You are on page 1of 14

Technique 1: SQ3R (Group Style) Purpose: The reason I have matched this particular technique with this article

is because I want my students to play the role of a college admissions counselor. In the article, How to Write A College Application Essay, there are four very different approaches to each college essay provided. My ultimate objective through this activity is for them to become more comfortable in writing their own college essays. In their groups, I want them to observe and even challenge the different strategies that these students use. How: Today we aren¶t students- today we are working on a committee for admissions of Drake University. We are going to break up into four groups. Each group will review one essay. First, I want you to skim the article (survey). Get a brief idea of what your essay is about! Then, in the role of an admissions counselor, ask yourselves some questions: What makes a good essay? What kinds of things is your committee looking for? Etc (question). Your committee can make a list of objectives you would like your essay to meet. For example, as an admission director, one of the things I would be looking for is a well-organized essay. After you are finished with this, read the essay as a group, highlighting things that your group likes or dislikes about the essay (read). As I group I want you to make a summary of these things (recite). Then, as a class, we are going to share out and discuss what you summarize about your articles. I also want each group to provide one thing that surprised them and one thing that they learned from the author of the essay (review). Assessment: The assessment for this assignment will be informal. I will be listening to what my students list as their objectives for essays. This will indicate what kinds of things they find important in essays. A more specific way to gage what they have learned will be to read what they find interesting about each essay. Example: Objectives of my committee: y y y y y Essay is well organized Essay has an interesting beginning (catches my attention) Essay is grammatically correct Essay exemplifies positive characteristics of the student Essay is interesting and unique

Summary of my essay: Our essay opened with a very interesting and attention grabbing quote from Laurence Sheehan. The article, by Ron Lee, exemplified how deeply he is rooted to his family. Lee took us through different memories of his childhood, each demonstrating how supportive his family has been for him. Though it is not the main idea of the essay, Lee also lets us know that he is Korean and his parents speak Korean. He writes about how his heritage, along with his family, has shaped who is as a person. The article is well structured, sincere, and eloquent. One thing that surprised me/One thing that I learned

y

y

I was surprised by the quote that Lee chose to use in the beginning. It seemed like an odd way to start an essay- but he did a wonderful job incorporating it later on in his paper. I learned that just because it is a shorter essay- doesn¶t mean it can¶t be informative. Lee¶s essay was very short- but I felt like I knew him as a person after I read it!

Technique 2: Compare and Contrast Outline Purpose: My main objective for this lesson would be to effectively teach a compare and contrast essay. To begin the unit on compare and contrast essay writing, I would have my students use an outline provided to break down each paragraph. This activity is encouraging other good reader skills, such as categorizing, summarizing, picking out main topics, and rereading. How: Today we are going to begin our unit on writing compare and contrast essays. There are many different ways to format these types of essays.(During this time I would explain the different formats of compare and contrast essay writing). We will be going through all of these examples in class, but for today we are going to look at a very famous essay about the contrast between two generals of the Civil War, Robert e. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant. To help us organize our thoughts on the two generals, I have provided a compare and contrast graphic organizer. I realize that this is a somewhat simple task, however, this exercise is going to help prepare you for when you write your own compare and contrast essay in a few days. It can be very helpful to write out an outline like this one before you write your paper. Let me show you this example of my compare and contrast graphic organizer. It is kind of a silly example, but it is exactly how the Grant and Lee essay is structured. (I will then demonstrate the example below). As you can see, I have thought of a main idea for my first paragraph. Then, instead of comparing the topics in each paragraph, I talk about them individually. My first paragraphs are about bananas; my second section is about apples. I then conclude the essay in the same manner I opened the essay. You will find that the author of the essay we are going to read does the same thing with Grant and Lee. (We will then read the essay together). Okay, let us fill out the first part of the organizer together. For my topic sentence of the opening paragraph, I have decided to put ³Grant and Lee were responsible for the virtual finish of the Civil War´ I put this because the entire first paragraph discussed how it was these two men who made history by finally closing the Civil War chapter in America. Now, in partners, you guys can complete the organizer. We will meet back together to share out our organizers.

Assessment: Assessing this will be more formal, as it is an actual worksheet for them to fill out. Another way for me to assess if this activity is successful is when they actually write a compare and contrast essay themselves.

Example: I. Opening Paragraph y Topic Sentence: Though bananas and apple are both fruits, there are many differences about them too!

