What we'll do today in class:
- Postscript Questions for Essay 3
- Collect Essay 3
- Review all of the writing processes and skills we've learned
- Introduction to Unit 3 and Essay 4
- Use personal experience to generate topics for Unit 3
Connection to course goals: The introduction to Unit 3 introduces a new writing situation and shows how they will have to determine their own context, purpose, and audience for the final essay. The personal experience activity generates topics in a way that responds to the educational focus for Unit 3. Generating these topics can help students see ways to turn the critical eye we've been developing onto the educational institution, and also show how writing can serve as a way to gain a voice in trying to change culture.
- Postscript questions for Essay 3. Give students 4-5 postscript questions which ask them to reflect back on their writing process for Essay 3. You might use the same questions they did for earlier essays, or design your own.
- Collect Essay 3
- Review the writing skills we've learned so far. Have students generate a list of these skills to see the various writing processes and skills we've learned that they'll now apply to the final unit. The list can include:
- Summary - Writing as response to a context
- Critical Reading and thinking - Context analysis
- Audience analysis - Evaluating
- Focus - Development/Support
- Reaction Response - Analysis Response
- Once you've generated this list, tell students to keep all of these in mind during the final unit. Some (context and audience analysis, focus, development) will definitely be a crucial part of a successful final essay, while any of the others might also be needed depending on their choices in the final unit.
Introduce Essay 4.
Hand out Essay 4 assignment sheet.
Highlight various aspects you think are important for students.
Emphasize the need to focus on a particular issue.
Explain sequence that will follow: i.e. why we are reading and researching for half of this unit before they begin writing their own papers. (why: because educated argumentation precedes with investigation and inquiry into topic and context to provide a "reasoned" response to the issue). Remind them that it is better to hold off on forming an opinion until they become versed in the issue.
Transition: The first thing we'll need to do is to start getting a sense of what issues are out there within the general field of education. Since we're all directly involved in education, let's start with our own personal experiences.
WTL: Take about 5 minutes and list everything that you dislike about school. Feel free to include any level of schooling here. What's unfair about school? What do you hate about school? What's confusing about the educational process?
Discuss their WTL. Let them lead most of the discussion while you keep track of any possible issues they raise on the board. You might want to have the students write down the issues as well, or have one student copy the list so you can type it up and hand it out next class period.
- Remember, the goal here is just to generate as many topics as possible, so try not to get bogged down in any one topic for too long.
- Encourage students to share their experiences and opinions on each topic/question that comes up. This should be a free-flowing discussion where experiences and opinions are openly shared; feel free to add your own as well.
PHG, "Arguing", pp.432-434
RC, Sizer, "What High School Is", p.102
Reserve, Gatto, "The Seven-Lesson Schoolteacher"
(NOTE: The Gatto essay is included in the appendix, and can be placed on reserve at the library. Copying the essay for the whole class would violate copyright laws.)
The education-related discussions at the following website(s):
About 1 page that includes:
- The internet site you visited
- A summary of the discussion you viewed
- A summary of, from what you can tell, the participants
- A list of all of the issues you saw in the discussion