Your dialectical journal will be in the form of T-notes with 2 columns, like the example below. You will have 10 entries for each book read (total of 2 books, 20 entries).

Dialectical Journal Example (below):
Dialectical Journal Example (below): As you come across a sentence or quote in the book that connects to the element you’ve chosen, write down the page number and quote in the left hand column. ⇩In the right hand column, you will begin your “conversation” with the text, writing down questions, ideas, observations, or connections that relate the book to the element you’ve chosen. You can also write down things you wonder or don’t understand about the story, character motivation, etc. ⇩
Book: All the Light We Cannot SeeAuthor: Anthony Doerr
ElementThoughts, questions, comments, insights:
Story structure
1.) -Pg. 4: Chapter: Bombers - “They cross the channel at midnight...Inside each airplane, a bombardier peers through an aiming window and counts to twenty…”

-Pg. 5: Chapter: The Girl - “In a corner of the city, inside a tall, narrow house at Number 4 rue Vauborel, on the sixth and highest floor, a sightless sixteen-year-old named Marie-Laure LeBlance kneels over a low table…” -Pg. 7: Chapter: The Boy - “Five streets to the north, a white-haired eighteen-year-old German private named Werner Pfennig wakes to a faint staccato hum.”

2.) Pg. 16: “An avalanche descends onto the city. A hurricane. Teacups drift off shelves. Paintings slip off nails. In another quarter second, the sirens are inaudible. Everything is inaudible. The roar becomes loud enough to separate membranes in the middle ear. The anti-air guns let fly their final shells. Twelve bombers fold back unharmed into the blue night.”
From the start of the book, chapters are very short (1-2 pages long) and quickly flip between different characters’ stories. I’m also given the location of the characters relative to the bombers and each other. This structure is building my curiosity about how their lives/stories will intersect. It also builds suspense to start with the bombers and then switch to the stories of 2 individuals who are in close proximity-- will these two be victims of the bombing? Why does the author open the story with the bombers, who seem to be more minor characters? I wonder if this structure speaks to the idea that sometimes the actions of others “begin” certain chapters in our lives? The sentence structure here builds tension. The use of short, choppy sentences conveys drama and devastation with a bit of understatement. The paragraph opens with figurative language that portrays devastation and utter destruction (an avalanche descending), continues to build through the use of specific detail and imagery (teacups “drifting off shelves”) and then comes to a close with the bombers “folding back unharmed” into the night. The structure of this single paragraph is an emotional rollercoaster.
Please bring your English notebook and both dialectical journals to class with you when school starts in the fall! Happy reading!