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Showing posts with the label essays

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…

If I Could Get Away With It: Movie Edition | The Royal Tennenbaums

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Wes Anderson. Le Sigh. Here’s the trailer. When this movie came out I was a freshman in high school and I fell in love. This movie is whimsical and quirky and my teenage brain didn’t understand how the story worked but I knew that it just did. And I knew that it was brilliant. And because of this film, I have seen every Wes Anderson movie (although… outside of the aesthetics, I don’t think that I’m a fan).The Tennenbaums are extraordinary. And they have been since they were children. One is an actress, one is a tennis player, and one is a mogul. They are all famous. They reunite after 20 years because their father claims he’s dying, and just like any catalyst to a story, it sets off the domino effect that changes the course of their lives. If I could get away with teaching this movie, I would use it to teach characterization and style. Every single character in this movie is three dimensional, every character has motivation. We would start of the unit with a note taker and…

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 Mulan to Teach Gender Stereotypes

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I love Disney.Honestly, at this point, it’s probably a bit irrational.My husband doesn’t understand it.My kids don’t understand it.But Disney movies in the 90s were the companion to an only child, i.e. me.So anytime I can go back to my happy place I will.Therefore, I use a lot of Disney in my teaching.
When I do my big unit on gender stereotypes, I reference Mulan a lot.One year, I had almost an entire student group tell me that they hadn’t seen the movie.I dreamed that night about all the lessons I could plan around the movie.Besides viewing it as literature, I had the students identify any point in the movie that supported the idea that gender norms/ stereotypes can be beneficial, and any point in the movie that supported the idea that gender norms/ stereotypes are not beneficial.I had them transfer those into a graphic organizer that also had a bubble outline for a persuasive essay.They then had to choose a side and write a draft using the movie as evidence.Pretty easy.
If you’d l…

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…

Getting a 4

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Is everyone feeling it?  That current of tension that runs through the English Department right before the STAAR test?  I'm feeling it again, and I have to admit that, this year, it's getting to me.

But this post isn't about that.

This post is about something I created.

I wanted my kids to understand the key term UNIQUE in the STAAR rubric.  And so I created a worksheet where kids can reflect on what made each of these 4s unique and how they can incorporate that uniqueness into their own writing.  Since we're all a little burnt out on the right vs. wrong mentality, I made this worksheet subjective.  As long as their answer is thoughtful and shows true reflection, they receive full credit.

Click here for the worksheet.

Visualizing Persuasion

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One of the biggest issues we have in getting prepared for the STAAR is the writing portion of the test.  Lucky for us (or unlucky; the tides have yet to determine) they took the analysis paragraph away, so when it comes to writing, I can put all my energy into the persuasive essay. Before ABYDOS, my students had written an essay for timed writing.  We had done a two week unit on over overcoming adversity and the essay was the conclusion.  I was worried about feedback, convinced I don’t dedicate nearly enough time on the idea, convinced that it’s probably the most important element in getting them to where I need them to be, convinced that maybe, just maybe, that was the reason they’re all horrible at writing. However, during ABYDOS, I went to a session where she explained that her Pre-AP students were having some of the same problems mine were.  She also expressed the power of visual learning and color. She has the students self evaluate using highlighters.  Yellow= transitions.  Gre…

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.