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|Class Plan -- Unit One, Day 13|
Assignment for Day 14
Reading - Once again, re-read the essays you're interested in using for the Inquiry Essay (carefully this time). Annotate them with two things in mind: the issue/question you have chosen and your own personal experience. [IN CLASS, EXPLAIN IN GREATER DETAIL WHAT THIS ANNOTATION WOULD LOOK LIKE, PERHAPS EVEN MODELING IT FOR STUDENTS WITH A PASSAGE FROM ONE OF THE READINGS COPIED ON AN OH TRANSPARENCY.] Then take notes on everything that seems relevant to your issue. Write down all relevant ideas and passages (quotes). [EXPLAIN TO STUDENTS THAT THEY MIGHT SIMPLY WRITE DOWN PAGE NUMBERS AND BRIEF DESCRIPTIONS OF QUOTES AND PASSAGES--RATHER THAN WRITING DOWN FULL PASSAGES. Also re-read your own Web Forum postings and the responses to them, as well as interesting postings written by your peers, and write down ideas from that material which seems relevant. Bring this collection of "raw material" to class next time, along with your copy of LL and three or four different colored highlighter pens or a pack of Crayolas.
Writing Begin next class's organization exercise by completing the following two
Number each piece of information you have in front of you. On a separate piece of paper, write a quick note that corresponds with each number (each piece of information). The note should be a two to three word classification that helps you to understand what the importance or relevance of this piece of information is. It should be a shorthand way of denoting the general topic the information refers to.
[YOU MIGHT EXPLAIN THIS STEP BY USING THE AN EXAMPLE LIKE THE FOLLOWING WITH YOUR STUDENTS: Refer to this passage on p. 107 of The rodriguez essay: "so they do not realize that, while one suffers a diminished sense of private individuality by being assimilated into public society, such assimilation makes possible the achievement of public individuality." Ask students to come up with an Appropriate 2-3 word classification--perhaps "assimilation and power" or "public identity" or "Benefits of assimilation."]
Again, read through your list of information, this time along with the list of classifications you've come up with. As you read, make a list of any patterns you see emerging. What are some of the most frequent classifications? Do any of the classifications seem closely related enough that they should be merged under one classification? This list that you are making will more than likely become the main ideas/topic sentences of your essay, so give a lot of thought to the patterns or groupings that you are seeing as you go through your information.
Complete Group Activity Take some time to complete last class's small group activity, if necessary.
Go Over Inquiry Assignment in Greater Detail - emphasize the purpose, the importance of personal experience to the assignment, the meaning of "synthesis" and its importance to the assignment, the strategies students can use (including the two options that are available to them), due dates, and activities planned for class. And again, remind them that they can look at the online version of the assignment, with instructor comments added in. REITERATE THAT YOU WILL BE AVAILABLE TO TALK TO THEM DURING OFFICE HOURS (AND BY APPOINTMENT?) IF THEY WOULD LIKE TO TALK TO YOU ABOUT THEIR PAPERS AND ABOUT ANY PROBLEMS THEY ARE ENCOUNTERING.Discuss Synthesis Grids from Last Class - Pass out the packets of synthesis grids which students created in the last class. [IF YOU ARE HAVING TO COMPLETE THIS EXERCISE IN THIS CLASS, YOU MIGHT WANT TO SKIP THIS DISCUSSION, MOVE IT TO A DIFFERENT PART OF THE CLASS, OR SIMPLY FIND SOME WAY TO COPY AND DISTRIBUTE THE GRIDS BEFORE THE END OF CLASS.] Have them look over these grids and discuss which issues/questions seem to be the basis of conversations that lots of authors are involved in. Give them time to read over all of the grids done by other groups, encouraging them to decide which one interests them the most. (Tell them they will need to decide which one is most relevant to their interests and/or experience by the end of class.)
Discuss Web Forum postings as they relate to the Issues/Questions we've been discussing - Ask students to take out the notes that they took on one another's web forum postings. Conduct a discussion in which students (and you yourself, when necessary) offer connections between course readings and personal experiences/ideas expressed by particular students in the Web Forum assignment. Speaking out loud about another student's writing may be awkward for them to do at first, but you can get the ball rolling by commenting on one or two of the postings yourself.
Example of Synthesis of Text and Experience - You might spend a few minutes showing them what the intersection of text and experience might look like in an essay. (Many of them have never been asked to write this way before.) In later semesters, you might use examples from past students' writing. If you want to use the example from the Appendix, note to your students that this was a graduate essay and that is was written for a very different purpose (it was a literacy autobiography), but that they can probably get the general idea about how "formal" ideas from texts and "informal" ideas from personal experience can be discussed in the same paragraph. [YOU MIGHT ALSO CREATE AN EXAMPLE OF YOUR OWN, WRITING A PERSONAL PARAGRAPH IN WHICH YOU INCORPORATE AN IDEA FROM ONE OF THE READINGS DONE IN THIS COURSE. OR ONE LAST OPTION WOULD BE TO ASK FOR AN EXAMPLE FROM A LECTURER.]
Explain the assignment for next class, making sure to clarify the purpose for you students: they are collecting any and all material (from readings, from their own writings, and from peer writings) that is relevant to the issue on which they are writing.
Freewriting on Issue/Question of Choice - In the time remaining, ask students to choose an issue/question that they are interested in (and to which their personal experience seems to relate), and to begin writing about whatever comes to mind. Tell them that this doesn't need to be at all formal, to use quotes, or to use lots of detail at this point. It just needs to get the ideas flowing.