Reflection: Student Ownership Literacy & Power with Malcolm X (Day 1 of 2) - Section 3: Building Knowledge


I created this assignment to serve many purposes, including linking the objective literature of explorers like Garcia Lopez de Cardenas with subjective literature of Olaudah Equiano, using evidence and clear logic to support inferences (which would be great to have mastered by the research paper!), practicing MLA formatting, and evaluating word choice to determine author's intent and credibility.  This is where the art of backwards planning is SO useful!  When I was first looking over the Common Core Standards, I was initially very concerned about how I was going to work on the informational skills with students.  Then once I had more time to really LOOK at them and consider the plethora of ways I could meet the same standards with vibrant, exciting text and writing assignments, I decided to have some fun with it, hence the comparing-family-to-chimps assignment!  I have always been a fan of Jane Goodall, and I was shocked that the majority of students had never heard of her.  I linked some fabulous Jane Goodall videos from the Discovery Channel in case students wanted to learn more about her on their own through my webpage, but I was content with the fact that just the idea of her was enough to be entertaining and alluring to my students.  In retrospect, I would probably show at least one video clip of her in action before embarking on the project just for clarity.  

Overall, I was thrilled with the results of this assignment.  Most students easily switched between the objective, detail-oriented style of the observation section and the lighter, inference-based analysis.  Students had lots of leeway to let their own personalities come out.  Some students made their observations subtly humorous by pretending to be foreign to the entire concept of this technology-rich "civilization," while others who are naturally more quantitative leaned toward a minute-by-minute transcription.  Students had to grapple with organization, language choice, and evidence to make the assignment work, and they did so beautifully.  

  Observational Report Assignment Reflection
  Student Ownership: Observational Report Assignment Reflection
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Literacy & Power with Malcolm X (Day 1 of 2)

Unit 1: Early American Voices & Developing Reading Habits
Lesson 5 of 9

Objective: SWBAT construct evidence-based inferences from informational text through group work and discussion about the role of literacy in both Malcolm X and our lives.

Big Idea: Building a powerful framework for the value of literacy sounds like a challenging task, but Malcolm X's story makes the connection easier!

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