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Class Plan -- Unit One, Day 5


Assignment for Day 6
Reading - In PHG, pp. 145-53 (on reading and summarizing); In LL, Rodriguez, "Aria: A Memoir of a Bilingual Childhood" (98-108).

Writing -

  1. Annotate the Rodriguez essay using the model on p. 175 of PHG [YOU WILL WANT TO DISCUSS WHAT ANNOTATION ENTAILS AS YOU GIVE THIS ASSIGNMENT.];
  2. Answer (briefly) the following questions about the Rodriguez essay before you write your summary: What is Rodriguez's position on bilingual education? (Does he support it, or does he oppose it?) How does he arrive at this position? By his own account, what has he lost and what has he gained in learning English the way he did? How does he feel about this loss/gain?
  3. After you have annotated the essay and answered these questions, write a 1-page summary of the essay.

Related Handouts

Daily - Each student will reread his or her own essay and write a brief summary. (We are asking them to write a one-paragraph, 4-5 sentence summary of what their essays are about.)

Next, have students exchange essays with someone other than the person(s) who responded to their essay on the Web Forum. Each student will read his or her partner's essay and write a summary of it.

Finally, students will read the summaries their partners wrote, comparing and contrasting them with the ones they wrote of their own essays.

Discussion of Daily - Pull the class together for a discussion of what they did in their summaries, i.e. what they included and left out, and how their summaries of their own work were similar to or different from what their partners wrote. Try to get them to talk about why they think their summaries differed. This can lead to some useful questions having to do with reading/interpretation/response:

Ideally, this discussion will enable you to talk about how reading is not a simple act of absorbing the author's meaning from the page. Rather, reading is an interactive, constructive, interpretive act--a complicated dialogue between reader and text. What we "get out of a text" depends on both the content of the text itself (along with the meaning intended by the author) and what we bring to it as readers. Note that the web forum has been (and will continue to be) a good way of modeling this type of dialogue. It is a good rule of thumb to respond to a text as if the text could "talk back" to you, speaking for itself, and demanding to be heard on its own terms. It's also helpful for readers to examine their own role in this "dialogue," constantly pausing to ask what causes them to say the things they are saying. These are ideas we will return to as we move through this next section on Response.

Introduce the Response Assignment - Pass out the assignment sheet with a reminder that there is more info in the Web version of the assignment (including instructor comments on the various aspects of the assignment). You will want to explain how students can get to the Web version of the assignment sheet in the Writing Center.

When I go over the assignment, I focus on the goals and an overview of the schedule. I ask them to read it carefully outside of class and bring questions back. I will spend some time discussing how summarizing, responding, and critical reading are used in other academic classes.

Daily: List essential elements of an effective summary - [As a way of moving into this daily, explain to students that they will need to summarize well in order to respond well in their Response Essays.] Ask students to 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 next class.) 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.

If you find yourself with extra time, you might do a brainstorm on the board of what we do when we read and connect that to the reading/writing connection, why we read in a class, and how academic reading differs from other types.

Explain assignment for next class, being sure to explain to your students what is involved in "annotation.".

COLLECT PERSONAL ESSAYS. [Or you may do so after class if you are taking them off the Web yourself.]