< Portfolio 1 Weekly and Daily Plans (MWF)

Portfolio 1 Weekly and Daily Plans (MWF)

Week 1: Monday, August 26th - Friday, August 30th

Goals for this Week

You have eight primary goals for this week:

Activities for this Week

Detailed lesson plans are available for the first four weeks of the course. Beginning in the fifth week, you will be expected to choose activities from a set of suggested activities and/or develop your own activities that will help you and your students achieve the course goals for a specific week.

Day 1 - Monday, August 26th

What You’ll Do in Class Today

·        Take attendance and introduce yourself and the course

·        Have students learn each other's names during an interview activity

·        Introduce the course goals and skills students will develop

·        Begin considering the role of context in influencing rhetorical choices

·        Review your policy and everyday expectations (in terms of homework and other assignments, class discussions)

Connection to Course Goals

The interview activity establishes communication necessary for peer revision workshops and class discussions. This activity, along with the introduction to course goals, also introduces the idea of how contexts influence our actions; awareness of this situation is key to eventually being able to write within academic, cultural and civic contexts.


1.      Introductions (2 minutes): Make sure everyone is in the right course and section. Putting the course number, name, and section number on the board helps weed out students who have wandered into the wrong room. Expect students to drift in late on the first day—many are getting used to a new campus.

2.      Introduce yourself and take roll (5 minutes): Call names and record attendance on your roll sheet. Also write on roll sheet nicknames and even phonetic pronunciations of difficult names. While you'll probably use some other attendance-taking measure in the future (such as collecting homework), taking the time to call roll in the first few days will help you learn students' names.

·        Because students may have added or dropped since the time your roll sheet was generated, you will most likely have students who have registered for your class whose names do not appear on the roll. Ask them to stay after class and give you their names and ID numbers. Others will think they are enrolled in your section, but that must be confirmed through the registrar. (We have a laptop computer in the main office—Eddy 359—to give you current rosters for your sections.)

·        Do not promise any extra students that they will be able to enroll. The add/drop policy requires only students who don't attend the first TWO classes to be dropped. Thus, you might have students who don't come the first day but show up for the second class.

·        Also emphasize that they cannot drop after the date on the add/drop sheet. They also cannot withdraw from CO150. If they want out, they must do it by the drop date.

3.      Write to Learn (WTL) (5 minutes): Have students take out a piece of paper and write for five minutes or so about what they expect out of CO150 and also what they hope to contribute. You can put this prompt on the board or on an overhead.

4.      Collect their writing and explain WTL (5 minutes): Tell students they can expect to do some in-class writing like this to help them collect their thoughts, jump-start a discussion, reflect on a text they read for homework, or generate ideas for their papers. Let students know that you'll discuss their answers today if there is time, but if not you'll address them in the next class period. Also, you may want to let them know that you won't always collect their WTLs on a daily basis but will at some point (with their portfolios). (See the “Collecting Homework” section in the introduction to the syllabus.)

Model Transition to Next Activity: Consider using a transition such as the following: “The course syllabus and policy statement will help you understand the expectations for this course. Hopefully, these will address some of the concerns you brought up in your writing.”

Note: Use these suggested model transitions as opportunities to connect activities for your students. Your students will benefit from knowing how the activities build on each other. You should construct your own transitions - either before class or in an impromptu fashion - rather than reading a script prepared by someone else. Most teachers write down a few notes on their lesson plans to remind themselves of what they want to say between activities, then weave the transition into the natural flow of conversation during the class session. We have provided model introductions, transitions, and conclusions not because we want you to read them aloud but rather as examples of what a teacher might say during class.

5.      Discuss syllabus and explain policy statement (8-10 minutes):

·        Briefly discuss how to read the assignments due (especially if you are using a grid), the types of assignments in more general terms—save specifics for later.

·        Show the books and program used (the PHG and Hyperfolio Software).

·        Discuss the class SyllaBase page and the CO150 Room in the Writing Studio. You'll also want to discuss access to thematic readings (located under “Class Notes and Lectures” on the class SyllaBase page ). Tell students that they will be using Hyperfolio for Units II and III and that you’ll give specific instructions for logging on to SyllaBase and locating the CO150 Room in the Writing Studio during the next class.

·        Explain that the course theme is, "Participating in the Discourse Shaping Public Issues" and tell students that they will be responding to current debatable issues in their writing.

·        Present the course policy statement, emphasizing the policies that you consider most important. Be sure to explain at least the following policies:

o       Attendance

o       Grading (for major assignments and overall class)

o       Grading for homework assignment

One good strategy is to have a copy of your policy statement on an overhead with essential ideas highlighted or annotated. If not on the overhead, just having your own highlighted copy can help quell those first-day jitters and prevent you from forgetting anything critical you want to convey. Or, delegate some of the responsibility by having students read sections.

Model Transition to Next Activity: Community is important in a writing classroom (where we hold discussions, work in groups and use peer review with the writing process), so let's take some time to get to know each other.

6.      Interview activity (5 minutes): Have students pair up and ask each other questions about one another and record their answers.

7.      Ask students to consider what kinds of things people were willing to ask (5 minutes): Then generate a list of categories on the board.

8.      Discuss the interview activity (10 minutes): Your goal in this discussion is to highlight how context and rhetorical situations define what we can say and how we say it. Our context and rhetorical situation here is a college composition classroom and that affects how we asked questions and what questions we asked.

You can use these questions or write your own:

·        What wasn't asked and why do you think that is?

·        Why are these things that people will ask and will tell?

·        What does this say about our expectations of social interaction? Of a composition classroom and what can be said there?

·        How would our questions have differed if you were interviewing your instructor? Why?

·        How would your questions and answers have differed if you were talking to someone you met at a fraternity or dorm party? Why?

·        How would your questions and answers have differed if you were just meeting your host family for a semester in a foreign country? Why?

9.      Model Conclusion: Consider closing class with something along these lines: “So just as social situations can influence what we say and do, different writing situations can influence what we "say" and "do" with our writing. In this class "good" writing can only be defined in terms of how well a text responds to a particular purpose and context. We'll continue with this idea next time and connect it more directly to culture and writing.”


Logon to the SyllaBase Class Page (https://writing.colostate.edu/syllabase/), locate the class forum (Communication Tools/Discussion Forum), and post a 250-to-500 word message that addresses the following prompts: Part I - Describe yourself as a writer. What kinds of writing do you most enjoy and why? What kinds of writing do you think are most important and why? Part II - What influences you as a writer? What in your background or environment might shape your choices about content (what you like to write about) and style or approach (how you write)? When you have finished posting your message, print a hard copy and bring it to class. Note: You might find it useful to compose your message in a word processor and then paste the final version of the message into the discussion forum’s compose message box.

Note to Teachers: In addition to its obvious value as a first writing activity, this assignment is designed to get students up and running with the technology components of the course. You can learn about using online discussion forums in three teaching guides on Writing@CSU: Conducting Online Discussions (https://writing.colostate.edu/guides/teaching/onlinediscussions/), Integrating Technology into the Traditional CO150 Classroom (https://writing.colostate.edu/guides/teaching/olwc_guides/), and Using Student Peer Review (https://writing.colostate.edu/guides/teaching/peer/). You can help your students access and use the SyllaBase discussion forum by preparing a handout providing them with instructions for accessing and using your class page. You’ll find an example handout in the Conducting Online Discussions teaching guide.

Day 2 - Wednesday, August 28th

What you'll do in class today

Connection to course goals

The rhetorical model for writing will be used throughout the course to demonstrate how writers use contexts to inform their writing. The homework discussion invites students to consider what influences them as writers in general, but more specifically, it asks them to consider how the context of this classroom helped determine what they wrote about and the approach they used when writing.


1.      Take roll (5 minutes): Find out who has added or dropped since the first class. Remember that some students who may not have attended the first class will likely show up today. If you have room, you can sign an add form for anyone on your waiting list, and if someone has missed both classes you can disenroll them through the form you were given with your roster after class.