II. TOPIC 1: Bananas y Three Main Points o Bananas are yellow o Bananas are softer o Bananas are a longer fruit III. TOPIC 2: Apples o Three Main Points o Apples are red o Apples are harder o Apples are a round fruit IV. Similarities o Three Main Points o Both of Seeds o Both grow on trees o Both are healthy for you IV. Closing Paragraph: o Topic sentence: Bananas and apples can certainly be categorized in the same food group, but their differences are worth noting!

Technique 3: 3.2.1 Purpose: I would pair this with a lesson on debate. I would change up the 321 to accommodate my purpose for this lesson. Ultimately, I want my students to pick a side to debate on being for or against wearing uniforms in school. My main objective is to get my students to be able to form their own opinion from a piece of literature and back that opinion up. How: Today we are going to continue our unit on debate. Today we are going to read an article on the purpose of wearing uniforms in school. After you have read the article I am going to ask you to complete an activity called 3.2.1. This is going to be pretty informal, you can even write it on the back of the article if you would like. The main purpose for this activity is to help you pick a side on this issue and then back up your opinion. After we read the article in class, I am going to ask you to individually come up with 3 reasons why you are for or against school uniforms. Then I want you to pick two reasons from the text that helped you make your decision. Finally, I want you to form one topic sentence about your opinion. I will give you an example, but on a different topic as to not sway your opinion. Before you leave today, I want you to discuss your 321 with another student. Assessment: 321 is an quick way to see what your students are taking from their readings. In this case, I have structured it in a way that I will also be able to see their own opinions and their ability to back those opinions up with a piece of text. Example: I am going to pretend my topic is off campus lunch: Students should be able to eat off campus because: o In high school, students need to be able to manage their time. Being able to leave for lunch is preparing them for the real world. o Eating off campus will provide healthier opportunities for students. o Eating off campus will provide students a short break from the school setting. It will provide a nice break before they are required to work for the rest of the school day. Support from outside text: o This is less money for the school to spend on food. o This would help ease the crowed lunch lines and cafeteria. Topic Sentence: o Off campus lunch should be permitted at North High School, not only because it is more enjoyable for students, but also because it will benefit NHS for many credible reasons as well.

Technique 4: Get 5, Give 5 Purpose: The main objective for this activity is to simply front-load my students on their perception of a hero. The article I am using, They Hunt For Heroes, is about a couple who searches for heroes in ordinary citizens. To challenge my students¶ perception of what it takes to be a hero, I am going to use this activity before we read the article. How: Before we begin today I would like to you to all look at the four pictures I am placing before you. I want you to write down the first 5 words that come to your head. There is absolutely no right or wrong answer- so do not try to come up with the ³correct´ words, truly just write down what first comes to mind. For example, when I see the image of a palm tree, I immediately think of South Carolina. The palm tree is South Carolina¶s state tree. Of course, other people might think of something completely different. That makes this more fun! Okay, after we have done this I want you to exchange your words with one other person. I want you to explain to your partner why you choose the words you did. Then I want the two of you to write a topic sentence together use at least 3 of your words and share with another group. Again, have an explanation for the words that you chose! We will then share our topic sentences aloud with the class. Have them do this activity & then share out. We will then read the article and discuss different kinds of heroes. I will ask them if the article challenged widened their perception of what it takes to be a hero. What was similar and what was different from the images I put up, and the article¶s heroes. Assessment: This assessment will be informal. It will be during the time they are interacting with one another about the words that came to mind during their images. It will also be in the discussion after we have read the article. Example: Five Words: y y y y y Brave Hero Protect Selfless Intimidating

Sentence: We need to respect the brave, selfless, and heroic individuals that protect our country.

