AP English Reads Capote's "In Cold Blood"

posted under by Skuna River Review
By: John Mark Busby, Marissa Vaughn and Dalton Russell

Allison Movitz’s Advanced Placement Language and Composition class read In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote and are
now having a conversation through a discussion board with students from Tupelo High School who have also read the book and posted their responses.

In Cold Blood is a nonfiction novel, the first of its kind about two men who murdered 4 members of the Clutter family. This was one of the first mass murders and no one knew who did it. Capote went to the town, Holcomb, Kansas, where the murders occurred and researched the family and the crime. He followed the investigation from the beginning until the arrest of two men who were found guilty and executed. Capote interviewed the murderers while they were in jail.

The AP students analyzed the nonfiction book and to learn about Capote’s craft and style and posted their insights and their responses to what others had written.

Tupelo High School AP English teacher Ellen Shelton also required her AP classes to post their comments about "In Cold Blood" on Blackboard. Because BHS and Movitz do not have their own Blackboard accounts, Shelton gave Movitz and her students access to the site.

"Through this assignment, not only were my students able to read the comments and opinions of other students, but they have a chance to interact with each other and discuss In Cold Blood. Students can see how others see and read a text. It gives them new insights," said Movitz.

"Blackboard is very convenient to use. It was as easy as logging into email. Through Blackboard, I was able to see what other students from Tupelo High School said about the book," said Clarrisa Title, AP English IV student. "While I was taking classes at Ole Miss last summer, the professors always mentioned Blackboard and what they had posted there. Blackboard is used by students at colleges and Universities, and I think it’s great that we are getting aquatinted with the web site that we will use next year in college."


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