Today is September 11th. My students were babies when 9-11 happened, so they do not remember. They have learned about the event over the years though.
Our entire school paused this morning to reflect on the event, and we had discussions in our Advisory time as well. So, I really want my students to think about what we can learn from this event today and how it can connect to what we do in class.
The warm up for today is a journal entry that students can begin in class and finish at home. My students will have worked with the events of 9/11 in social studies class on this day, so I wanted to go at it from a different direction. Students will read My Name is Osama. This text is available with questions on the internet, but I am not using those. I am a firm believer in not "reinventing the wheel", but when my instructional needs are different, I want my students to respond differently. Below is the the text of what I give my students.
"Today is the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on our nation. It is a day of reflection and remembrance. To think about the impact of this in a new way, read the story "My Name is Osama" - sent to you on Edmodo. After you have finished, I'd like you to think about the connections you can make between this story and Cinder. What does the main character in this story, Osama, have in common with Cinder? What can we learn from both characters?"
Note - as you will see on the video attached here, my students are using an online journaling site called Penzu. I had the opportunity to try this site out for free this year. Since we have laptops we decided to give it a try instead of the standard journal notebook I usually have students use. We will decide at the end of the nine weeks as to how we want to proceed with journaling.
Students will complete the attached quiz.
At this time students will have their reading circle meeting.
I will remind them again about what makes or breaks a good discussion. We have reviewed this year, but I know they need to hear it again, so again we'll use the acronym SLANT.
Look at the person talking
Act like you care
Nod your head in acknowlegement
Take turns speaking
Next, I will simply remind them that they should have the text, their Reading Circle sheets and open ears. Before turning them lose to discuss, I'll instruct them to start at the top and work their way down.
I will be circulating, listening and facilitating the discussion process.
To wrap up, I will bring the class back together and ask each table to identify one thing that stood out in their conversation...a "big idea". Then, I'll go around again asking each table to tell me one thing that they can improve on for the next meeting. I'll record big ideas and areas for improvement on the SMART board to refer to next time.
Finally, I will ask students to put their Reading Circle sheets in a the caddy to "turn them in".