My Online Genre and How it Works I choose to create a Weebly website to present my MG Research Unit.

I believe that by creating a Weebly I was able to categorize each section of the unit in a userfriendly format. I tabbed each of the categories: Unit Plan, Daily Lesson Examples, Calendar, Handouts, and Discussion. Under each tab, there will be a Scribd document that is easily viewed and downloaded by my audience. My Audience and Purpose The Weebly, also, helps me focus the presentation of my unit to my intended audience: my colleagues. I created my unit for my colleagues because I would like feedback from other teachers. I aim to shape and develop this unit after reflecting with my colleagues and experimenting with students. I feel that by publishing my unit on a professional format on the website, I am taking a step away from being a student and a step closer to becoming a teacher. Engaging Students in Multies The unit I designed incorporates multiple intelligences, multiple modes of technology, and multiple genres of text. It engages students in so many Multies because they correlate throughout the unit. Students will be researching someone they idolize and create a biography. In discovering what a biography is, students will be given several biography examples, including, a novel, online website, painting, and a movie. By showing students various genres of text, students are encouraged to explore different ways to present their biography. In permitting students to choose the genre of their biography presentation, they are required to use varying modes of technology. Transitioning from observing, studying, and discussing various genres of text to finally creating a biography using multiple modes of technology is, hopefully, a smooth shift for students. My students should be able to transfer the information about biography forms and translate it into their own work. In addition, students are allotted five library work days; students are able to use resources such as, the internet, movies, books, or magazines to research their idol. This, not only, engages students in various modes of genre research but also requires students to use multiple forms of technology. Most importantly, this unit calls on students’ multiple intelligences. Because I do not expect my students to be equally weak or strong in any mode of expression, I have allowed them the option of how to present their final project. While some students may feel confident in writing a paper, others may want to create a movie or webpage. Finally, students will present their material during two days of Class Fair. By presenting research, students can learn about the modes they were unfamiliar or uncomfortable with. Strengths and Challenges of Planning with Multiliteracy Objectives I see a lot of value in planning with multiliteracy objectives. This is because students should always be required to call on multiple intelligences: strengthening both their strongest and weakest skills. In addition, students are often using various modes of technology to reinforce or discover a unit or lesson theme. I believe that I will, more

often than not, require my students to explore Multies because it aids in their development by requiring them to view or reflect on topics in several ways. I do not know if I could create a unit that excluded multiliteracies. While I do believe in the value of focusing and excluding some Multies, I do not feel that creating a unit that uses one mode would be productive. Without variety, students (and teachers) can easily become uninterested. I decided to include various examples of biographies for my students so that they could understand that there is value in all types of text. In addition, they are permitted to present their material in differing ways. Challenging students to call on different intelligences in addition presenting them with varying materials is beneficial because it engages students and asks them to think outside the box. That being said, I feel that it is difficult to decide what to include and what to exclude. Multies are everywhere because like our students, the text in our world is diverse and plentiful. Although one may include virtually every category of Multies, as teachers, we need to pinpoint and focus our objectives so not to overwhelm our students. I chose to focus my objectives on intelligences, genre of text, and technology. Students will also be using their individual perspectives and viewing biographies from the perspectives of various authors, yet I decided not to center any of my Multies on perspectives. This is because, while I believe multiple perspectives to be important, adding them as focus aspect of my unit would overload students and be counterproductive. What it means to Plan Inquiry-Based Experiences for Students My unit is created, like most, to fit hypothetical students. I included “daily notes” within each day of my unit calendar. I did this to reflect on my unit plan as it plays out with real students. I understand that my students change year to year, but I hope, in discovering my school, my teaching style, and they way students react, I can modify my unit to fit everyone’s needs. Even though each lesson or unit I have created is, in essence, requiring students to discover and inquire, research units are literally units of inquiry-based experiences. My students are required to ask themselves why they are writing a biography and how they are investigating. They not only ask themselves what they want to know, but why they want to know it. I included a reflection at the end of my unit that demands more inquiry about how the biography they created shaped them. Development of Procedural Knowledge The unit is intended for tenth grade students. I am assuming that this will be the first time they have researched in a formal manner. Because it is their first time, I designed Days 2 through 5 to scaffold students to an understanding about what a biography is and how to research. I do not expect my students to have the know how to format a biography and what credible sources are. Therefore I will be lecture days where I teach my students the procedural that goes with how to create a biography, bibliography, and how to research. During each of these lessons, I will provide my students with guided notes and handouts for reference and practice. These are valuable skills that students will not only use throughout the rest of their English classes but also can be applied to outside subjects.