:

Technique 5: Alpha Box Purpose: I am having my students read an article on Prohibition. The main purpose of this activity is to get my students thinking about alcohol- the drinking age, the effects of alcohol, the history of alcohol. Really, I think the alcohol problem at so many colleges is because we simply don¶t talk about it- unless we are saying, ³Don¶t do it!´ I found an article that challenges this belief- and to get my students to open their minds, I¶m going to have them fill out alpha boxes in groups. How: Now that we have read the article on Prohibition, we are going to work in groups on filling out an Alpha Box. I am going to break you up into 5 groups. I have put 5 letters (one with 6) on each poster hanging around the room. We will each spend 10 minutes at each poster. Your group is to put as many words that you can think of related to the article under each letter. For example, a rather obvious word for the letter ³A´ is alcohol. I encourage you to all think outside the box! Another word I might use for the letter ³A´ is adulthood. I thought of this word because the article suggested that drinking alcohol was a ³badge of adulthood´. We will all end up back at our very first poster. Then I will have all of you pick your favorite words for each letter. We will share out as a class. Assessment: This is going to be a pretty informal assessment, although I will be able to actually see what each group decides is the most relevant word in relation to their article. The discussion and world-text connections are going to be what I am looking for in each group of students. Example: A: Adulthood, Abstinence B: Binge Drinking, Bootlegging C: College, Campus D: Dilemma, Death E: Europe, Education

Technique 6: Character Report Card Purpose: The purpose of this assignment is to encourage my students to consider the actions of Mrs. Sommers in the short story, A Pair of Silk Stockings. I want my students to develop the understanding that personality traits about yourself are going to influence how you view a certain text. How: Today we are going to read a short story, entitled A Pair of Silk Stockings. This story is about a young mother who finds herself with a substantial amount of money. Throughout the story, we follow her through an internal debate on how to properly spend the money. After we are done reading, we are going to fill out a ³report card´ for Mrs. Sommers. It is up to you to determine if you think Mrs. Sommer¶s spent her money appropriately. Under the different categories, there is a commentary section on the report card. In a few sentences I want you to give reasoning to the grade that you gave Mrs. Sommer¶s. There is absolutely no right or wrong answer to this activity, just be sure to back your grade up with a specific textual reason. For example, when I am grading you on this activity- I will give an A to those students who provide me with textual evidence on their report cards for Mrs. Sommers. You can determine any kind of objectives that you want for Mrs. Sommers- as long as you back them up with textual support. Then, on the back of your report card, I want you to write down three things about yourself that influenced your thoughts on Mrs. Sommers¶ purchases. For example, one of mine would be that I am very close to my mom. This would influence how I felt about Mrs. Sommers¶ decisions. I think my mom should do more things for herself- and so I can also see that in Mrs. Sommers¶ situation. When we are finished with our report cards, we will get in small groups and share out ³grades´ with one another. At the end of the day, I want you to write in your reflection journals on how your report card was different or the same from those in your group. Did you find it easy or difficult to fill out the report card?

Assessment: This assessment will be more formal. I will certainly not be assessing on what grade they put down for Mrs. Sommers¶, but rather that they are able to support their opinion through the text. By asking them to write down three of their own characteristics, I will be able to assess if they are conscious of their own personality traits affect the way they read.

Example: Mrs. Sommer¶s Report Card Financial Purchases: A Comments (Textual Support) It is evident in the first couple of paragraphs that Mrs. Sommers always puts her children first. I think that giving herself a special treat is healthy. She deserves it! Personal Awareness: BComments (Textual Support) Although Mrs. Sommers gives herself these rewards, it is evident she isn¶t fully taking care of herself. She even forgets to each lunch. I think is she was more consistent with taking better care of herself, she wouldn¶t feel so tempted to buy all the things she does. She should always be aware of her well being, not just once and a while. Family Loyalty: A Comments (Textual Support) Although she spends a day just for herself, she takes great pride in her children. In the first paragraphs she spends thinking about how she can best spend the money on her kids. She also talks about how carefully she takes care of their things- making them last as long as possible. Three things about me: y I think being close to my mom affects my opinion. I am very aware of how much she gives up for me- I think she should do more for herself like Mrs. Sommers did. y I think being a woman affects my opinion. Nobody asks questions when men decide to treat themselves- yet it becomes on issue when a mother does. I think this is silly! y I work with children. I think this also affects my opinion. I know how easy it is to forget about yourself when you are caring for someone who depends on you. Yet, this is sometimes unhealthy. This story reminded me of that!

