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Trump vs. Obama: Analyzing Rhetoric

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We can’t have enough lessons over speeches or the rhetoric within those speeches. There is no end to it. The least we can do is have fun.So… I created a lesson, analyzing Trump’s victory speech and Obama’s victory speech. I wanted to give students a look at a speech that is heavy in rhetoric versus one that is… well, not so heavy in rhetoric. Anywho… if you’re interested… here is the lesson plan.Trump vs. ObamaRhetorical AnalysisThings You Will Need to Teach This Lesson:·        Lesson Plan·        Rhetoric PowerPoint (included)·        Student Handouts: Analyzing the Rhetoric Within a Speech (x2), Trump Victory Speech, Obama Victory Speech, Trump vs. Obama Grading Handout, Rhetorical Analysis Rubric (included in this pdf)·        Answer Keys Before the Lesson:·        Please review the lesson plan and PowerPoint.  Delete anything that isn’t applicable to you.  Add things that are.  Make this lesson your own.·        Print the student handouts and review the answer keys.Lesson:Act…

Analysis Overview

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When it comes to evaluating students at the beginning of the year, I find that analysis is one of those topics that get swept under the rug. We assume that by high school, students have already learned these skills, and yet we find out, year after year, that that is not the case for some of them. This lesson I created adresses some of those issues.Analysis OverviewPreTest, Overview, Close Read, AnnotationsThings You Will Need to Teach This Lesson:·        Instructions·        Analysis Overview PowerPoint·        Analysis PreTest Handout (Included in PDF file)·        Analysis PreTest Answer Key (Included in PDF file)·        The Story of an Hour Handout (Included in PDF file)·        The Story of an Hour Answer Key (Included in PDF file)Before the Lesson:·        Please review the lesson plan and PowerPoint.  Delete anything that isn’t applicable to you.  Add things that are.  Make this lesson your own.·        Print the student handouts for each student.Lesson:Activity One: Analysi…

Teaching Collectivism and Individualism for Anthem by Ayn Rand

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The two philosophies of collectivism and individualism are heavy throughout Anthemby Ayn Rand. When I decided to teach this book, I researched both ideas and knew that if I wanted the kids to understand these heavy concepts, I was going to have to simplify and condense.And what better way to simplify and condense then pictures!?As the kids came in, I had this picture of V from V from Vendetta on the board: Those that have already seen the movie knew the reference, and it got the wheels turning. I then showed the kids several pictures of people doing things alone. With some discussion they were able to grasp the theme that I was going for.I switched over to several pictures of people doing things in groups. This one was easier to get at because they could already see the patterns we were making.Then I gave them the definitions for individualism and collectivism. They wrote them down in their notebooks. We discussed a little and by the end they understood that the basic tenants of …

Incorporating Infographics into the ELA Classroom: Writing an Essay

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In Texas we have this handy dandy standard:

(11)  Reading/Comprehension of Informational Text/Procedural Texts. Students understand how to glean and use information in procedural texts and documents. Students are expected to: (A)  evaluate text for the clarity of its graphics and its visual appeal; and (B)  synthesize information from multiple graphical sources to draw conclusions about the ideas presented (e.g., maps, charts, schematics).
and it has been left so open-ended that it be interpreted any number of ways.  I know that in class we're always evaluating images and maps.  They will come up eventually, so I will not have to worry about hitting the standard that way.  But I don't think I'll have another opportunity to go over an infographic. And even if I do, infographics are fun.

So what better way to kill two birds with one stone: handle the standard while also gauging what the kids know and where I need to focus when it comes to essay writing.

I love infographics,…

Using Hashtags to Retain Information

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Last week I mentioned hashtag summaries and then realized that I had never mentioned them before. 

Sounds about right...

Anywho... #hastagsummaries have changed my life: they're quick, they're fun, they're creative.  And I've had quite a few kids tell me that this is the easiest way for them to retain information when it comes to those long boring essays that they have to read for the state.  So #winwin. 


Here's the process:
Whenever we have a nonfiction article, I have the student's number the paragraphs.Read the paragraph.Come up with a cute, clever #hastag that summarizes the paragraph in a way the student would remember.           For example, we were reading an article about the 1920s.  Here's the paragraph:


Women were delighted by the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which gave them, at long last, the right to vote.  Feeling emancipated and in rising demand on the labor market, young, urban and fashionable flappers joined men in boycotting the Proh…

An Introduction to Gender Stereotypes

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I'm not going to get on my high horse about what happened to Cracked.com.  That isn't what this post is about.  It is, however, a post about one of their articles that I've been teaching for a while.

The 6 weeks before STAAR become STAAR prep.  Therefore, all of the units that we work on become debatable thematic units.  The first one I usually tackle is gender stereotypes.  For some reason,  it is super engaging (more than I thought it would be) and the kids enjoy tackling an issue that is very much applicable to them.  However, they don't understand that gender norms are a fluid thing.  The things that we have come to associate with a particular gender aren't the things that have always been associated with that gender.

Back on track...

... I start my unit off with an article from Cracked called 5 Gender Stereotypes That Used to be the Exact Opposite as an introduction to the above idea.  It does have bad words in it (I print out an edited version for my student…

ABYDOS: A Weekend in Review

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I remember somebody telling me that ABYDOS used to be a THING in our district.  I remember somebody telling me that ABYDOS was one to the district what other strategies are now.  That it was one of those things that the district fell in love with and then decided everybody else needed to be doing it. ABYDOS was before my time. But our district still sends people to some of the conferences.  And this year I was lucky enough (no shade)  to be chosen to go. I got put up in a hotel room, got to room with a really awesome chick, was able to spend my days BEING TAUGHT things, and I got to do it all while someone else sat with my kids for two days. And although I walked out with more ideas than strategies to take back to the classroom, it renewed something in me.  More on that later.  Because this post is about what I brought back with me.  Read more below.