I will start this with a disclaimer. I am a Science teacher. I have a logical brain. Mood, tone and feeling are not concepts we talk about often in Science, in fact we discourage it in writing. So the Connotative matrix is way out of my comfort zone and not something I know a lot about teaching. I encourage you to correct my misconceptions and critically evaluate my misunderstandings so I can learn from you. If you would like to know about this matrix from the expert (Max Woods) then watch the Connotative Interpretative Subjects video on the Freshwater High School YouTube.
Where the Logical Interpretive matrix takes students from content to concept, the Connotative Interpretive matrix takes students from the literal to the figurative in English and CAPA subjects. The major difference between the two is an extra heading for the matrix, Interpret Meaning.
Students still name and define the component or parts, they describe the techniques used, explain the function or purpose of the technique and analyse how or why the techniques has its effect. Like the Logical Interpretive, this can all be rote learned. From this point we move from the literal meaning to the figurative or to what the writer/reader/listener/observer thinks or feels.
The interpret meaning heading is not part of the logical matrix and is focused on interpreting the work being analysed through connotation. What does the character or the writer learn from each experience? What is the meaning or theme of the piece? Critically Analyse is the advantages and disadvantages of using the technique to convey meaning and Evaluate is the effectiveness of the technique.
Up until this point students are evaluating each of the techniques or parts. From this point on they are looking at the piece as a whole. In Critically Evaluate students make a judgement of the effectiveness of the piece. This may also involve how each of the techniques play a role in relation to one another. Conceptualise is the essential meaning of the piece and Appreciate is the importance of the concept for life.
Here is a blank matrix: alarm-blank-connotative-matrix
My take away from these videos is the questioning. The 5 whys. This is what make ALARM successful. The questioning of students that takes them on the journey of higher order thinking. Its not just the teacher questioning but the structure of the matrix that does this. The matrix scaffolds this thinking.
Next: Using ALARM in the Classroom