Technique 7: RAFT Purpose: I want my students to make text-self connections through the article A Lesson In Living. This article serves as a great front-loading activity to the novel, Tuesdays With Morrie. In order to get my students in the right mind set for this novel, I would have them write a letter to a person that has changed their life (for the better) in some way. The main purpose of this activity is to take information from the article and apply it to their own lives. How: Today we are going to read the article A Lesson In Living. It is about the novel, Tuesdays With Morrie. This article serves as a great background resource for the novel, but it also encourages the reader to consider different themes and life lessons found throughout the novel. After we have finished reading this article, I am going to ask you to do a short writing activity. The activity is called ³RAFT´ which stands for role, audience, format, and topic. For example, perhaps my ³role´ is going to be a doctor. My audience will be a 5th grade classroom on career day. My ³format´ will be giving a speech. My ³topic´ will be how you become a doctor. RAFT activities are used for a variety of topics- they truly are limitless. However, I¶m going to be rather specific on what I want your categories to be. I want your ³role´ to simply be you. I want your audience to be a person who has positively and significantly impacted your life. I want your format to be a letter to this person. I want your topic to be the reasons why this particular person has impacted your life. You are able to choose absolutely anyone! If I were to be writing this letter, I would write it to my 12th grade English teacher. She is the main reason I became a teacher and after a lot of time spent in her classroom- I fell in love with English and the idea of teaching it. You may choose something similar or completely different to my role model. As long as you have a good explanation in your letter, you can be as out of the box as you would like! Assessment: This assessment will be more formal. I will be able to see if they are making text to self-connections through their RAFT activity. If they are able to think of someone in their life that has impacted them in some positive way (and they have an explanation) I will know that they are making connections with the article.

Example: Role: Me! Audience: Mrs. Pamela Novatnak Format: Letter Topic: You inspired me to become a teacher.

11.15.10 Dear Mrs. Novotnak, I just wanted to take a second to thank you. You have changed my life in so many ways. You are the reason that I have chosen teaching as my profession. Along with providing me with the knowledge I needed for my future at Drake University, you had an enormous impact on me as a person. It is incredibly evident in every lesson you taught me that you care whole-heartedly about the future of your students. I feel so incredibly blessed to have such an outstanding role model during some of the most important years of my life. Along with being a wonderful English teacher, you were also a personal mentor. You inspired me as my Key Club advisor to volunteer and become more involved in the community. I have since carried that on in Des Moines, where I volunteer at different schools on a regular basis. I know that I am not the only student that you have inspired. I just wanted to send you a note of gratitude!

Thank you, Emily

Technique 8 : Tea Party

Purpose: Tea Party is an interactive technique that encourages readers to make connections and work together. This activity will allow students to share their ideas with one another. It will get students in the right frame of mind before reading the piece of literature. Tea Party initiates readers to use strategies such as making connections and using prior knowledge. Tea Party is a great way to introduce a new spin on an old subject. This is why I have chosen to use this strategy with the article, ³The Plagiarism Problem´. This activity often encourages students to look at something from someone else¶s point of view- which is exactly what I would want to get across with an article on plagiarism. The ultimate goal is to get my students to see plagiarism from different angles. Having them work with each other will help create different opinions and ideas.

How: I have chosen ³The Plagiarism Problem´ as my short text. I will choose about 15 words from the article and put them on note cards. I will explain to my students that each of them will get a card (some will have the same words as others). I will explain that their word has to do with an article we will be reading after this activity. I instruct my students to walk around the classroom to find a student to share their word with. With that same student, they are to discuss how their two words might be connected. They also need to write their partner¶s word on the back of their note card. They are then to walk to a new partner and continue the process by discussing their growing group of words. I will encourage them to use prior knowledge. After I have distributed the cards and allotted students time to think about their words, I will begin the activity. When I feel they have exchanged enough words, I will ask them to get into groups of five. In those groups they are then to decide what they think the reading could possibly be about. I will have them create a topic sentence about their discussion and have each of the groups share out what they came up with. After all the groups have shared out, I will reveal the topic of the article. I will have them discuss how they came up with what they did, what was difficult for them, what words threw them off, etc. I will then have them read the article silently and instruct them find one word that confused them during the decoding process. Assessment: In order to assess this technique, I would need to pay close attention to the conversations the students were having while they were in partners and while they worked in their groups. Obviously, their ³topic sentence´ would be an indicator on if they successfully decoded the reading topic. However, it can be argued that part of the ³success´ for this activity would not necessarily be guessing the right topic- but working together and making connections to prior knowledge. This is why it would be very important for me to listen to my students throughout the entire Tea Party process.

Example: Word List: y y y y y y Papers Cheating Avoid Stealing Internet Writers y y y y y y Cut and Paste Consequences Cite Source Second Chance Paraphrasing