Model Introduction: “Today we'll be returning to the idea of how context influences our choices and actions. By understanding how writers are influenced by various contexts, you will hopefully learn to make more confident and accurate choices with your own writing (in both academic and non-academic situations)."

2.      Review expectations for course (5 minutes): Discuss student responses from the WTLs completed on the first day of class. Address any student concerns that didn't come up on the first day. Also, you can explain the dual focus for the class - "Writing is our primary concern, so we'll spend a lot of time emphasizing things like purpose, audience, and context (we tend not to focus on skills, such as grammar and mechanics, as much as we do on larger concepts and approaches to writing; however, we work individually with students who face some challenges with grammar and mechanics). Public discourse is our secondary focus (since we need something to write about and since it is an ideal topic for exploring the complexity of writing situations), so we'll also be looking at important social and political issues.

Model Transition to Next Activity: Last time we used the introduction activity to discuss how context shapes what we say (content) and how we say it (approach). Today we'll look at a model for the writing situation in order to better understand this idea that writers are influenced by different situations.

3.      Introduce the writing situation model (10 minutes): The goal for this discussion is to illustrate how context shapes the interactions between writers and readers. Writers make choices based on their physical, social and cultural contexts as well as their purposes for writing. In the same sense, readers come to a text by way of their own needs and interests. Thinking about interactions between writers and readers helps to ensure that meaning is clearly communicated.

For this activity then, use the model from, "Understanding Writing Situations: Writing as a Social Act" to show students how readers and writers interact. This model is available on Writing@CSU (https://writing.colostate.edu/guides/processes/writingsituations/). It’s also available as a linear document in the Lectures and Class Notes section of your SyllaBase class page. You can either draw a diagram on the board or use and overhead (you may want to do this before class begins). Explain to students that you will first review the model in general terms, and then they will discuss it with more detail in relation to their homework.

Be sure to cover the following points (in whatever order feels right for you):

·        Writers have purposes for writing

·        Usually these purposes emerge from the writer's cultural or social context (something happens outside the writer that creates a need to write - something to respond to)

·        Writes make choices based on the context they are writing for (writing a letter home to your parents asking for money is a different than writing a letter to an organization to ask for contributions for a good cause). Therefore, different contexts will pose different requirements, limitations, and opportunities for a writer.

·        In addition to context, writers also need to think about readers.

·        Readers have various needs and interests which are likewise determined by their contexts (their background, environment and experience).

·        In order to communicate effectively, a writer must anticipate what their readers' needs and interests are.

4.      Discuss homework in relation to the writing situation model (15 minutes):

For this activity it helps to label the diagram with students' responses to reinforce connections and to help keep the discussion on track. Note: possible responses and prompts are listed in parenthesis following the questions.

Start at the middle of the diagram and ask students the following questions:

·        What was the text you produced? (homework - reflection on self as writer)

·        What was your purpose for writing this text? (to complete an assignment, to impress the instructor or class, to learn more about one's self as a writer, to get an "A" in CO150)

·        Describe the context that created your purpose for writing? (the college classroom, the first day of class, a small "classroom community" where participation is likely)

·        What requirements and limitations did the context of a college classroom pose? (a deadline for writing, a computer to type the message and to print it out, limitations on language, tone and style, the possibility of having to share writing in class…).

·        What opportunities did this context create? (an invitation to call on your own personal reflections, experience and expertise)

·        How did the various limitations, requirements and opportunities shape what you wrote? (answers will vary)

·        Who did you think of as your readers for this text? (you, the instructor, other peers)

·        Did you think of your reader’s needs and interests? If so, what were they?

Model Transition to Next Activity: So whether or not you realized it you were probably already thinking about context, audience and purpose when completing your homework. This course aims to help you think about these things more critically, both as a writer and as a reader.

5.      Discuss strategies for critical reading (5 minutes): This activity asks students to think about how they can become close and critical readers.

Use the PHG (pgs. 153 - 154), the Critical Reading Guide on Writing@CSU (https://writing.colostate.edu/guides/reading/critread/), and the questions below to guide discussion:

·        Ask students to identify what it means to be a “critical reader.”

o       What makes an effective critical reader?

o       How does one become a close reader of the text?

o       What can you do to be more active and critical when reading an essay?

·        Close reading (marginal markings, notes outside of text)

·        Pose questions that challenge the ideas in the text

·        Consider the context in which the essay was written

·        Consider your context (what you are bringing to your reading and why you react the way you do)

·        Consider how cultural context influences your reading (turn the critical lens inward and examine your beliefs and influences)

6.      Show students how to access readings off of SyllaBase (5 minutes): Use a variation of the handout you prepared for the first homework assignment or make copies of the “How to Log on to your class SyllaBase Page” handout in the appendix. Explain that students can access the readings at the Library reserve desk if they have difficulty getting onto SyllaBase.

7.      Model Conclusion: “Today we looked at how context influences the way readers and writers interact. Next time we'll look more specifically at the context for Essay 1 and discuss how this context will shape the text you produce.”


Read Peter Singer's essay, "The Singer Solution to World Hunger" (http://www.petersingerlinks.com/solution.htm). Read "Understanding Writing Situations: Writing as a Social Act" (https://writing.colostate.edu/guides/processes/writingsituations/). Practice the critical reading strategies discussed in class when looking at both essays. Post a message to the Class Discussion Forum on the SyllaBase Class Page. In your message, identify the main point being made in Singer’s essay and explain why you agree or disagree with it. Your response should be between one and two paragraphs in length.

Day 3 - Friday, August 30th

What You’ll Do in Class Today

·        Facilitate a WTL where students respond to the main idea from Singer's essay

·        Introduce Portfolio I

·        Introduce the concept of summarizing

·        Discuss summarizing Singer's essay (collaborate on a list of what should be included)

Connection to course goals

The WTL will engage students in a discussion on Singer's essay by starting with their ideas. It also introduces them to the concept of responding (which we will be addressing later on in this portfolio). Applying the writing situation to Singer's essay will help students see that writing is situated among various contexts (understanding this will help them with the rhetorical analysis they do for Portfolio II and it will help them see how context shapes their own decisions about writing). Finally, it will also help them meet the immediate goal of summarizing an author's purpose/audience/context for an academic audience.


Note: The introduction for today's class will follow the first activity.

1.      Write To Learn (5 minutes): Have students expand on the message they posted to the SyllaBase Class Discussion Forum by providing specific support to show why they agree or disagree with Singer’s main point. (Note: Putting WTL instructions up on an overhead at the start of class is a great way to get students on task. You can invite them to take out some paper and begin writing immediately, even as others are still wandering in. You can also use this quiet writing time to take attendance and practice learning names).

2.      Briefly discuss responses to Singer (5 minutes): Ask students what the main idea from the essay was (have them refer directly to the text for accuracy). Then, ask them how they responded to this idea (you'll have time to hear from 4-5 students).

3.      Introduction: Introduce the rest of the class session using something like the following: Today we'll review the requirements for your first portfolio and Essay 1. To complete this portfolio, you'll be asked to summarize an author's text (including the main ideas) and provide a response to those ideas. The activity we just did models this process; however, to write Essay 1 you'll need to represent the author's argument fully and accurately and develop your ideas with substantial evidence. Let's take a look at the assignment sheet.

4.      Introduce Portfolio 1 (7-10 minutes):

·        Pass out the Essay 1 assignment sheet.

·        Let them read it over.

·        To check for understanding of the general terms, and the essay in particular, ask students to restate the purpose, context, and audience as a class:

o       What is the purpose of this essay assignment?

o       Who is your audience for this essay?

o       What will you have to do to meet the assignment goals?

·        Then, move on to discuss how these responses will affect their choices when writing Essay 1. Since the students are part of the general academic audience, include them by asking what type of response they would like to read.

o       Given your audience, what will readers want to know?

o       What type of reaction would you want to read?

