Today is National Pierogi Day, and as a proud Chicago Pole, I welcome students to class with this; we briefly discuss what a pierogi is, especially in contrast with a pot sticker or ravioli, and I ask the students what their cultural "dumpling" is. Aside from the typical "Daily Holiday" as a way to build community, I want to make sure I have students' attention as we will be going through some confusing schedule information, including what happens during the upcoming emergency drill day and the upcoming all-school testing day. This is also our last day in the classroom for the week, so it is the one time I can ensure they are all facing the schedules I post on the board.
Yesterday (see lesson: "Informational Format: Creating MLA-Style Information Note Cards"), students began to follow a standard format for citations (W.9-10.8), practicing drawing strong, thorough, and relevant information (RI.9-10.1) from teacher-assigned sources.
Today, students will take that information (I chose the topic, "Public school teachers should be paid more" as my sample argument), and present their findings clearly, concisely, and logically (SL.9-10.4).
One third of the class was provided with a selection from the book "Teachers Have It Easy: The Big Sacrifices and Small Salaries of America's Teachers" (these students will summarize), one third with the article "How Much Are Public School Teachers Paid?" from "Civic Report" (these students will paraphrase), and one third with an article on teachers' salary from the Facts on File database (these students will locate direct quotations).
After sharing in their groups of three, students are called to the board to model the correct format for summarizing, paraphrasing, and directly quoting relevant information. Students take their notes on the provided information cards worksheet, so they have a model to refer to during their own research. By reinforcing this, asking for practice within the group and then again in front of the class, we reinforce these skills for gathering information and I can check for understanding for the whole class, yet students retain ownership of the work they modeled.
As students scan the article, and as they share their information with their groups, I will be circulating the room making sure they're understanding the reading, following the correct format, and staying on task. Once students have had time to present they sample card to the group, I will ask for volunteers to come to the whiteboard and demonstrate their cards. From this, students see the variety of wording, information, and format they can use, while still remaining true to MLA style formatting.
With two minutes remaining, I remind students we will be in the library tomorrow working on finding their information, and that if they did not complete the notes guide for Thomas Paine's "The Crisis," and remind students to continue to review the persuasive rhetorical devices we have been studying (repetition, restatement, antithesis, parallel structure, rhetorical question, and the three appeals of argument), as Paine's work demonstrates these techniques. We will be returning to look at the Revolutionary War writers once we have wrapped up in the library, although Paine is an independent assignment.