What they'll do today in class:
- Further practice of reacting to and finding main ideas
- Analyzing the effectiveness of Wong's personal evidence
- Practice developing a reaction with specific personal evidence
- Mini-workshop on homework reactions
Connection to course goals: Once again, practicing finding main ideas is a skill necessary to meet the writing context they've been given in Essay 1. The activity on development moves to another skill necessary to meet this writing context - in order to meet it effectively (i.e. make a good choice as a writer) they'll have to develop their points with specific personal experiences. The mini-workshop emphasizes again the importance of ongoing revision in the writing process, and shows the value of peer feedback in the revision process.
INTRODUCTION: Using the goals and activities above, devise a brief introduction that explains what they'll be doing today in class and why.
- Group activity on Wong essay. Divide the class into four groups. Each group should respond to the following questions…
- What are the main ideas of Wong's essay? Point to specific parts of the text that show these main ideas.
- Find two examples of places in the text where Wong uses detailed personal evidence effectively to support her points. Mark the places, and be ready to explain why those examples are effective.
- We're going after two things here: More practice finding the main ideas of an essay; and analyzing a sample of how to use and develop personal evidence (similar to what they'll have to do with the first essay).
Discuss main ideas of Wong essay. Generate a list of the main ideas on the board based on the groups responses, and then begin to have students react to Wong's main ideas.
MAIN IDEAS OF WONG:
- The pressures of the dominant culture (American) moved her to cast aside her Chinese heritage.
- The idea of "cultural divorce" - assimilating to the dominant culture.
- Being "American" is connected to things like language, smells, types of knowledge, etc…
Possible discussion questions:
- Which school does Wong prefer and why?
- Why does Wong make such an effort to favor "American"scents, or "multicultural" holidays and foods?
- What kind of pressures does Wong face? Who wants her to do what and why?
- What does she mean by the term "cultural divorce"?
- How does Wong end up feeling about the decision she made?
- How did you react to Wong in your homework?
- Do you agree that assimilation may rob a person of their cultural heritage?
- Do you think a person can be 2 nationalities at the same time? Could Wong have effectively been American and Chinese and embraced both cultures? Why or why not?
Transition to next activity: We've flushed out Wong's main points, now let's take a look at how she develops her own experiences with detail in order to support those points.
Have each group give an example of an effective piece of personal evidence in the Wong essay. Ask the following questions to get students thinking about what makes personal experience effective as evidence:
- Why is this example effective?
- What does Wong do to make the point clearer to the reader? How does she help the reader understand her experiences? How does she "show" the events here.
Transition to next activity: You've had a chance to write an initial reaction to 3 of the 4 essays we've read and to consider what types of evidence you'll need to support your reaction. The next step is choosing which one you'll develop into your first essay. To help you with that decision, we're going to now get feedback from your classmates.
Mini-workshop on focus and development.
Exchange your three reactions with a classmate.
Read the 3 reactions you get, and then respond to these questions wherever there is room on the paper…
Summarize in your own words the writer's reaction, including the main idea they're reacting to.
Where in this text do you see room for more development? Where do examples need more detail? Where could the writer do more "showing" to the reader?
What other types of examples or experiences do you think might be useful as evidence for their reaction?
Which of these reactions would you recommend they use for Essay 1 and why?
Take any last questions on Essay 1 and provide students with a list of materials you want them to turn in with the final draft. This list should include:
- Final draft
- Rough drafts
- Workshop materials - the feedback they received today in class
- Probably the homeworks they did if you haven't yet seen them, especially if they involve the essay they to which they reacted.
Conclusion: Summarize, or perhaps ask a few students to summarize, the main concepts from today's class. What did they learn? How does it relate to their assignment? (NOTE: be sure to re-emphasize a focused reaction and evidence supporting that reaction)
PHG "Evaluating" pp. 320-322
Review "Summary" pp. 154-155
Monday is Labor Day and classes do not meet. This is the assignment for Wednesday of next week.