Bringing the Pieces Together. This lesson culminates days of library and classroom research in which students were to integrate several sources (W.9-10.7), working with a partner. They are to select an image to convey the material. They are to properly document their sources. In all, a very challenging task for them (SL.9-10.2).
Rubric. I have already introduced the rubric and have gotten the students' feedback on how well they think we can do as a class with the speaking and listening parts, which amount to taking notes during the presentations and asking thoughtful follow-up questions (SL.9-10.1). Due to our previous work with these Speaking/Listening standards (see my unit on Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian), I have been expecting active questioning by the students in the audience., and that was certainly the case yesterday, as we almost got off topic! Today, I will encourage similar questioning, but keep it to 2-3 questions per presentation.
I will ask:
How well did we do on these rubric items yesterday? How well did we function as a group with the questioning involved?
What parts do you want to work on today in day 2?
I will respond to the quality of the presentations from yesterday and set the stage for continued presentations today. Students in the audience are expected not only to take notes but to ask questions as well so that they practice active listening (SL.9-10.2).
Following each presentation, I will ask the students if they have follow-up questions (SL.9-10.2), and I may offer some connecting questions of my own, hoping to firm up in the students' minds the basic schema of A F G: Attacked by USSR (1979); Taliban and Freedom (1990-2001) and Going Forward (2001-2014).
Throughout each of these presentations, I will be looking to see how well the students can present the information in a logical manner that their peer audience can understand (SL.9-10.4). I think that this might be a challenge because the information sources that the students are using are dense with new information and because the history itself has a lot of complexity, with foreign names and acronyms that are unfamiliar. Students may be tempted to lift information directly from sources and thus fall into the plagiarism trap (W.9-10.8), and they may be tempted to simply read from their slides, instead of presenting the information in a logical and understandable way, using their own words (SL9-10.4). I will gently redirect groups if I see problems arise, and I will ask for rewrites on slides that seem to have issues. We have not done a lot of work using research this year, so this experience is largely formative and conducted with a great deal of flexibility.
However, rather than simply offering this info, I will be listening very intently to hear if the students offer evidence of these understandings and will aim to offer connecting comments of my own rather than supplying a lot of content. I experienced that this worked well yesterday, and I plan to continue with this into day 2.
Since this is a two-day set of presentations, I will ask the students how we have progressed in our knowledge of the topics related to Afghanistan (SL.9-10.2).
I will ask:
1.) What initial questions from our QFT on day 1 do you now feel secure about responding to?
2.) More questions still linger for you?
3.) How well do you feel you could perform in a debate-like controversy discussion using this information (next week)?
4.) How can we support each other in complex speaking tasks like this? Would you add anything to your presentation if you were to change it?