Problem Based Learning: Asking Questions of a Guest Speaker

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SWBAT compare the novel to the guest speaker's lived experience by engaging in Q & A and reading an article about his life.

Big Idea

Got Problem-Based Learning? Bring in an expert to turn up the level of student awareness!

Setting up for our Guest Speaker! Sherjan Ahmadzai

5 minutes

The lesson idea is a simple enough one: engage students in the non-fiction that they have been reading and set the stage for reading the novel with power.  My school librarian located Sherjan via the internet, and he agreed to speak with my class. WOW!!!  

You can find a handout attached which shows the story of his life as well as the prompt for my students to generate questions for discussion (SL.9-10.1).  I am so excited that they get to take part in this because a key point in PBL learning is to bring in a local expert. We started the unit with QFT question-generating prompt which got our inquiry going, and now having a local/national expert on hand will add further legitimacy to the work that we are doing--particularly as we examine the description of Afghan culture in the novel (RL.9-10.6) and corroborate that description with the comments made by our speaker.  

Guest Speaker Session!

40 minutes

I asked the librarian to set up a conference room with the students in rows, and I will be checking in their work as the enter the room, making sure that each of them have read the article and that each of them have brainstormed for a set of questions for Sherjan.  I want to make sure that this session is worth his time as well as theirs, so that is why I am setting expectations for a strong discussion (SL.9-10.1). 

Here is a brief clip of the actual discussion, although I expect that setting up your own live expert is much more powerful. 

Group Processing

5 minutes

It's essential to process our work as as class, particularly as we are engaging in a speech act that is unique: bringing in a guest speaker via Skype.  

I will ask:

1.) What is the most interesting thing that you learned?  

2.) Is there anything that you did  not get a chance to ask?

3.) What insights into Afghan culture (RL.9-10.6) did you gain from this?

4.) What do you think his perceptions of us as participants is (SL.9-10.1)?