They should be able to generate such concerns as:

o       a reaction that isn't a rant

o       a reaction that doesn't go off on tangents or try to cover too much (focus)

o       a reaction that has an appropriate tone

o       a reaction I can relate to

o       a reaction that is well supported with evidence

Model Transition to Next Activity: Even though your audience will mostly be concerned with your response, summary is still an important concept. If your summary is inaccurate or incomplete, your response could be misguided as well.

5.      Introduce the concept of summarizing (15 - 20 minutes): Use these questions as a guide for this discussion. You may pick and choose from this selection or add some of your own questions to meet the goal of introducing academic summary. (See page 160 - 161 in the PHG for summary guidelines, and view the Teaching Guide on Types of Summary and Response (https://writing.colostate.edu/guides/teaching/summaryresponse/) when planning this activity). It helps to use the board to focus this activity. You can create two columns: General Summary and Academic Summary. Then, list generated responses beneath the appropriate titles. Note: possible responses and prompts are listed in parenthesis following the questions.

·        What is summary (in general)? When do you use it?

·        When was the last time you summarized something that you did or saw (perhaps in an e-mail to a friend or on the phone)?

·        What is usually your goal or purpose for summarizing? (to inform or entertain; to give an overall impression without all the boring details)

·        Are your summaries objective (fairly representing everyone/everything involved) or are they subjective, colored with your own opinions or point of view?

·        How do you think general summaries compare to academic summaries? What are the similarities and differences? (academic summaries are more objective and focus on main ideas rather than events)

·        What are the purposes for an academic summary (consider the context for Essay 1)? How is this different from a general summary?

Present an overhead with three types of summaries on it:

1.      Main Point Summary - is brief and gives an overall perspective on text

2.      Key Point Summary - represents an author's argument more fully by providing other key points and supporting evidence in addition to the main idea

3.      Outline Summary - is used to explore the structure of an article or essay. Shortened phrases are used in place of full length sentences.

Read through each type of summary and ask students which one they think will be most appropriate for Essay 1 (Key Point Summary). Then ask them why they made this choice (they are writing to an academic audience who has not read the essay and needs enough information to follow their response). Finally, ask them to imagine other contexts where a main point summary and an outline summary would be more appropriate. The point you want to make is that the content and organization of a summary will vary based on a writer’s purpose, audience and context.

Model Transition to Next Activity: Let's turn to Singer now so that we can apply some of these concepts for summarizing to his text. This discussion will help prepare you for your upcoming homework assignment as well as Essay 1.

6.      Begin discussing summarizing Singer's text (10 minutes): You may want to use the board to track this discussion and keep it focused. Be sure to include the following discussion points:

·        What would you include in a summary of Singer’s essay? (main points, key points, important evidence and quotes).

·        What is the main point that Singer makes? (Ask students to think back to the WTL at the start of class)

·        Singer includes other key points and different types of evidence as well (such as Bob and the names of specific charities). How do we decide which of these are most important to include in a summary? (Note: Allow students to interpret this; but also mention that we need to consider Singer's purpose. Then, we need to decide which points illustrate how he arrives at that purpose).

·        What is Singer's purpose for writing this essay? (To persuade readers to give a portion of their earnings to overseas organizations; to inform readers of the problem of world hunger and to show that Americans are not doing enough to help).

·        Which key points and examples best illustrate how he attempts to achieve his purpose? (see below)

Use the following points as a guide: Negotiate ideas around this question with your class until you agree on which points and evidence are most important to include in an academic summary. Some of these will be obvious while others may be more subtle and debatable. Feel free to add to or change the following points as you see fit. Remember - the question that should guide this discussion is: Which key points or examples from Singer’s text seem most important? That is, which points and examples best illustrate Singer’s attempt to persuade readers to donate money?

Key Evidence:

·        Dora and Bob's situations

·        Unger's phone numbers for charities

·        The US government is lagging behind other nations for not meeting the recommended target of donating 0.7 %

·        The average American only needs $30,000 for necessities, so the rest should be given away

Key Points:

·        American consumer behavior raises serious moral issues.

·        What is the moral distinction between one who deliberately kills a child versus one who refuses to send money to charities that save children's lives?

·        "Follow-the-crowd" ethics do not excuse consumers from giving. Singer states, "The problem is most [Americans] aren't doing it."

·        People should take it upon themselves to give without looking for a standard. "When it comes to praising or blaming people for what they do, we tend to use a standard that is relative to some conception of normal behavior."

·        "A $1,000 suit could save five children's lives"

·        "The formula is simple: whatever money you're spending on luxuries, not necessities, should be given away."

7.      Model Conclusion: Today we began discussing academic summary as a way to prepare for writing Essay 1. Next time, we'll deepen our understanding of summary by using the writing situation model to think critically about a writer's argument.


Review the guidelines for writing an academic summary in the PHG on page 160 - 161. Use these guidelines, along with our discussion from class, to write an academic summary of Peter Singer's essay. Post your summary as a message to the SyllaBase Class Discussion Forum. Bring a hard copy of your summary to class on Monday.

Week 2: Tuesday, September 3rd - Friday, September 6th

Goals for this Week

Activities for this Week

Detailed lesson plans are available for the first four weeks of the course. Beginning in the fifth week, you will be expected to choose activities from a set of suggested activities and/or develop your own activities that will help you and your students achieve the course goals for a specific week.

Day 4 - Wednesday, September 4th

What You’ll Do in Class Today

·        WTL - have students reflect on writing a summary for Singer's essay

·        Apply the writing situation model to Singer's essay

·        Discuss the importance of purpose, audience and context for writing summaries

Connection to Course Goals

Applying the writing situation model to Singer's essay will help students think more critically and objectively about his argument. By understanding a writer's purpose and context for writing, students are more likely to represent the writer's key points rather than their own interpretation of these points. Introducing types of response aims to meet the goal of responding critically to a text for Essay 1.


1.      WTL (5 minutes): Type up instructions on an overhead, asking students to reflect on the process of writing their summaries for Singer's essay. What did they find most difficult or challenging? What did they find easy or more accessible?

2.      Discuss WTL responses in groups (5 - 7 minutes): Have students get into groups of three or four and ask them to discuss their responses to the WTL. Then, open the discussion up for the entire class.

3.      Model Introduction: "Today we're going to review the guidelines for summary in the PHG. Then, we'll use the writing situation model to expand these guidelines. Hopefully, this will help you with some of the difficulties you may have experienced when writing your academic summary for today. At the end of class, we'll begin discussing the different ways you can respond to a text after you've successfully summarized it."

4.      Review the guidelines from the PHG page 160 (5-7 minutes): Review these with students and check for understanding along the way by asking them to rephrase some of the points in their own words. Highlight important concepts like "objectivity" and "accuracy".

Model Transition to Next Activity: Now that you know the basic guidelines for summary, let’s expand on those guidelines by considering the writing situation. To do this, we'll turn one last time to Singer, applying the writing situation model to his argument.

5.      Apply the writing situation model to Singer's essay (15-20 minutes): Promise students that today will be the last day you discuss Singer (they're probably sick of him by now). The goal for this activity is to help students learn to summarize by considering an author's purpose, audience, readers, and context. The PHG suggests that an academic summary should include the main points from a text, but students often have trouble locating these. Sometimes their attempts at representing main ideas result in incoherent summaries that read more like a "list of semi-related ideas". We find that students represent arguments with much more accuracy when they address the writer's purpose (the main points seem to emerge from this).

For this activity then, draw the writing situation model on the board (the same one you introduced on Day 2). Be sure to include texts, readers, writers, and context.

You don't need to worry about limitations, requirements, or opportunities since it will be difficult here to speculate around these things. Ask students the following questions and connect their responses to the writing situation model. Note: possible responses and prompts are listed in parenthesis following the questions.

·        Can you describe Singer's text? (an essay, an argument, a magazine article …)

·        When do you think this text was written and where did it appear? (New York Times Magazine - probably late 90's)

·        Who was Singer writing this for? Who were his intended readers? (Consider the context where it was found - most likely well-educated New Yorkers)

·        What was his purpose for writing this text? What was he trying to accomplish?

