back Return to Unit One:TR
Class Plan -- Unit One, Day 6

Assignment for Day 7
Reading - In PHG, read pp. 154-6, 172-84. (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.


Writing -


Review essential elements of an effective summary. Take a few minutes to review these elements as a class, using the OH from last class. Then move into the following activity which practices identifying these elements in peer writing.

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 the board or on an OH transparency.

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 one or two 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.

Response Techniques: Short Writings - [Make sure students understand the Rodriguez essay sufficiently before moving on to the response techniques activity. If you find that they have taken a longer time than expected to grasp the main ideas in Rodriguez, give them a little less time to write their three short responses.] 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. (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" - Devote any remaining time to a 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.) You might also 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.]