backReturn to Unit 3: MWF

Unit 3, Day 29:  Wednesday, October 24


What you’ll do today in class:


-         Have students write Postscript responses and hand in their Essay 3

-         Introduce Unit 3 and Essay 4 and discuss how they connect to our course goals

-         Use personal experience to generate possible topics for writing in Unit 3


Connection to course goals:  Today we’re trying to teach students how to generate valuable topics that they can use in responding to the new writing situation within which they’re being asked to work in Unit 3.


1.      Have students write Postscript responses and hand in their folders with all process work for Essay 3 (5 minutes):  Create your own Postscript questions. 


Transition to Unit 3:


2.      Introduce Unit 3 and Essay 4 (10 minutes):  Design an activity that introduces students to the main goals and concepts of this unit and final paper.  Highlight for students, for example, how the Unit 3 context is different from the first two units and how they will have to determine even more of the rhetorical situation for their writing.  Connect this unit and paper to our overall course goals to show students how Unit 3 follows from the earlier units and fits with the main goals of this writing course.  To help make those connections, you might use the explanations of course goals and unit goals in the syllabus for ideas.


Some suggestions for introducing Essay 4:


- Hand out Essay 4 assignment sheet and give students a few minutes to read over it to

   make some annotations and jot down any initial questions they have.

- Highlight various aspects you think are important for students.

- Emphasize the need to focus on a particular education-related issue.

- Explain the sequence that we will follow during this unit.  That is, articulate why we are

reading and researching for much of this unit before students begin writing their own papers (i. e. emphasize that educated argumentation must begin with inquiry into topic and context to provide a "reasoned" response to the issue a writer chooses).  Remind students that it is better to hold off on forming an opinion until they become well- informed on the issue.


3.      Generate a list of skills and strategies that apply to writing in Unit 3 (5-7 minutes):  Have students come up with a list of all the skills and strategies they’ve learned in the previous units that are applicable to their writing in responding to the context for Essay 4.  Also, ask students to consider what new skills and strategies they’ll need in defining an issue and writing an argument for their audience in Essay 4.  For example, what will they have to do differently?   What new expectations does the Essay 4 context produce for audience, purpose, focus, and modes of development?




4.      Brainstorm Activity—Defining student concerns about education (25-30 minutes):  Your main goal in this activity is to generate as many topics as possible that might lead to relevant educational issues students could focus on in this unit.  We want students to see that their current concerns based on their own experience are a good starting place in critically exploring education as an institution.


  1. In a WTL, have students identify some concerns they have about school or the educational process:  Let students know they can include any level of schooling here.  For instance, you might ask these types of questions to prompt topics for discussion about education:  What’s unfair or troubling about school?  What gets you most angry? What’s confusing about the educational process?   How would you like to see the educational system—at any level—changed?


  1. Discuss students’ responses:  Let your students lead most of the discussion while

you keep track of any possible issues they raise on the board.  Encourage students to share their experiences and opinions on each topic or 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.  Have students copy 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.




Assignment for Day 30:


-         Visit one of the following websites (or one that you find on your own) and read one of the education-related discussions provided:


-          Write a 1-page typed response that includes the name of the internet site you visited, a brief summary of the discussion or debate you read about (including the main participants in the debate that you observed), and a list of all the issues you noticed in the discussion/articles.