·        What cultural characteristic is Singer's essay a response to? (The problem of world hunger that exists beyond our immediate cultural context). To what extent is world hunger a part of his readers' cultural environment or experience? How might this affect the way they read and respond to Singer's essay?

·        What assumptions might Singer have made about his readers’ needs or interests? What did he think they needed? Why might he have chosen his audience?

·        Was he right to assume these things? Why/why not?

·        Given whom his readers are and what he was trying to accomplish, how effective is Singer's essay? Please explain.

6.      Discuss the importance of purpose, audience, readers, and context for writing summary/response essays (15 minutes): Look back at the list of responses on the board and ask students why it might be important to think critically about the writing situation for a particular text. Why might it be especially helpful to do this before completing an academic summary of and response to an author's argument?

Some possible responses:

·        It is important for us to understand the writer's situation in order to treat his/her text accurately and fairly.

·        It helps us maintain greater objectivity and represent the writer's key points rather than our own interpretation of these points.

·        Thinking about purpose and audience helps us find the main ideas and key points in a text.

·        Understanding an author's context (his/her relationship to a topic and the cultural need to write about it) helps ward off emotional reactions such as, "I bet Singer doesn't give to overseas charities! Why should I?"

Then ask students if there is any information listed on the board that they should include in their academic summaries:

·        context and audience (where/when it was written and for whom)

·        purpose for writing (why the writer has produced this text and what it is responding to)

** Be sure to emphasize purpose. Tell students that knowing a writer's purpose will help them locate key points and evidence (you might even have them add "State the writer's purpose" to the criteria in the PHG). Also, tell them that it is not enough to just list key points and evidence when summarizing. They should explain how key points and evidence function in the text (or how they help serve the writer's purpose - See the example below).

Example of how to summarize key points and evidence: (You may want to have this on an overhead)

1.      Singer uses Unger's hypothetical scenario about Bob as an example of his argument.

2.      Singer uses Unger's hypothetical scenario about Bob to present readers with their own moral dilemma. He states, "If you still think it was very wrong of Bob not to throw the switch that would have diverted the train and saved the child's life, then it is hard to see how you could deny that it is very wrong not to send money to one of the organizations listed above."

Ask students which example is more effective and why. You might also use this opportunity to discuss using quotes effectively to support ideas in an essay.

7.      Model Conclusion: "Today we reviewed the guidelines for summary and discussed how thinking about purpose, audience and context can help you write a stronger summary/response essay. Next time, we'll continue discussing summary, using a more complicated essay, and introduce the concept of response."


Read about responding in the PHG on pgs. 162 - 163. Read Peter Schrag's essay, "High Stakes are for Tomatoes" (http://www.theatlantic.com/issues/2000/08/schrag.htm). Type a paragraph where you describe Schrag's writing situation (focus on his purpose for writing, but also mention his audience and context). Then type out a list of main ideas/key points from Schrag's article (be sure to accurately describe whose ideas they are - not all of the key points are Schrag's own ideas). Post your paragraph and list in a message to the SyllaBase Class Discussion Forum. Bring a hard copy of your homework to class.

Day 5 - Friday, September 6th

What You’ll Do in Class Today

·        Use student’s homework to discuss writing a summary of Schrag's essay

·        Discuss effective use of paraphrasing and quoting. (See page 194 in PHG.)

·        Introduce the concept of responding.

Connection to Course Goals

Discussing Schrag's essay will help students apply their knowledge about academic summary to a much more lengthy and complicated essay. Similarly, discussing effective use of paraphrasing and quoting will help students write more accurate and concise summaries (especially when dealing with longer texts). Introducing all three types of response will prepare students to think about the various ways they can respond to a text and develop their ideas with reasons and evidence. Responding is also important for the thematic aims of this course because it allows students to invest their own ideas on issues of public importance.


1.      Model Introduction: “Today we’ll continue discussing summary, applying ideas to Schrag’s essay (since his essay is more challenging than Singer’s text). We’ll also review how to effectively paraphrase and quote from a text. This is a useful skill to learn for writing summaries (especially for writing summaries of longer texts, like Schrag’s). Finally, we’ll look at the different ways you might respond to an essay after you’ve successfully summarized it.”

2.      Use students' homework to discuss summarizing Schrag's essay: This activity aims to get students thinking about how they might organize all of the key points and evidence from Schrag's essay into an academic summary.

Part I (10 minutes): Tell students that you'd like them to practice summarizing a complicated essay by listing all of the main points and important evidence from Schrag's essay on the board. Guide this discussion by writing the following categories on the board, and have students use their homework to generate responses:

Schrag's Purpose:


Schrag's Overall Argument or Main Point:


Schrag's Audience:


Key Points made by Proponents of High Stakes Testing:



Key Points made by Opponents of High Stakes Testing:

Important Evidence:



Why Evidence is Important to Writer's Purpose:


**Note: Be sure you've read through Schrag's essay beforehand and generated your own answers for this activity so you're prepared to deal with various responses in class. If students offer incorrect answers, ask them to refer to the text to show you where their ideas came from. If possible, try to avoid having to take on the role of correcting them yourself. Encouraging students to respond to each other's ideas will make the class more student-centered and means you don't have to come down on them for being wrong. But, of course, do correct them if the class fails to. A little discomfort now is better than leaving people with a misinterpretation of the essay.

Model Transition to Next Activity: Now that we know what could be included in an academic summary for Schrag's essay, let's think about how we might select and arrange this information.

Part II (15-20 minutes): Have students break up into groups of three. Ask them to generate a tentative outline for how they might organize the information on the board into an academic summary. One method for facilitating this activity is to pass out dry erase markers and have them write on overhead transparencies. This way, students can easily present their group work to the class. Or, just have them write on paper. Ask students to consider: How would they start their summary? How long should it be? Which information seems most important to include? Which points seem less important? Tell them that they do not have to write out a complete summary for Schrag’s essay; just an outline with a list of ideas.

Have two or three groups present their outlines. You might wander around the room as they work and choose groups whose outlines look the strongest (secretly, of course). After they present, ask them to explain why they decided to structure their summary this way. Be sure to point out what you think is effective from their outline and also how it could be improved.

Model Transition to Next Activity: Since there is so much information for an academic summary of Schrag's essay, it would help to think about ways to efficiently represent all of the key points. One way to ensure that you're covering all of the key points in a concise manner is to paraphrase or condense lengthy quotes.

3.      Discuss effective use of paraphrasing and quoting (10 minutes): Design an activity where you model effective and ineffective use of paraphrasing and quoting. You might prepare examples beforehand OR have students help generate ideas using Schrag's essay.

Cover the following points (Use page 194 in the PHG as a guide):

a.       Discuss where and how often students should use paraphrasing and quoting in their summaries. (For example: It is ineffective to string together several quotes, as this infringes on the writer's voice; but it is also ineffective to paraphrase too often, as ideas need to be supported with textual evidence).

b.      Explain that quotes need to logically fit into the sentence structure. For example:

o       Ineffective: Schrag argues, "…parents face the possibility that their children will not graduate, pressure to lower the bar…will almost certainly increase."

o       Effective: Schrag argues that, "…as more parents face the possibility that their children will not graduate, pressure to lower the bar…will almost certainly increase."

c.       Review any other points mentioned in the PHG or that you feel are important.

Model Transition to Next Activity: For the last ten minutes of class, we're going to shift our focus from summarizing to responding. For homework today, I asked you to read about the different types of responses listed on page 162- 163 in the PHG. If you recall, your audience for Essay 1 will be most interested in your response. So it's important that we start thinking about the different types of response you can provide. Please open your books to… .

4.      Introduce the concept of responding (10 minutes): The goal of this discussion is to briefly introduce students to all three types of response: agree/disagree, interpretive/reflective, analytic/evaluative. They will practice all three types with upcoming essays. For now, it's only important that they understand the differences between each type. Also, let them know that a combination of responses is possible for Essay 1. If they choose a combination, however, they need to be sure that their response makes an overall point.

