Day 2 - Wednesday, August 27th
Lesson Objectives: Review expectations for the course. Introduce the writing situation model. Discuss WTLs from Day 1 and homework done for today. Introduce the writing situation model as a key to effective writing in varied circumstances. Discuss strategies for critical reading. Introduce Portfolio 1 and hand out assignment sheet. Introduce summary types and conventions.
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. Exposure to the writing situation model establishes initial familiarity with a concept that will be returned to and developed throughout the course, and this model should be connected to the course goal of students becoming increasingly able to write for varied purposes, whether those are academic, cultural or civic contexts. 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.
A Possible Sequence of Activities for Today
1. Review expectations for course, especially addressing any stated expectations that lies outside the goals of CO150
2. Discuss responses to homework - specifically how context shapes our choices
3. Introduce the writing situation model
4. Discuss strategies for critical reading
5. Introduce Portfolio I
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 (fewer than 19 students), you can sign an add form for anyone on your waiting list, and if someone has missed both classes you can dis-enroll them through the form you were given with your roster after class.
A Possible Lesson 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). Also, we will discuss the specifics of the Portfolio 1 assignment and will learn critical reading strategies that will help you in CO150 and beyond.
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 -
a. 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 will work individually with students who face some challenges with grammar and mechanics and can address whole class concerns in this area when there appears to be a pattern of
b. Public discourse is our secondary focus (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.”
You may wish at this point to also address any expectations they’ve articulated that you believe will clearly NOT be covered by CO150. This helps to clarify what the course will and will not do and it allows you to legitimize their goals, even if these goals lie outside the bounds of this composition course.
Here’s a Possible Transition to Next Activity, but please write your own! Last time we conducted interviews with one another and discussed how context affects even our choices about the questions we’re willing to ask our classmates. Today we'll connect that activity with the writing situation model and then use it to examine the situation you found yourselves in as you worked on your homework for today.
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/).You can either draw a diagram on the board or use the 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.
As a transition, review the key points from the writing situation model. Students will have read the writing guide as homework for today (Understanding Writing Situations: Writing as a Social Act at https://writing.colostate.edu/guides/processes/writingsituations/). Use this review of the writing situation model as a transition into the next activity.
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 readers’ needs and interests? If so, what were they?
Sample 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?
· Preview or survey your reading. This means looking over the reading before you begin it. With the NYT that would involve reading the news summary on page 2 before you read articles. Previewing allows you to estimate length/time requirements, activate what you know about the topic, prepare yourself for the content by reading the introduction and conclusion before your read all the way through.
· Apply close reading strategies (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. 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
A Possible Conclusion for Today’s Class: Today we began discussing the writing situation model. Next time we will introduce the techniques involved in writing academic summary to help prepare for writing Essay 1. We'll deepen our understanding of summary by using the writing situation model to think critically about a writer's argument.
Assignment for Next Time