What they'll do today in class:
- Further practice of reacting to and finding main ideas
- 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.
- Discuss homework writings. Your goal in this discussion is to get students to begin thinking about how to support their reactions.
- Solicit a few sample reactions from students that you can put on the board
- Then ask students what type of evidence would be useful in supporting these reactions (i.e. in showing why they had this reaction).
Try to push students beyond "reasons" to actual evidence. Remember that reasons are telling why they reacted the way they did (I think Chapkis is wrong because because I haven't been treated differently based on my attire at work), evidence is specific support showing why they reacted that way (expanding on the aforementioned reason by specifically describing for the reader their attire at work and how they were treated). See the overall course goals for more on reasons vs. evidence. (10min)
Transition to next activity: Now let's take a look at our last essay to practice finding main ideas one last time and examine how the author uses personal evidence to develop her points.
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. (10 min)
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.
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? (10min)
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? (10 min)
Transition to next activity: Now that we've analyzed Wong, let's see how you react to her main points.
WTL: Take about 10 minutes to write an in-class reaction to Wong just as you did for the 2 essays for today's class. What is the main idea you'd react to? What is your reaction? Why do you react that way? (10-15 min)
Transition to next activity: You've had a chance to write an initial reaction to 3 of the 4 essays we've read, 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…
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)
- 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? (15 min)
"Evaluating" pp. 320-322
Review "Summary" pp. 154-155