Reflection: Student Ownership Well, what do YOU want to talk about? Student-Generated Talk Topics about Tangerine (1-120) - Section 2: Opening Question

 

Student choice is a powerful element that can build community and drive student interest.  In this lesson, students write the questions that will be discussed during the Inner Circle/Outer Circle activity.   This allows the student to cultivate a sense of ownership and control over their learning.

While research supports incorporating student choice, it can be a tough call for a teacher.  Allowing students to have options and forcing them to make decisions that affect the outcome of a lesson can mean that the teacher has to really trust the kids (or she has to believe that the "view is worth the climb" -- in other words, the outcome -- even if it isn't the planned one -- is worth the struggle of handing over control.)

In this lesson, I had students write questions.  Of course, I was hoping that the students would have "burning" questions that they just couldn't wait to discuss and that this discussion would open up a lively debate...but one that was focused on the text.  The only rule was that the question had to be one that could be addressed through text analysis.  So, a question like..."Which character do you like?"  wouldn't work.  But one like, "Why do you think Erik Fisher is such a jerk?" which allowed the students to analyze his parents and coaches and their reactions could work.

 

 

  Student Choice
  Student Ownership: Student Choice
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Well, what do YOU want to talk about? Student-Generated Talk Topics about Tangerine (1-120)

Unit 10: Tangerine, by Edward Bloor
Lesson 3 of 6

Objective: SWBAT develop and discuss text-dependent questions about the first section of Tangerine.

Big Idea: Student-developed questions + teacher-developed structure = everyone talks!

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Subject(s):
English / Language Arts, Reading, symbolism (Literary Terms), novel, story elements, character development
  55 minutes
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