Review the points on page 162 in the PHG, highlighting important concepts and phrases, and check out the teaching guide on Types of Summary and Response (https://writing.colostate.edu/guides/teaching/summaryresponse/). Be sure to discuss kinds of evidence and ask students to consider which kinds of evidence would work best for different types of response. Since students will be writing an agree/disagree response to Schrag's essay for homework, you might focus the conversation here. Remind them that, in addition to giving a response, they must also provide reasons and evidence to show readers why they agree or disagree with an idea.

5.      Model Conclusion: “Today we considered approaches to summarizing a more complicated essay. Hopefully, you’re starting to feel more comfortable with these concepts. We’ll continue to practice summarizing, but for the remainder of the portfolio, our discussions will focus on responding. If you’re still struggling with summary concepts, you should visit my office hours or drop by the Writing Center in the basement of Eddy.”


Choose one main idea from Schrag's essay and write a one-and-a-half to two-page response to that idea. Write out the main idea, providing author tags to show whose idea it is. Then, respond to the idea, stating whether you agree or disagree with it. Give reasons for why you agree or disagree and provide specific evidence to show why you feel this way (personal experience, cultural observations, or textual evidence). Post your response to the class discussion forum on Syllabase. Bring a printed copy of your response to class.

Week 3: Monday, September 9th - Friday, September 13th

Goals for this Week

Activities for this Week

Detailed lesson plans are available for the first four weeks of the course. Beginning in the fifth week, you will be expected to choose activities from a set of suggested activities and/or develop your own activities that will help you and your students achieve the course goals for a specific week.

Day 6 - Monday, September 9th

What You’ll Do in Class Today

·        Show students how to develop their responses with reasons and evidence

·        Have students revise their responses to Schrag

·        Have students complete a mini-workshop for their responses to Schrag's essay

Connection to Course Goals

Discussing reasons and evidence helps students develop their own ideas with support. It encourages them write more focused and thoughtful responses, as opposed to a list of unsupported reactions.


1.      Model Introduction: “Today we’ll discuss one of the three types of response - agree/disagree. We’ll focus specifically on developing reasons and evidence within a response, because that is one of the most important skills involved in writing. Writers who produce effective responses take the time to explain what they think, but they also show why they think what they do, providing clear reasons and evidence for their readers.”

2.      Informal discussion reviewing evidence (5 minutes):

·        What is evidence?

·        What are the different types of evidence (think back to the PHG)?

·        Where might you need to use some evidence in your summary/response essay?

·        What kind of evidence might you use in your summary?

·        What kinds of evidence might you use in your response?


Model Transition to Next Activity: Most of us understand what evidence is. But often times, writers mistake evidence for reasons. They think that if they simply tell readers why they make a claim, it is enough to support that claim. However, most readers need REASONS and EVIDENCE to feel convinced. In addition to telling readers what you think, you need to show them why you think it. Let's look at an example…

3.      Model how to develop a response with reasons and evidence (10 minutes): The goal for this activity is to help students distinguish between reasons and evidence. Another objective is to help them see how reasons and evidence connect back to a writer's response. (Often times students interpret evidence as "any personal experience that relates to my topic" which leads to stories and experiences that stray from their original point). See if students can draw connections between the evidence and the main idea from the sample (to reinforce the need for focus in a response). Also, warn them that phrases like "this reminds me of" can lead to ideas that don't qualify as support.

For this activity, use the sample below or create your own. Put the example on an overhead and read over it with the students. Then, highlight the differences between reasons and evidence and ask students to draw connections between the evidence, the reasons, the response, and the main idea. Pose questions like, "Is the focus effective? Does the writer come back to their main point? Where? Could the focus be improved?" You might use an overhead pen to illustrate these responses. You may also want to spend a few minutes discussing how reasons and evidence might look different for other types of response (analytic or reflective).

One Main Idea from Schrag's essay: Schrag claims that opponents of high-stakes standardized tests are education liberals, "who believe that children should be allowed to discover things for themselves and not be constrained by "drill-and-kill" rote learning." He adds that these opponents fear that the tests stifle students and teachers.

Reaction and Reason


I would have to agree with the opponents. Standardized tests keep students and teachers from realizing their full potential. The tests force them to focus on a single, narrow aspect of learning and they rob them of creative opportunities.

Personal Evidence to Support Reaction


I remember my first art class in high school. Mr. Venini was the teacher, and before I took his class I detested school. My grades were poor because I couldn't understand how geography and vocabulary related to my life. But Mr. Venini's class was different.

One day, he asked us to close our eyes and mold a piece of clay into whatever we were feeling. I let my fingers sink into the clay. I twisted it into a tall, slender shape that meant "boundless" - like a sunflower. Mr. Venini liked my sculpture, but he didn't give it a grade. He said it was just an activity for our imaginations. But after that, I looked forward to art class and I produced many beautiful paintings and drawings. It was the only class I ever received an A in.

There is no clay on a standardized test. No place for the imagination. I never took another art class because my parents wanted me to focus on the ACT. I sat through many test-prep classes and still did poorly on the exam. I never received another A in school and never paid much attention in my other classes. I guess I figured that if "learning" meant "fill in the right bubble," it wasn't worth my time.

Model Transition to Next Activity: Let's apply this to your own writing. Please take out your own response to Schrag (completed for homework).

4.      Have students revise their responses (20 minutes): Ask students to read back through their responses and to revise accordingly. Have them reflect on the discussion you just had and ask them to check for the following (put these on an overhead): Check to see:

·        that you've clearly made a point (agree/disagree)

·        that you are responding to a main idea from the essay

·        that you've given a sufficient reason for your opinion (tell us why)

·        that you've provided some well-developed evidence (show us why)

·        that your reasons and evidence are focused - they connect back to the overall point you’re trying to make

** Tell students that others will be looking at their revised responses shortly (this will be incentive to stay on task).

Model Transition to Next Activity: For the remainder of class, we'll do some peer revising so that you can receive useful suggestions for developing your responses.

5.      Have students complete a mini-workshop for their responses to Schrag's essay (15 minutes): For this activity, ask students to work in pairs. Have them refer back to the list of check points that they used to revise their own responses. Tell them to comment on two points (from the list), explaining how the writer's response is effectively addressing these criteria. Then, have them comment on two points (from the list), explaining how the writer's response could improve on these criteria. For example, a student may notice that a response provides plenty of reasons and evidence, but perhaps it lists too many main ideas; so the reader is left wondering which point the writer is supporting. If time, give students a few minutes to discuss their responses with one another.

6.      Model Conclusion: “Today we practiced developing reasons and evidence for the agree/disagree response essay. Keep in mind that you’ll need to provide reasons and evidence for any type of response you write. The types of reasons and evidence will vary, depending on your approach, but the concept is the same. We will continue with this idea next week, applying it to the two other types of response.”


Read comments from the in-class mini-workshop and complete a final revision for your response to Schrag. Then, read Steven Hayward's essay, "The Brawl Over Sprawl" (http://www.townhall.com/features/sprawl.html) and visit the National Review (http://www.nationalreview.com) to gain a sense of where his essay was published and who his intended readers are.

Day 7 - Wednesday, September 11th

What You’ll Do in Class Today

·        Engage students on the issue of urban sprawl

·        Do a mini-analysis of Steven Hayward’s writing situation

·        Introduce the second type of response - interpreting and reflecting on the text. Then practice applying this type of response to Hayward’s essay.

Connection to Course Goals

Engaging students’ views helps meet the portfolio goal of familiarizing students with current, debatable issues. For Portfolio II, students will face the task of choosing their own current debatable issue to write about; so it is important that they invest their ideas. The mini-analysis of Hayward’s writing situation will prepare students to think about the assumptions that inform his writing and the implications of his argument. Thinking critically beyond the text, in this sense, is essential in order to write an interpretive response.


