I reviewed for this project. Though I felt the story itself was basic and fairly common, the way in which the story was presented through the novella, blogs, Twitter feeds, Facebook page, and videos made Lowlifes unique. The novella also contains QR codes that when scanned provide additional content that enhance the story. All the items can stand alone and tell a story, but when combined they create a more complete and detailed account. I didn’t participate in the game that is connected to the text, but that adds another level of uniqueness and depth to the item. This item I feel would be best used as an example for educators to use to structure curriculum of items that students often find boring (I’m looking at you Scarlet Letter) and as an example for students to use to structure a class project.



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