Wednesday, September 2

Day 5 (Wednesday, September 2nd)

Lesson Objectives
Students will
understand critical response
be introduced to types of response
understand analytical responding for Assignment 1

Today you will need review types of response and how the analytical/evaluative response fits into the first assignment.

Types of Response Overheads
Assignment 1 (Overhead or Handouts)

For today’s class, students have completed a summary for each of the three major readings (one was done in class) and they are ready to be introduced to types of response writing. While close reading is necessary for summaries, critical reading is necessary for response.


Attendance (2 minutes)

Take attendance as you have in previous classes.

Introduce Types of Responses (8-10 minutes)

If you like, have students refer to their book (163-164) as you present the following overheads:

Agree/Disagree Response

This form of response is not merely the writer's opinion. However a writer chooses to respond, he/she should show the reader how and why he/she responded to the text as he/she did. Also, in crafting a response, writers don't have to focus on one or the other. They might find that they disagree with some of the author's points, but agree with others. In that case, their response will be a combination of agreeing and disagreeing. Whether they agree or disagree, or some combination of both, the writer must support their response with details, examples, facts, and evidence. Again, this support can take the form of personal experience, evidence from the primary text, or evidence from other texts.

Interpretive/Reflective Response

In this type of response, writers focus on a key passage or idea from the text, explaining and/or exploring it further. They also might reflect on their own experiences, attitudes, or observations in relation to the ideas of the text. Writers might use their responses to consider how the author's ideas might be interpreted by other readers, how the ideas might be applied, or how they might be misunderstood.

 Analytic Response

This is the type of response we will be using in the first assignment. This sort of response analyzes key elements of the text, such as the writer’s purpose, the audience, the thesis and main ideas, the argument, the organization and focus, the evidence, and the style. For example, how clear is the main idea? What sort of evidence is used to support the author's thesis and is it effective? Is the argument organized and logical? How are elements such as the author's style, tone, and voice working? This type of response looks at the essay in terms of the effectiveness of specific elements, whether they are working or not. Part of the writer's response might include suggestions for how the author could have made the essay more effective.

Write To Learn (8-10 Minutes)

Turn to Hawken’s “To Remake the World” in your reader and using the annotations you made, answer the following questions:

Discuss Hawken’s “To Remake the World.” (10-15 Minutes)

Use today’s WTL to generate the discussion of the text. Remember your moving the students towards and analytical/evaluative response where they will be assessing whether an author was effective at attaining her or his purpose with her or his intended audience.

Go over the assignment sheet and explain criteria for academic summary and analytical response (8-10 minutes)

Certain educators have adopted a growth circle concept from developmental psychologist Lev Vygotsky’s zone of proximal development, which looks something like this:


When we introduce new concepts and challenges to our students, the idea is to get them out of their comfort zones (where no learning happens) and into the growth zone (where the learning happens.) When we do this, we must provide enough clarity and direction to keep them from entering the panic zone, another zone where no learning is happening. When introducing a new assignment, try using this metaphor to allow the students to consider the assignment sheet actively, deciding which concepts they feel comfortable with (ex: objective vs. subjective), which concepts they feel are still growing on them (ex: paraphrasing and quoting), and which concepts they are feeling panicky about (ex: analytical/evaluative response). As you go over the assignment, you might ask them to generate lists under three column headings:

Have students take out the assignment sheet, or distribute it at this time. Then walk them through it (no need to read it word-for-word, but be sure to highlight the essentials, perhaps by calling on specific students to read key sections) and allow time for questions.  Ask students to read and listen to the assignment actively and critically, generating their three-columned lists. If a student asks a question you don’t want to answer right away, simply say, “let me get back to you about that” and then be sure to return to it on Friday. Be sure to include the grading rubric with the assignment sheet.  Make connections between the criteria on the rubric and the PHG.  Ask that they read these documents carefully before next class and to bring questions they raise.

If time: assess the inquiry

Use any extra time you have to discuss where the class is now with its inquiry in what is the rhetoric of green.  Call to mind the WTLs from the first day of class, and ask students to compare what they knew then with what they know now.  What new questions have come up?  Is the question "What is the rhetoric of green?” more complex than the students thought at first? What examples of green rhetoric have they been noticing? Have they noticed it more since they began the course inquiry? 

Assign homework (2-3 minutes)

Assign the following as homework using the method you’ve established:

Homework for Monday

Conclude Class

Remind students of office hours and/or email and encourage them to come to you if they are struggling.  While you may not have had a student visit your office yet, with the major assignment underway, that’s bound to change. Also, remind students of any policies (late work, attendance, etc.) that could affect their grade on the summary assignment.  Whether you've had a Writing Center consultant drop in to introduce the Writing Center service or not, remind students of its existence and hours.  Encourage them to seek additional reader response from a Writing Center consultant as they revise their summary.  Remind students that the Writing Center hours are posted at

Connection to Next Class

The next class will introduce a central component of the course: the workshop. The workshop for the first assignment will be split into two days. Students will not need the entire class time to review each other’s summaries and responses, so make sure you prepare to use that time to clarify the more difficult aspects of the assignment. At some point soon you should consider how to manage your normal prep work and lesson planning along with the grading work you will get on Monday (not to mention the work you have for the classes you are taking). You might get ahead a bit with your prepping and lesson planning now so that teaching doesn’t seem to take over your life when the papers come in!