Reflection: Student Grouping Vonnegut Speaks Back! - Section 3: Partner Work: Rhetorical Square and Kurt Vonnegut


I am in the habit of allowing my students to work as partnerships as much as possible, as I think many teachers are.  While this may seem counter-intuitive for eventual testing purposes, as the majority of tests students encounter are performed as individuals, allowing students to work as partners and/or groups as they are learning new skills is a valuable confidence-building mechanism.  

In fact, I consider the students in my classes as additional resources that help me teach the concepts I am required to teach.  They are yet another strategy in a teacher's tool kit that aid in the delivery of what students are expected to learn, whether by using their writing in writer's mini workshops, or in the myriad ways that partner or group work takes shape in a classroom.  I will often turn to my students when one student may be struggling with what I am trying to explain, and ask, "Could someone explain this to __ for me, as you may be able to say it better than I am right now?" Students helping students is a win-win.

So while partner and/or group work may seem a tired approach to teaching by now, and vastly different to the way I was expected to learn so many years ago, my students continue to reap the benefits of this shift.

  Grab Your Partner, Do-Si-Do
  Student Grouping: Grab Your Partner, Do-Si-Do
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Vonnegut Speaks Back!

Unit 9: Banned Books Week
Lesson 2 of 4

Objective: SWBAT read a letter written by Kurt Vonnegut and analyze it through the skill of the rhetorical square.

Big Idea: Wait . . . is he being serious? Students delve beneath a writer's words to determine his true agenda.

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