Class Plan -- Unit One, Day 7
Assignment for Day 8
Reading - Re-read the Rodriguez essay. In PHG, read pp. 172-82 (on written response).
Writing - After considering the ideas we discussed in class today about what makes a good summary, revise your summary of Rodriguez to turn in next class period.
Daily: List essential elements of an effective summary - Have students generate a list of elements that should be included in any summary. (You might list these on an OH transparency, so that you can present the same criteria again in future classes if necessary.) Make sure that the list includes: title of essay, author of essay, author's thesis, main points, examples from the text, paraphrasing and quotation where appropriate, author tags, and no response (just summary--in other words, just a "faithful" representation of the author's ideas as he or she most likely intended them to be understood).
You might refer students to the area of the Writing Center called "Summarizing from a Source" (under "Working with Sources" in the "Reference Materials" section of the Online Writing Center) if they would like additional information on what is involved in summary.
Small Group Activity: Identifying essential elements of a summary - Have students form groups of 3-4 and exchange their summaries of Rodriguez. Have them read each group member's summary.
As a whole class, talk about what they think every summary of Rodriguez should include and some of the variations they saw. This discussion should ultimately develop into a general discussion of the content of the Rodriguez essay, which you can focus by asking the class to agree on the thesis and main points of this essay. (Be sure to check comprehension by making sure that students understand that Rodriguez OPPOSES bilingual education, and that they grasp the important distinction that he makes between private and public individuality. You can refer back to the questions you asked them to respond to as part of their homework in order to get at some of these central issues in the reading.) Record thesis and important points from Rodriguez on an OH transparency, so that you can bring them back next class for the response techniques activity.
Ask groups to pick out a model summary from the set they read, one which includes many of the essential elements of an effective summary. Have students listen carefully as two or three summaries are read aloud, then after each reading, go over the list of elements to check which ones the writer included and which ones s/he omitted. Be sure to comment on any response that you notice is being done in any of these model summaries, reiterating that a summary should be as "objective" a presentation of the author's ideas as possible, and should be distinct from response. Students often ask if the summary part of their response essay has to come at the beginning of the paper and be separate from the response in that way. You might tell them that this is certainly an acceptable way of doing things, but that effective response essays usually continue using bits of summary throughout, as a way of having something to attach specific responses to. The important part is that somewhere in the essay there should be a summary of the essay on its own terms, free of response.
Explain assignment for next class.