1.      Model Introduction: “Today we’ll review the different types of response and shift our focus from agree/disagree responses to interpretive and reflective responses. We’ll use Steven Hayward’s argument on urban sprawl as a means for practicing this type of response. Since urban sprawl is an issue of growing concern, let’s start with your ideas before we address Hayward’s views. This will help to get you thinking about where you stand on some of these popular issues, so that when it’s time for you to choose your own issue (for Portfolio II) you’ll have given some thought to these things.”

2.      WTL (10 minutes): How would you define urban sprawl? What is your experience with it or knowledge about it? How has it affected you so far (your city or your neighborhood, your travel experiences, your recreational habits, your general beliefs, values or lifestyle)? Do you believe that urban sprawl is an important issue or is it, as Steven Hayward suggests, "the sort of issue that could worry only a fat and happy land"? Support your position with reasons and evidence.

3.      Discuss WTLs (5 minutes): Ask students to share their responses to the WTL questions. The goal of this informal exchange is to "hook" students. In order to encourage them to think more critically about issues, it is useful to start with their ideas.

Model Transition to Next Activity: Steven Hayward has a unique take on this issue. Most activists on sprawl tend to be environmentalists and democrats (people who oppose sprawl). But Hayward makes a strong argument against the negative effects of urban sprawl. We're going to look closely at where his argument is coming from so that we can talk about how you might respond to an essay like this - by looking at the main ideas and what they suggest.

4.      Mini-Analysis of Steven Hayward's writing situation (10 minutes): This activity is designed to prepare students to accurately represent Hayward's ideas and to look for assumptions and implications in his argument. In order to fully understand a writer's argument, it's important to understand the situation he/she is writing for. Likewise, in order to determine what assumptions inform a writer's argument or what their argument suggests, it is important to know where the writer is coming from.

** Create your own activity (overhead points, class discussion, group work, etc…) and incorporate the following questions:

·        Where was this essay published? (The National Review)

·        What can you tell about the Review from looking at their online subscription page?

·        (They're very conservative and anti "liberal media")

·        Who appears to be their target audience? Who do they hope to reach or affect?

·        What can we infer about the writer (Steven Hayward) based on this context?

·        What is the argument Hayward makes for this particular audience?

·        (Essentially that sprawl is not a significant issue and that smart growth plans are ineffective and doomed to fail just like urban renewal.)

·        How does he support this argument? (Ask students to reference specific places in the text and explain their answers clearly)

Model Transition to Next Activity: So now that we have a general sense of where Hayward's coming from and what his argument is, let's talk about how we might respond to the ideas in his essay.

5.      Discuss responding to Hayward's essay (15 minutes): The goal for this activity is to reinforce concepts from the agree/disagree response and to introduce a new type of response - interpreting and reflecting. On an overhead, highlight the three kinds of response from the PHG:

·        Agreeing and disagreeing with the ideas in a text

·        Interpreting and reflecting on the text

·        Analyzing the effectiveness of a text

Ask students if Hayward's essay lends itself to the agree/disagree type of response (it does). And invite them to elaborate on which ideas they might respond to in an agree/disagree format. Then, explain that you will use Hayward's essay to explore another kind of response - interpreting and reflecting. Note: Be sure that you explain the following points (include these on the overhead that you used for the types of response above):

·        The goal of an agree/disagree response is to emphasize one important idea from a writer's text and support or refute that idea using reasons and evidence. Here, you want to convince a reader that your position is a favorable one.

·        The goal of an interpretive response is to look critically at an argument in order to explain what it fully means. Looking critically at a text requires you to inquire beyond what the text actually says. One way to do this is to locate the assumptions that inform a writer’s argument and find out what the writer's argument implies. Along the way, you may find yourself agreeing with or refuting the writer's ideas and the assumptions and implications that are tied to these ideas.

·        The goal of an analytical response is to determine a text's effectiveness by examining its parts. You might look at the purpose, the intended audience, the thesis, the main ideas, the organization and evidence, and the language and style. Here, your aim is to point out an essay’s strong points and/or where it falls short. Analyzing the text's effectiveness allows you to make more informed decisions about the usefulness and credibility of a writer's argument.

** Inform students that you'll be focusing on the interpretive response for Hayward's essay. Since locating the assumptions and implications in an argument are an important part of interpreting an essay, you'll want to define the following terms for them as well:

Assumption - is what a person believes to be true. However, assumptions are not always true; they are not shared by everyone or supported by unquestionable evidence. Writers make different assumptions based on their background and experience. Assumptions inform a writer's argument. If you look closely at a writer's use of language, tone, and evidence you can sense the assumptions a writer is making about their topic and their audience (their beliefs, their values, and their expectations).

Implication - is a suggestion that is not directly stated. Writers may imply something when they are hesitant to write a bold statement or reluctant to make unsupported claims (for example, a writer may not state that the Vice President is too old to be in office, since this could be viewed as inappropriate. But their argument may suggest this none the less). This type of implication is usually driven by the writer’s opinions, so it tends to be hidden "between the lines." In order to fully understand an argument, you’ll want to locate the implications a writer’s argument makes.

Implications can also be the logical ramifications of an argument that the writer may or may not be aware of. For example, one of the implications of making abortion illegal is that back alley abortions would increase and the fatality rate, due to botched abortions, would rise. One way to look for this kind of implication in an argument is to ask, "What does this argument suggest is happening or could happen in the future? Does the argument hint at an escalating problem? Does it suggest anything in the way of “effects” or what could result if a particular action is taken?

6.      Practice using the terms "assumptions and implications" (10 minutes): Use the following questions or devise your own to get students thinking about what assumptions are:

What assumptions might we make about:

·        someone who reads the Collegian?

·        someone who reads the New York Times?

·        someone who watches Dawson's Creek?

·        someone who watches Star Trek?

·        someone who lives in San Francisco?

·        someone who lives in Salt Lake City?

** Use this activity to reinforce the point that assumptions aren't always completely fair and shared by everyone. Also, remind them that assumptions are shaped by one's own experience and environment. Include the following questions to show students why it is important to examine a writer's assumptions:

·        When are readers likely to agree with a writer's assumptions?

·        What assumptions does Hayward make (about sprawl or about his readers beliefs and values in general)?

·        Will all readers agree with his assumptions? Who won't?

·        How will looking at assumptions help you fully interpret Hayward's essay?

·        How might looking at assumptions help you write an interpretive essay?

Design an activity where you get students to practice using the term "implications". You might use advertisements, look at political cartoons/arguments, or develop sample claims/arguments that contain various implications. Be creative!

At the end of the activity, make sure students understand the distinction between assumptions and implications. If they don’t fully understand, inform them that assumptions already exist without the argument. Assumptions inform a writer's position. Implications result from the writer's argument.

7.      Collect student’s homework (the revised responses to Schrag’s essay).

8.      Model Conclusion: “Today we talked about how you might reflect on or interpret an argument more critically by examining an author’s assumptions, and the implications of their argument. We will continue practicing this second kind of response for one more class period before moving on to discussing our last type of response - analyzing the effectiveness of a text.”


Write a brief summary and a two page interpretive response to Hayward's essay. In your summary, represent the author's ideas fairly. In the response, expand on these ideas by reflecting on key passages from the text and interpreting what the argument means. Point out any assumptions that the writer is making about his audience or his issue (use textual evidence to support this). Then, reflect on any phrases and passages where the text may suggest or imply something more than what it actually states. Post your response to the SyllaBase Class Discussion Forum and bring a hard copy of your draft to class.

Day 8 - Friday, September 13th

What You’ll Do in Class Today

·        Discuss the assumptions and implications of Hayward’s argument

·        Develop interpretive responses by attaching reasons and evidence to assumptions and implications

·        Reflect on responses and make plans to revise for portfolio one

Connection to Course Goals

Discussing assumptions and implications will help students to think critically about a writer’s argument - to look beyond what a writer says for additional meanings in a text. Discussing reasons and evidence will encourage students to develop the claims in their interpretive responses with substantial support.

Model Introduction: “Last time we discussed assumptions and implications as a way to develop our interpretive responses. Today, we’re going to continue with this idea, looking at examples from Hayward’s text. You should use this discussion as a way to reflect on your homework responses to Hayward. Try to determine, at the end of class, whether your response adequately identifies assumptions and implications, and whether it is fully developed with reasons and evidence.”