Connection to the Overall Unit Overall, I want my students to understand that we are all formed by those around us. They will be discovering this concept through research and creating a biography. In addition, students will be reflecting about why they choose the person they did and how their research and presentation shows “the why”. While students may be able to grasp this concept of the self and the other, research and biographies are new information. I have designed my lesson to begin with something that is familiar, a journal entry about the people around them and then I move into the unfamiliar. The unfamiliar, biographies and research will be lessons lead by me and therefore I can give my students this information. Sprinkled between lectures and student discussions, are library days. I decided to intermix the library days, lectures, and student group work, rather than each categorizing them by week because I do not want to exhaust my students by presenting too much new material at once. It is an entire unit, therefore a lot of information. Students need a variety of days where they can sit back and absorbs, as well as, be actively discovering for themselves on other days. The lessons I specifically flushed out include Day 3, Day 4, and Day 18. Each of these three lessons are days that I feel are important and key to my overall purpose. Day 3 and Day 4 are lecture and discussion where I introduce students to various modes of biographies and ask them to discuss why the biography was valuable and what the author discovered and revealed. By asking students to discuss the authors of the biographies, I am connecting their purpose to the final student reflection: why did you do what you did and how has this person shaped you? I flushed out Day 18 because it is the lesson where I explain the overall purpose of the lesson to my students. While I have prepared students for the reflection from Day 1, it is Day 18 where I ask my students to finalize the biography they created. I want them to discuss it and what it means to them. I will ask my students to “think back to Day 1” and write about how the other has developed and shaped them. Is this Unit Dialogic? Research is dialogic if it is discussed and active. Throughout the unit, my students are required to sit in groups and discuss their projects: where they are, what they are doing, and most importantly, why they are doing it. This activity is dialogic because students will be open to talk about anything within their unit without my interference. They are talking back and forth with their peers rather than asking me, as the teacher, if what they are doing is right or wrong. I have grouped my students in partners or small groups during the latter parts of the unit because I would like them to bounce ideas off each other and have every student’s biography genuinely reflected upon. If I were to group the students in a large group to discuss their progress, I believe it would become to procedural. Students are not reporting back their information as much as they are exploring the person of their biography and reflecting on why they are doing what they are doing. My research unit is about self discovery through the other which is a topic that can be debated about within groups of students without my interference. Also, I hope to begin my lesson with a dialogic discussion. The journal entry, who makes you, you, invites students to openly discuss their past and present influences. This

is not a discussion that I can tell students if they are right or wrong and in turn, it practically forces me to step back and allow students to speak to each other, not to me. Challenges of Dialogic Teaching As I plan for dialogic teaching moments throughout my lesson, I worry that I have incorrectly assessed the prior knowledge and skills that my students may have. My research unit is designed for tenth grade students, who are only 14, 15, and 16 years old. Although smart and capable, you must scaffold a community that provokes dialogic teaching. Ironically, I feel as if you have to teach students how to speak without raising their hands or without teacher guidance…which is not dialogic. I struggle with dialogic teaching because I wholeheartedly believe in the value of students teaching each other and themselves, I must remind myself that as a teacher, I do have insight; sometimes students do need lecture and guidance. Improvement in Dialogic Teaching With the idea that I must include lecture and dialogic teaching in mind, I hope that I can balance independent learning, open discussion, but not exhaust or expect too much of my students. I did not create my unit to be set in stone. This is because as I attempt to ask my students to discuss topics without my involvement, each time, I must reevaluate how affective my dialogic teaching is and if it is, in fact, dialogic. I am slightly weary about allowing my students to pick any person to write a biography about. I believe that there is value in each person that shapes them as people, but I worry about easy answers. I do not want this unit to be an obvious answer for students but instead a researched based self discovery. I hope that by allowing students to pick whomever, my teaching remains dialogic rather than constraining them into a list of people and forced self discovery. By constantly tracking my students and including a reflection, I hope that I can decide if I need to limit my students to a list (the next time I teach the unit) or if remaining open-ended and dialogic is more productive.