by Daniel Keyes--the first epistolary mentor text I draw my students' attention to--is my opportunity to introduce my seventh graders to that fun-sounding word--epistolary. As sixth graders, we explore allegory as our new word for a technique that creates unique story-telling, so my returning seventh graders already understand what I mean when I say, "We're going to explore yet another unique way to present a narrative story to an audience." In Daniel Keyes' novel, we epistolarily (If that's not a word...it should be) follow Charlie Gordon's odyssey of going from being highly unintelligent to being uber-intelligent thanks to an experimental operation. We follow the journey through the main character's "progress reports" that the book's scientists require him to keep. It's an interesting way to learn a character's story. When you choose to do that, you create an epistolary story. by Simon James and those charming by Marissa Moss (which are already on my classroom display shelf because they have already been shown off as a mentor text for our writer's notebook program too) are picture book examples of this type of narrative.
Now, if you follow my , you know that new words are a big deal in my classroom. We become "Word Collectors" on my watch: each student brings four words a week, each word must be included in unique writing activity (I now have ten different ones for students to choose from), three have to come from the book we are reading (or a poem or short story or article we have read in class), and that fourth word for the week is a "free word"; they can find it in a magazine, take it away with them from a conversation, or snatch it from a classroom discussion on an exciting new word like allegory or epistolary. I have a lot of kids who have both of these words in the weekly vocabulary collections I require of them, and I am so fine with that; these are two good words to know, especially if you're teaching as many creative kids as I seem to have these days. While they are collecting words from Flowers for Algernon, they also have permission from me to include literary terms in their weekly collections--like epistolary.
By the oral mode in its best form, or by the epistolary mode in its best form,—by which, in any given case, will, upon the whole, be rendered service the most profitable to the purposes of justice? The answer has been seen already, and has an unavoidable dependence on the individualizing circumstances of each individual case. Among the cases—(extensive the collection of them will be seen to be)—in which a conflict is apt to take place between the and the ends of judicature, this will be seen to be one. In many instances, where for the oral mode might be preferable, for avoidance of and attached to personal attendance, the epistolary mode may be the only mode in others the only mode practicable. In other cases, where, for assistance to the the mode, or might not be altogether without its use, the additional load of delay, vexation, and expense, that might be found inseparable from it, might recommend the sacrifice of it.