Exploring and analyzing literature through multimodal composition
Multimodal composing involves the skillful interweaving and layering of modes, including visuals, sounds, movement, and text, to create a synergistic message. In digital products like videos, websites, and soundscapes, the interaction between modes is important and the unique assemblage of different modes communicates a message that no single mode communicates on its own. This chapter examines the new and different kinds of meaning adolescents make when exploring and analyzing literature through multiple modes in digital environments. It presents findings from an urban Grade 12 Advanced Placement Literature and Composition class that participated in a multimodal literature unit. Drawing upon students' products and perspectives, the chapter illustrates how they were able to construct multidimensional thematic analyses, immerse themselves into the narrative world of The Things They Carried (1990), and makes multiple intertextual and personal connections to the novel. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the implications for integrating multimodal literary analysis into the English Language Arts (ELA) classroom.