1.      Reflect on homework (3 minutes): Have students begin by refreshing their memories. Ask them to silently glance back over their responses to Hayward’s essay.

Model Transition to Next Activity: “So now that you’ve recalled your response to Hayward, let’s discuss the various assumptions and implications in his argument as a group. This will set us up for critically examining and interpreting his argument so that we can produce effective responses for portfolio one.”

2.      Generate assumptions and implications from Hayward’s essay (20 minutes): (Decide whether your class needs to review the terms “assumptions” and “implications” before beginning this activity). The goal for this activity is to check to see that students are able to pinpoint some of the assumptions and implications in Hayward’s argument. The interpretive response demands the most critical thinking, so you may need to provide prompts to help students “dig deeper.” During this activity, list students’ responses on the board and tell them to use their homework as a guide.

Here are some of the assumptions and implications in Hayward’s argument. You may add to this list or change these as you see fit. If students get stuck or offer limited answers encourage them to think harder about the observations below. Rather than repeating these, formulate questions to help students think more critically:

For example:

·        What does Hayward assume about his audience?

·        What does Hayward assume about liberals’ intentions?

·        What does Hayward’s argument imply about the fate of smart growth plans?

Hayward assumes that:

·        his readers are conservative Republicans

·        his readers are old enough to understand what happened with bussing in the 1970s and the problems associated with urban renewal

·        people don’t mind “spending too much time in traffic”

·        sprawl only concerns people when there’s nothing else to worry about

·        growth cannot have negative effects on our ecosystem as a whole (he doesn’t consider loss of species, wildlife, atmosphere, or climate changes to be a problem resulting from lack of planning for growth)

·        is it not acceptable to use “old means” (such as the light rail) to solve “new challenges” such as traffic congestion

·        that cars are not a threat to our planet or to our health

·        that readers will want to defend the American suburban lifestyle

Hayward’s argument implies that:

·        there is no need for growth planning and that urban sprawl should be cast aside as an unimportant issue

·        Gore is simply using “smart growth” as a way to appeal to voters (since rhetoric makes it difficult for opponents to argue against it)

·        we should not use past means to achieve future goals (light rails are outdated, 19th century technology)

·        liberals and city planners are using “urban sprawl” as a ploy to eliminate cars

·        growth plans will “fail” the same way that urban renewal plans failed in the past

Model Transition to Next Activity: “Now that we’ve located the assumptions and implications, let’s use these observations to develop a response that either supports or challenges the credibility of Hayward’s argument.”

3.      Practice developing an interpretive response to Hayward’s text by developing reasons and evidence to support or refute assumptions and implications (15 minutes): The goal of this activity is to help students develop their observations into well-reasoned and well-supported responses. First, explain (or create a mini-outline on an overhead) how a writer can develop an interpretive response by addressing:

·        an author’s assumption/implication

·        whether they agree/disagree with that assumption/implication

·        reasons why the assumption/implication is valid or problematic

·        evidence to prove that the assumption/implication is valid or problematic

Then, practice this process by consulting the list of assumptions and implications. Ask students to consider whether or not they would support or refute Hayward’s assumptions and implications. Then, choose examples from the board to practice developing with reasons and evidence. To be fair, you’ll want to address both “support” and “refute” responses.

Here’s how it might look: One of Hayward’s implications:

·        Implies that there is no need for growth planning and that urban sprawl should be cast aside as an unimportant issue

·        Do students agree/disagree with this? (take one side at a time)

·        What reasons can students offer for why they agree/disagree? (reasons must be substantial and something that can be supported - “It’s stupid” won’t cut it)

·        What evidence can students provide for why they agree/disagree (i.e. personal experience - “I used to ride my horse along the back roads and now I can’t because there are huge Safeway trucks and Wal-Mart semis that come plowing through and scare my horse silly. I would say that this issue is important based on my tragic experience.”).

** Explain to students that without evidence, their responses are reduced to a list of opinions or unsupported rants. Also, warn students that they may need to search for textual evidence to support “gut feelings” or reactions. Support is easy to come by through library databases.

4.      Reflect on discussion and make plans to revise responses (5 minutes): Ask students to reflect on today’s lesson, then to look back over their homework responses to Hayward and jot down notes for revision. If they were to revise this essay for portfolio one, what changes would they need to make to strengthen and develop their response. Collect essays to read and comment on.

5.      Conclusion: Write a conclusion for today’s lesson. For assistance, look at the section on writing introductions and conclusions from the guide on Planning a Class located in the Teaching Guides on Writing@CSU (https://writing.colostate.edu/guides/teaching/planning/). You can also find a copy of the Guide in your appendix.


Read the NASA report on global warming titled, “Global Warming” (http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Library/GlobalWarming/), by John Weier (April 8, 2002) . Then, read “No Surprise - Global Warming is worse than you thought” by Ronald Bailey (http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/comment012401e.shtml). Write a short paragraph summarizing Bailey’s argument. What main points does he raise in opposition to the IPCC’s report on global warming? (Optional: check out the IPCC’s summary for policymakers online at: http://www.ippc.ch/pub/spm22-01.pdf.)

Week 4: Monday, September 16th - Friday, September 20th

Goals for this Week

Activities for this Week

Detailed lesson plans are available for the first four weeks of the course. Beginning in the fifth week, you will be expected to choose activities from a set of suggested activities and/or develop your own activities that will help you and your students achieve the course goals for a specific week.

Day 9 - Monday, September 16th

What You’ll Do in Class Today

·        Review and Summarize Bailey’s essay on global warming

·        Introduce third type of response - analyzing the effectiveness of a text

·        Begin discussing how to write an analytic response to Bailey’s argument

Connection to Course Goals

As with the agree/disagree and interpretive responses, we want students to think critically about written texts and provide thoughtful responses. We want them to move past gut reactions to provide well supported ideas. Introducing three types of response also helps us meet the goal of presenting writers with choices based on purpose and audience. We want students to see that there is no single “correct” way to respond to a text, but that certain types of texts lend themselves to different kinds of responses.

Model Introduction: “Today we’re going to shift from writing an interpretive response to writing an analytic response. We’ll review the characteristics of an analytic response and begin to apply these to Bailey’s text on global warming. This is the last type of response we’ll discuss before drafting essay one.”


1.      Review the main points of Bailey’s argument (15 minutes): The goal here is to see that students have critically read and understood Bailey’s essay. Explain to students that you will only be discussing Bailey’s article and not the article from NASA. The NASA report was only intended to prepare students for Bailey’s argument. When reviewing main ideas, you may want to list points on the board as a reference for later (when you teach analytic response).

You’ll find that National Review is your best alternative to the slanted “news” served up daily by the liberal media. If you want to be “spun,” stick with Time, CNN, The New York Times, Dan, Peter, Tom, Bryant, and Al (Hunt, of course!). But if you want your news with no liberal bias, then get National Review. We’re experts at tipping over the Left’s sacred cows (what else would you expect of a magazine founded by William F. Buckley Jr.?). And you’ll find that National Review is written for people who have common sense. Who want to know what’s really happening, and why. Who don’t want major issues glossed over. Who like their news laced with wit. Who are offended by patronizing, dumbed-down journalism. National Review has only intelligent readers, and we respect their intelligence.

·        What main points does Bailey raise for his audience? Here are some points you’ll want to cover:

o       That temperature and sea-level predictions estimated by the IPCC are unreliable because they’re based on speculations and computer models.

o       The computer findings contradict reliable satellite data from the past 22 years.

o       The computer models “don’t agree with reality” (that is, there is inconsistency between the IPCC’s predictions for atmospheric temperature increases and what is actually happening which leads to uncertainties).

o       According to Roger Pielke, there are other factors (besides greenhouse gas) that could account for changes in surface temperature.

o       The Kyoto Protocol is ineffective because it fails to consider technological changes.

o       The IPCC’s findings are not a scientific consensus but a “selective advocacy document” intended to motivate politicians to reduce greenhouse emissions.

o       The climate will only increase about 1 degree Celsius in the next 100 years.

