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Lesson Title: College Applications
Name: Lindsay Blowers Subject: English Language Arts Grade Level: 12th Time Frame: 96 minutes (high school block)
12th-graders will become familiar with the college application process by completing a college application worksheet and by brainstorming for college application essays. Filling out college applications is a task seniors need to become familiar with, the sooner the better. This lesson will familiarize them with the process, get them thinking about what colleges are looking for, and introduce the college essay. Their application worksheet will also give them something to refer to when filling out real applications. Information that will be requested on the application worksheet (e.g., how long you have lived in your current state of residence).
Prior Knowledge Standards
- Read with comprehension a variety of informational and functional reading materials
- Write for a variety of purposes (7)
- Demonstrate appropriate use of punctuation (8)
- (eventually) Revise drafts to increase sentence complexity (9)
Essential Questions What do I want to do after high school? What do I need to do to get there? What is the balance between being yourself and meeting expectations?
Assessment/Differentiation/Accommodation Formative Assessment Observation will be used for the following:
- To assess students’ willingness and readiness to complete college applications
(application worksheet) - To assess students’ preparedness to write a college application essay (essay brainstorm assignment) - To assess group collaboration and brainstorming Students will be asked to turn in a list of schools they are actually interested in applying to at the end of the period. In order to assess understanding of essay structure and the effectiveness of the inclass brainstorm, students will complete an outline for their college essay as homework.
The application and essay will be a part of the Professional Portfolio.
Differentiated IEP – It seems pretty clear that Josh struggles with language, especially writing. His Instruction English standardized test scores are by far the lowest. He also has difficulty staying on task and working with other students, but it seems like a lot of his misbehavior is a result of frustration in the classroom. The following accommodations take these things into account: I hope that Josh has a co-teacher in this class, especially since he struggles so much with English-related tasks.
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much with English-related tasks. Does the AOD mean that Josh does not plan to go to college? If so, this lesson may not really apply to him. It might be a good opportunity for an alternate activity. Perhaps Josh could continue work from a previous lesson, like researching more about possible lines of employment--which also seems to be a major AOD goal. While a full-length essay may be too much to ask of Josh at this point, I would like for him to attempt some of the simpler writing tasks, like keeping a notebook. If he refuses to complete even this amount of writing, I'd like him to discuss the questions and prompts with the teacher or co-teacher. Even if Josh does not fully participate in this lesson, it may be good for him to be a part of a brainstorming group, just for the collaborative thought and group interaction. If he is participating in the majority of the lesson, Josh would probably benefit from receiving a copy of the brainstorming notes, rather than
ESL – This lesson provides a great opportunity (and necessity) for the teacher to become acquainted with her students' plans for the future, and Jose is no exception. Does he know what he wants to do as far as education and employment are concerned? Is he looking at junior colleges or universities? Perhaps a trade or technical school? This plays a big role in what Jose does with this activity. If Jose wants to go to college, which I imagine is pretty likely, I think he should participate in the entire activity. I think completing the application worksheet is something he can accomplish fairly easily. He may encounter some difficulties understanding the wording. I may ask him (or even the whole class--that's partly what the group activity with the application worksheet is for) to highlight any words or phrases he doesn't understand, and then make sure we cover those parts thoroughly. Jose may also have difficulty completing the activities/honors sections. I think if he were provided with a complete example, that would help. Going through these lists verbally may also help. It would be a good idea to provide Jose with a copy of the group brainstorm, in addition to his own notes. Jose should still complete the outline, but his language learning will be taken into consideration during assessment. To assist with the outline, providing Jose (or even the whole class) with a list of college essay vocab words might be a good idea.
Lesson Plan Lesson Overview Students will engage actively in the college application process by completing a college application worksheet. The worksheet will contain the key information solicited by most colleges, including personal information, honors and activities, etc. Once completed, this worksheet should be kept for further use in the unit and for a reference when students are filling out real college applications. After completing the worksheet, students will continue practicing the college application process by randomly selecting college app essay prompts, getting in groups according to their prompts, and brainstorming using a graphic organizer. Classroom computer & projector, application worksheets*, essay prompts (cut in strips in multiples of five or so)*, brainstorm graphic organizer* *included Bell Personal essay spark (in notebooks):
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Bell Personal essay spark (in notebooks): ringer/Review - What are your proudest accomplishments? Activity - What is something unique about you? - What are your strengths? - What are your weaknesses and how have you learned from them? - What is an example of a time you “failed” and what did you learn from it?
Have students work on these questions for about 3 minutes in their notebooks (they do not have to answer all of them, as long as they are writing for the full 3 minutes). They should then share what they wrote with nearby students. Walk around the classroom while students are sharing and ask them to share with you what they've learned about someone else.
Activities and Instructional Methods: Think-Pair-Share, Modeling, discussion, independent work, Procedures group work (with - Bell Ringer (5-7 minutes) transitions and time allocations) - Application Worksheets (35 minutes) Distribute application worksheets, explaining the rationale behind them. Before instructing students to begin completing the worksheets, split them into groups based on where they are sitting and assign each group a section (or sections) of the application. Each group should answer the question “Why is this section of the application important?” and should identify anything that is confusing or unclear about the section. Each group will then share with the class what they discussed. (15-20 minutes) Give students some time to begin filling out the applications. The completed worksheet will be turned in as a part of the Professional Portfolio. (15-20 minutes)
- Online application demonstration (10-15 minutes) While students are working on completing their applications, use the computer & projector to demonstrate accessing a college application. Discuss the benefits of completing applications online. - College application essay brainstorm (40 minutes) Students will randomly draw one of four or five preselected college essay prompts Students will get in groups according to the prompts they drew (all students who drew the same prompt should be in the same group) Students will be provided with a brainstorming graphic organizer. Each group should provide one graphic organizer to turn in. Each student should also have his/her own copy to take home & use when creating an outline for the essay.
Closure Remind students to create an essay outline as homework to be turned in the next day. Collect group brainstorms.
University of Alabama paper application http://www.ua.edu
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I chose this one because it is the most comprehensive and it is widely used. It is probably practical to only require certain sections, but the practice is worth it!
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College Essay Prompts
Essay Questions http://www.collegeboard.com/student/apply/essay-skills/108.html
1. “Describe the most challenging obstacle you have had to overcome; discuss its impact, and tell what you have learned from the experience.” (Guilford College)
2. “Indicate a person who has had a significant influence on you, and describe that influence.” (Common Application)
3. “For some prognosticators, the end of the world was in sight by the year 1000. How do you foresee your world of 2020?” (Dickinson College)
4. “What is the value and importance of community service in our society and tell us what it means to you.” (Ohio Wesleyan University)
5. “Discuss some issue of personal, local, or national concern and its importance to you.” (Common Application)
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Essay Brainstorm/Outline Worksheet
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