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Layered Reading – A Six Week Intensive

Thursday, October 20, 2022
Thursday, December 1, 2022
Andrea Lipinski

Can’t make it live? All sessions will be recorded and available in a Canvas classroom.

In this reading intensive, Andrea Lipinski will provide teachers and readers with tools that equip readers to think about, play with, and wrestle with a text. It begins with the recognition that reading is an act of communication—of listening—in which the most important thing is to receive the idea that has been communicated by the writer.

This intensive helps the reader master the skills that enable him or her to perceive the logos—in short, to become a master reader. Its ultimate goal is not to help students perform better on homework and tests (though it will be remarkably helpful even for these purposes), but to help readers experience the deep pleasures, riches, and comforts to be found in literature and to grow in wisdom and virtue.

The approach we will take is drawn from the nature of reading which is complex, like any conversation. But underlying the complexity, there are questions common to every reader of every text. About any text. When readers learn to answer these common questions, the more particular questions about a given text or specific to a reader become much easier to answer. When goals are appropriate, sound techniques, methods, and tools follow. This intensive includes skills and tools such as layered reading, highlighting in multiple colors, and margin notes. As a flexible system, it will help any reader read more closely and attentively. Mastery of these tools both increases the reader’s pleasure and fortifies his study skills. This intensive is structured in a way that serves teachers and readers, adults and high school students.

The intensive builds upon a little book, The CiRCE Guide to Reading. In it, each chapter is divided into six sections that teach you a tool, reveal its purpose, and allow you to practice using it. These sections are: Contemplate: Prepare for the lesson by reflecting on questions related to the logos of the lesson. Consider: Analogies and examples of the logos. Compare: Questions that help you compare the examples and analogies with each other. Describe: You describe how to do what you have learned in that lesson. Practice: An activity to put what you learned into action. Stretch: An activity to exercise what you’ve learned in a book of your choice. Why layered reading?

The tools you will learn in this intensive are meant to assist you, not to be your master. As you master them you will decide when to use them and how. At first, you will almost certainly use them badly, because that is how we learn anything. Your skills will improve with practice. But always remember, the tools are for you to use for your own purposes.


Oct 20 – Philosophy of Reading

Oct 27 – Scanning & Reading

Nov 3 – Reading & Reviewing

Nov 10 – Practicing with fiction- using fairy tales

Nov 17 – Practicing with non-fiction – Coleridge and others

Dec 1 – Mastering Together


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