Model Transition to Next Activity: Now that we’ve summarized Bailey’s argument and the situation he’s writing for, let’s consider how we might respond to this for essay one.

2.      Review the third type of response - analyzing the effectiveness of a text (10 minutes): Begin by telling students that they could write an agree/disagree response or an interpretive response for this essay to turn in with portfolio one. However, for your immediate purposes, you’re going to focus on writing an analytic response.

Review the following definition. Put this on an overhead or refer students to the responding section in the PHG.

The goal of an analytical response is to determine a text's effectiveness by examining its parts. You might look at the purpose, the intended audience, the thesis, the main ideas, organization, evidence, language, and style. Your objective for writing an analytic response is to point out a text’s strong points and/or where it falls short. Analyzing the text's effectiveness allows you to make more informed decisions about the usefulness and credibility of a writer's argument.

Transition to Next Activity: Write a transition linking these two activities (for assistance, look at the section on writing transitions from the guide on “Planning a Class” located in your appendix).

3.      Begin discussing how to write an analytic response to Bailey’s argument (20 minutes): Review each of the elements or criteria for analytic evaluation. Encourage students to refer to the text when responding to the following questions. Try to push them beyond giving surface responses (remind them that in their essays they’ll need to develop answers with reasons and evidence rather than generalizations). Use the following questions as a guide to review the elements for evaluating a writer’s text analytically (feel free to add to these):

·        Did Bailey effectively accomplish his purpose in this text? Why or why not?

·        Will his argument meet the needs and interests of his intended readers? Who are they? What are their values? What are their beliefs? Would they oppose or support the Kyoto Treaty? Why or Why not? (Probably not, since Kyoto creates new environmental standards and increased finances for big conservative businesses).

·        What can you say about the organization of Bailey’s argument? Was it easy to follow? Did it progress in a logical order?

·        What about the evidence he uses to support his argument? (Since this is the most questionable part of Bailey’s argument, you may want focus students’ attention here)

·        How does he support his main points? Who are his sources? Are they reliable? Does he support all of his claims? What kind of evidence does he use? Which claims doesn’t he support?

** Explain that analytical responses can serve to: praise a writer for the effectiveness of their text; point out the problems or shortcomings in a writer’s argument; praise some parts of a writer’s argument and challenge others.

4.      If Time Permits: Have students begin the assignment for next class.

5.      Conclusion: Write a conclusion for today’s lesson. For assistance, look at the section on writing introductions and conclusions from the guide on Planning a Class located in the Teaching Guides on Writing@CSU (https://writing.colostate.edu/guides/teaching/planning/). You can also find a copy of the Guide in your appendix.


Write a two page analytic response for Bailey’s argument focusing on one or two of the criteria we reviewed in class. Once you’ve decided which criteria you’ll look at (i.e. use of tone and use of evidence) construct an overall claim to map out your response. Begin your response with that claim and develop reasons and evidence to support it. Post your summary and response as a message to the SyllaBase Class Discussion Forum. Bring a hard copy of your draft to class.

Day 10 - Wednesday, September 18th

What You’ll Do in Class Today

Connection to Course Goals

Reviewing claims will help students understand that their response needs to make an overall point. This will also help students focus their ideas and organize their response. The peer review activity will help students reflect on their own writing by looking critically at other students’ responses. It will also get students thinking toward the upcoming workshop.

Introduction: Write an introduction for today’s lesson. For assistance, look at the section on writing introductions and conclusions from the guide on Planning a Class located in the Teaching Guides on Writing@CSU (https://writing.colostate.edu/guides/teaching/planning/). You can also find a copy of the Guide in your appendix.


1.      Review using claims to shape responses (15 minutes): The goal for this activity is to help students make an overall point with their writing by considering how claims can “map out” a response. (In the past, students have written analytic responses that read like “generalized lists” - i.e. the author’s tone is good… the organization is effective… the evidence could use some work…). Here, we are trying to help students move beyond generalized responses to think more about their purpose/focus and organization.

Use the claims below (or ones that you generate) to model how a claim can help a writer connect main their points and create a “map” by which to organize their writing. Put these claims on an overhead and ask students to outline what the paper might look like based on what the claim says.

Ineffective claim:

Singer’s essay is pretty good, but I didn’t like the examples he used and I doubt whether he himself even gives money to the organizations he discusses. Overall, I found his attitude to be a problem too.

Why this is ineffective:

Effective claims:

Bailey appeals to readers of the National Review by using language that they can relate to, but his argument lacks the support it needs to convince all readers that global warming is not a concern.

Peter Singer makes an argument about an important issue, but his offensive use of language throughout and his unsubstantial use of evidence made me shy away from the prospect of donating money to overseas charities.

Why these are effective:

** Ask students how each response might look based on these claims. How would the reader develop these points? What examples from the text could he/she use to develop each point? You might draw up an outline for each.

2.      Review Use of Author Tags, Quotations, and Paraphrases (10 minutes): Create your own activity here.

3.      Peer review activity for responses to Bailey (20 minutes): Have students pair up and exchange their analytic responses to Bailey’s argument (completed for homework). Allow them 15 - 20 minutes to provide feedback for each other’s response. Then, allow them 5 - 10 minutes to discuss these in pairs. You may use the questions below or develop your own.

Questions for peer review activity:

·        Underline the writer’s claim. Is the claim narrow and specific enough? Does it communicate an overall point or main idea? Does the claim accurately represent the points raised in the response? Write down one or two suggestions for how the writer could strengthen their claim.

·        What criteria for evaluation does the writer examine in their response? Are these criteria fitting given Bailey’s argument and his audience? Does the writer avoid “listing” criteria by limiting their response to one or two well developed observations?

·        Does the writer provide clear reasons and evidence to develop and support claim? Mark places where the writer has provided sufficient support. Then, mark places where the writer could develop their reasons and evidence further. Can you give any suggestions for how the writer could develop these points?

·        How might the writer improve the overall focus and organization of their response? Are there places where the writing strays from the claim? Could certain points be eliminated or moved to improve the organization?

·        Comment on the writer’s use of author tags, quotations, and paraphrases. Suggest strategies, if appropriate, for improvements.

·        Comment on two things that the response is doing well.

4.      If Time Permits: Have students decide which essay they’ll revise for portfolio one and give them time to look over their original essays and jot down plans for revision. Let students know that revisions should be substantial. They can use their homework as draft work and take pieces of that writing, but they need to do more than “tweak” or “add on a few lines” to succeed with portfolio one.

5.      Conclusion


Begin drafting your final essay for portfolio one. Come to class with any questions or concerns that arise when you’re writing.


** Note to instructors: You should read the Teaching Guide on Planning Workshops and Peer Review on Writing@CSU (https://writing.colostate.edu/guides/teaching/peer/). The guide is also available in print format in the appendix. Use the guide to help you decide ahead of time how you’d like to facilitate the in class workshop for essay one.

Day 11 - Friday, September 20th

What You’ll Do in Class Today

Connection to Course Goals

Write this in when you’ve decided on an activity for class.



1.      Review what makes an effective workshop (10 minutes): Refer to the Teaching Guide on Planning Workshops and Peer Review on Writing@CSU (https://writing.colostate.edu/guides/teaching/peer/). The guide is also available in print format in the appendix. Use the guide to help you decide ahead of time how you’d like to facilitate the in class workshop for the summary/response essay.

2.      Review portfolio requirements for the summary/response essay and address student concerns for the essay (5 minutes): Remind students that their essays must be turned in with all draft work and workshop materials in a folder. Inform them of any other requirements that you may have.

3.      Your activity (30 minutes): Design a peer review workshop that will help students prepare their summary/response essay for submission at the beginning of the next class.

4.      Conclusion


Bring your first portfolio to class. It should include your final draft of the summary/response essay and all other drafts, homework assignments, and in-class activities you’ve completed during this portfolio period.