Thursday, September 10, 2009
What do you do? Well, you give each student an envelope and you have them write down their fears, hopes and expectations for the course. They should also include what they hope to get out of us (the instructor) as a resource and how they will engage. Then the students seal the letters, write their names on it, and then they hand them back to you.
I have adapted this idea so that I keep the letters until just before they have to write their learning letters for the final portfolio so they can see how they have progressed and what they have accomplished. It not only makes them pay attention to their roles as writers, but I think it even gives them an idea of how to value themselves as learners and contributors in the course and it makes them realize that you as an instructor are really interested in providing them with a classroom community wherein objectives and goals are set and reached (together).
Try it and let me know how it works for you!!!
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Here’s the problem :
A new government has been installed that rejects Freedom of Speech in favour of Complete Censorship. Give them examples of what might be censored (such as certain words, who speaks, writes, reads etc). Each group is on a committee that wants to counter this problem , i.e. denounce censorship. Your task is to brainstorm a number of solutions and choose one that seems most feasible, and summarize, in a line or two, the benefits of such a solution.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Please help :)
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Notebook Assignment: Interview Inquiry
1. Find an article of an interview with a person who you have an interest in, such as your favourite author, artist, musician, athlete, actor, etc. You may find an article in a newspaper, magazine, online publication, or another source.
2. After carefully reading the interview, consider whether the questions asked by the interviewer were as effective and interesting as possible, given the interviewee and subject matter. Consider answers to the following questions in your notebook:
Ø What were the most effective and engaging questions and strategies used by the interviewer?
Ø What strategies could the interviewer have used to make the interview and interview questions more effective and interesting to the reader?
Ø What questions would you have asked differently or not have asked at all?
Ø Did the interviewer leave any holes or gaps in the interview?
Ø Did the interview provoke you to think of further questions that were neither asked nor answered?
3. After writing your response to the above questions in your notebook, answer the following question in your notebook: How may an activity such as critically reading and critiquing an interview assist you in your own research process? (Remember: An interview is a form of research, so in the interview that you read, the interviewer is conducting research and presenting his/her findings to you, the reader.)
4. Be sure to attach the interview to your notebook along with your response to the questions.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Ok, so getting down to business...an activity that works well for me in memoir is when students trace their hand on a piece of paper and then they write (around the hand) about the following:
1) What scars do you have on your hand? What are those scars from?
2) Who made these hands?
3) What are the best thing these hands have touched?
4) What is the most harm these hands have done?
5) What hidden talents do these hands have?
Then I take up these answers as a class in order to get the students to start thinking about the narratives that already exist in their lives. It works and they love it. Also, playing some music while this happens makes it all the more enjoyable.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Break the students into groups of 3-4. Each group must produce four examples of contemporary trends, and each group member should contribute at least one trend idea. Then, each group must come up with two causes and two effects for each trend. I think that encouraging them to list more trends or more than two causes and effects per trend would be useful, but due to lack of time today (was I talking too much in class before this activity?), they only had ten minutes to come up with ideas. I then asked each group to share their ideas with the rest of the class, and they had chosen a spokesperson without me prompting them to do so, which seemed to work out well. The results were great: overlapping trends, trends within trends, creative and interesting trends, conflicting trends (which I pointed out would certainly need more research for proof). It was Trend City it my class today, and with all of the students contributing their own ideas as well as hearing each other's, it certainly seemed to clear up any confusion about trends and their causes and effects.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
-To do so, they must investigate what has propelled such a phenomenon to occur, in other words, what are the causes. It could be the environment, an event, an individual, technological invention etc...
-Secondly, what are the effects of such a “trend,” or social phenomenon on the populace?
Who is being affected by it? For instance, is it a specific ethnicity, class, gender, age group etc...
How are they being affected?
-Thirdly, what are the implications of such a trend? Should something be done to reverse this trend if it is having a negative impact on society, or if it is a positive trend, what can be done to further it.
-Finally, have them report their findings to the other students.
This exercise should hopefully mimic the steps that they will consider when writing their research paper, that they are not merely proving that the trend exists but moving beyond that and analyzing the implications of such a trend, and to realize that research always takes place in conversation.
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Only giving them a brief period of time (1-2 minutes), ask students to write a word beginning with each letter on the topic you have chosen (ie. for writing, P for "pen", R for "research" etc.). When time is up, most students will have incomplete alphabets. Next, ask them to group up with 2-3 other people to share answers—together, as the members of each group exchange their answers, each individual's alphabet will become more complete. When everyone's alphabet is mostly complete, ask students to read their alphabets aloud for even more idea exchange.
This emphasizes the value of others to contribute new ideas and perspectives to their writing and reinforces the value of group work.
This writing exercise was always a big success in my class; a great ice breaker (especially if you ask the students to introduce themselves as they exchange sheets) and a great way to start discussing the narrative arc. Plus, it's always a lot of fun to get volunteers to read the final products, which are always hilarious.