- Arguing Essays (you can have Arguing Essays due at a later
date if you wish).
- To introduce Unit III.
- To introduce collaborative work.
- To form the collaborative groups.
- Carefully read all the Unit III materials. Summarize the
goals and elements of the assignment and write down any questions
you have for next time.
- Unit III Assignment Sheet.
- Group contracts.
- Group deadline schedule.
- Start the class with the following DAILY:
Some of the tasks for the third unit will require you to produce an
essay by collaborating with other class members. Spend a few minutes
writing about your experiences with group work. What are the potential
advantages? What are the potential pitfalls and how can they be
After you've given your students some time for the DAILY, start
the class by making some general connections between Unit III
and the rest of the course, and explaining the general elements
of the assignment--refer to the assignment sheet and unit narrative
for some ideas about this. It's a good idea, too, to have students
at least read the assignment sheet aloud.
- Once you've explained and discussed the assignment itself,
move on to a discussion of group work. One effective way to do
this is to record your students reactions from the DAILY on the
board, and then ask them to come up with a groupwork policy that
keeps the positive elements and eliminates the negative ones.
Your chart on the board can look something like this:
Positive Negative Solutions
- This is also a good point at which to explain your policies
on groupwork in terms of grading, contracts, etc.
- For the last 15 minutes of class or so, form your students
into groups based on their major fields. There are several ways
you might do this. One is to group students before this class
based on the majors listed on your class roll (you can also take
a survey in-class the day before). Another method is to go around
the room, having each student call out the field that he/she is
interested in exploring. As the first student speaks, make a
column on the board for his/her field. Then, you can go around
the rest of the room having students either place themselves in
a column that already exists or create a new column for their
field. You'll ultimately end up with a categorized list of majors
in your class. Then, it's a simple matter to have students form
their own groups by getting together with the people listed in
- Finally, have your students exchange phone numbers and schedules
before they leave.