|Return to Unit One:TR|
|Class Plan -- Unit One, Day 2|
Writing - Write a draft of your Personal Literacy Reflection (2 page minimum, typed). Bring it to class to have it reviewed by a classmate.
Daily - Why do you think Russell Baker wrote about the experience of writing the essay for Mr. Fleagle's class? In other words, why is this a key experience in his life?
You can collect their homework while they write.
Discuss Baker essay, examples of dominant impression, showing detail. [20 minutes at most]
Summarize what the essay is about--Baker is given an essay assignment and ends up writing about eating spaghetti. The teacher reads it, is amused by it as are classmates. He feels sense of accomplishment. A turning point in his decision to become a writer. He liked amusing people.
Define how a dominant impression or main idea is different from a thesis but is still the point the writer is making.
What is the main idea or dominant impression: Getting a good reaction from writing makes him want to write more. Writing what he wanted and knew about worked.
Explain why it is important to show rather than just tell. Give some examples of vague telling words contrasted with showing details.
What are some good examples of showing details in the Baker piece? repetition of primly in description of Mr. Fleagle, specific details about when this happened, who was involved. Physical description of the teacher. Key scene that he wrote about. How people reacted. What teacher said. How he felt.
Students will be practicing this kind of analysis in the upcoming Jigsaw activity. Not only will the activity give them hands-on experience with analyzing a text for particular techniques and features, but it will also allow them to see a variety of essays written about a literacy experience.
Jigsaw discussion of essays - The following activity is called a jigsaw because each student in a group has a distinct "piece of the puzzle." As a group, they can put it together.
You will need an overhead of the directions (see Appendix 2: JigSaw Exercise). Here's an overview of what will go on: First students will meet with the other students who read the same essay. This is called the "expert group." The goal of their meeting is to compare notes to prepare for talking to the people who have read other essays. They will compare what they wrote in their homework and Daily. Let them know that it is okay if they have different answers as to what the main idea is as long as they can justify their answer to those who read the essay. They will want to write down the ideas other members of their group came up with. This should take no more than 10 minutes.
Students may need some help seeing the difference between what the essay is about (summary) and its point or main idea.
You will need to prepare a list of the "teaching groups." These are the groups composed of people who read different essays who will teach each other about the essay they read. It is best to make your list of groups before class, but remember that you will likely have some absences or new students and need to adjust the groups on the spot. Make sure that each group has at least one member who has read each essay. If there is no way to do that without making the groups way too large (more than 5 or 6), then you can "fill in" for the missing member(s).
Put your list of teaching groups up. Remind students of their goal--to learn about all the essays. They may want to take notes because eventually they will be responsible for knowing about all the readings. Circulate around as groups are working, listening in on their conversations. Depending on the size of groups and number of essays to discuss, this part of the activity should take about 20 minutes.
When the groups finish, have them put up their overheads of showing details. Refer to the lists of techniques for observations and memories in the PHG (pp. 49-50, 101) and identify which techniques are used in the examples they have chosen.
Wrap up by discussing what the various topics of the essays were and their main ideas. Talk about how their reflection needs to find a focus on a particular event, experience, person, or text and show how that affected their literacy or use of language. Emphasize that their essay must show an effect and that it must be focused on the language/literacy aspect of the experience. Connect this to how the writers of the essays discussed today did that.
It may be important to emphasize that each writer has something important or meaningful to say. They are not just telling us about some random event in their lives for no purpose other than self expression.