Today's Do Now is a continuation of the previous Reading for Information warm up. Students add 9 new rhetorical verbs to their categories or create new categories as needed. Because this is the second time we have completed this activity, I begin to cold call students rather than taking only volunteers. I ask, how did you connect these verbs? When one student makes a random (and off base) guess (really, this is hard to do as there is not one correct answer, but rather multiple ways to connect), I ask another student to build on the idea to make a better connection. My cold calls grab attention, keeping all students focused on the game. We are able to move slightly faster through the verbs, still making logical connections on our categories.
We begin today's work by revisiting where we came from, the Identifying Claim and Evidence Paragraph Practice. I pass back papers with the help of a few students for time's sake, and then I explain common trends, both good and bad, that I observed on their work. I project an excellent example on the board and ask, "Why do you think I found this so exceptional?" Students note that the analysis is not only labeled by claim and detail, but also by type of detail, logos-ethos-pathos. I explain that this labeling allowed the student to identify a detail everyone else missed; a pathos detail hid as what appeared to be a claim to some students. I bask in the "Ahhhh" that steals over the room.
Next, I explain that we will apply the skill to our grade-level text, "Speech to the Virginia Convention" (Henry), which we read in a previous lesson. I pull up our class notes from earlier in the week as students pull up their annotated copies of the text, and we refresh our memories about the speech by reading through what we pulled from the text together. Then I distribute the Identifying Claim and Evidence Analysis Guide. I explain why I numbered the steps on the left column the way I did--identifying the details first will allow students to look for trends (or how the central ideas develop and connect) in one easy location. Then I instruct students on how groupwork will run; I assign groups by number today, and groups must be sure each member participates. When the assignment is due, I will come around with note cards labeled "Submit" or "Keep," and whichever group member draws "Submit" will submit his/her paper for the whole group. That said, I break students into groups and circulate as they work.
Some groups, despite by numbered instructions, start by identifying the claims. I stop to point out to them that if they are wrong, their whole analysis will be wrong. Far better to start with the details. Other groups dive into the details with enthusiasm, debating whether each detail is logos, ethos, or pathos. I enjoy listening to their conversations as they make sense of the text and the concepts we have studied. As a whole, groups are working well. All group members are actively engaged, no doubt a result of the method of submission.
As the hour draws to a close, I can clearly see more time is needed. I bring the group together to explain the plan for the work--students are to keep their forms and make note of who is in their group. We will continue our analysis on the following class day.