backReturn to Unit One: MWF

Class Plan -- Unit One, Day 8


Assignment for Day 9
Reading - In PHG, 154-6; 182-4. (Pay particular attention to the section entitled "Agreeing/Disagreeing" on p. 183.) In LL, bell hooks, "Keeping Close to Home: Class and Education" (118-129)


  1. Annotate the hooks essay as you read, noting places where you agree and/or disagree with her points, as well as points which you are having trouble understanding;
  2. Answer (briefly) the following questions before you write your response to hooks: 1) In paragraph 19 (p. 126), hooks clearly takes issue with Rodriguez's way of thinking. On what central issue does she disagree with Rodriguez here? 2) What does hooks offer as an alternative to Rodriguez's way of thinking? What, in other words, is her main point about how and why people should "keep close to home"? 3) Do you agree with her on this main point? (Explain your response to this, and you have the start of your agree/disagree response!)
  3. Write a 1-2 page response (including a short, 1-2 paragraph summary) of hooks's essay. IMPORTANT: BRING TWO COPIES OF THIS TO CLASS NEXT TIME, ONE TO TURN IN, AND ONE TO WORK ON IN CLASS.


Daily In preparation for the discussion that follows, you might ask students to write down any questions they still have about the Rodriguez essay.

Review Thesis and Main Points of Rodriguez Essay - Use your OH you constructed last class as a way of refamiliarizing the class with the substance of last class's discussion of the Rodriguez essay. Make sure students all understand the Rodriguez essay sufficiently before moving on to the response techniques activity. Then explain that today they will be practicing several types of response techniques, each having a different purpose and focus. They will be practicing using these techniques by way of a series of short writings.

Response Techniques: Short Writings - (Give your students about 5 minutes for each of these, then pause for discussion of the characteristics of the technique after each writing. Perhaps encourage students to take notes during these short discussions, and to label each short writing they do.)



Discussion of "When to Use What Strategy" - Ask students which of the three techniques seemed most suited to the Rodriguez essay. Ask them why they think that technique (or techniques) seems most natural. Explain that certain types of essays will seem to call for certain response techniques. Perhaps ask them to imagine what type of essay would demand each of the three types of response--agree/disagree, interpretive/reflective, analytical. What would characterize an essay that would call for analysis, for instance? (You could even refer back to essays we have read so far, like Jung, Mundari and Lockett. What response techniques would best suit these essays and why?)

At this point, you might refer students to the Writing Center unit on "Responding to Sources" for additional information. Be sure to remind them how to find this particular unit within the Writing Center.

Explain assignment for next class, emphasizing in particular that students need to bring two copies of their response to the hooks essay to class, and noting that a response INCLUDES a short summary. (You might also refer students back to the assignment sheet for the Response Essay.) It is a good idea to warn your students about the complexity of the hooks reading. Tell them that they might want to read with a dictionary handy, as hooks uses some difficult language sometimes. [If you feel up to it, you might offer some common-sense definitions of words like "counter-hegemonic," "assimilation," "bourgeois sensibilities," or any other terminology you anticipate that they will have trouble with.

If you are returning Personal Essays today, you might want to reserve a few minutes to explain your methods/style of grading and commenting (i.e. the way you use marginal and end comments, the way you are choosing to deal with grammar if you did so in the first essay, or any other particularly noteworthy aspects of your commenting technique).