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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Common Read - Resources

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 Teaching the Book

  • Explore Campus as Text (For FYEX and Learning Communities)

          The History Department and Honors Program have partnered to provide FYEX and Learning Community students with an opportunity to engage with this year’s Common Read text, Out of Chaos by Dr. James F. Nickerson. With the help of student volunteers, Dr. Jill Cooley (History) and Ginny Walters (Honors) are coordinating an experience called “Explore Campus as Text: A Different Kind of Campus Tour.” This experience uses an Honors methodology called “City as Text” to encourage students to engage with the campus environment in a more critical manner. Over the course of the semester, student volunteers will lead groups in walkabouts around campus to explore the physical space and the individuals who occupy the space. They will ask questions, take pictures, and reflect on their observations. The goal is to critically analyze campus space in the same way one might analyze a text to learn more about where students work, study, and live. We hope it will not only contribute to students gaining a better understanding of the Common Read text, but also in creating a sense of belonging at the institution they now call home.

Students do NOT need to have read the text in order to participate in this event; however, it would be helpful to provide students with some context of the Vietname Era for comparing/contrasting purposes.

If this activity would be of interest to your students please contact Dr. Jill Cooley ( of Ginny Walters ( for more information.

            Here you will discover a collection of learning activities designed to accompany the exploration and understanding of the 2017-2018 Common Read book, Out of Chaos.H

out of chaos themes