Students will be designing a product to demonstrate their understanding of the character development. symbols, and sequence of events in the play. I first want to activate students' prior knowledge and answer any questions they may still have about the symbols, plot, themes, and character development, RL.9-10.2, RL.9-10.3, RL.9-10.4 in play.
The 3-2-1 strategy is very helpful in engaging students, especially struggling students, actively and meaningfully in their reading. Today I use this strategy as a summarizer of what they know and may need to know about the play.
As they enter the class they pick up their folders and are given a 3-2-1 ACTIVATOR. Even though the questions reflect the questions asked in the previous lesson's activator, the students' answers may vary. For the needs of the students in my class it's also helpful to review and redo for comprehension and for those who missed the previous day's lesson. After 5 minutes they share their answers with a partner and try to answer the question they may have on the activator. I then facilitate a short reporting out by selecting a few students to share their 3-2-1.
I first learned of Academic Choice when I worked in a middle school and was trained in the Responsive Classroom. I incorporate it into my lessons with my grade nine students because I find that it builds on their natural desire for autonomy and need to feel competent in what they are doing in school. students can brainstorm several ways to demonstrate what they learned or the teacher can offer the choices.
I tell students that they will have a choice of how they want to demonstrate their knowledge of the characters, plot development and authors use of symbols in the play A Raisin in the Sun. I explain that this activity will be the second part of their summative assessment and that they should not rush to get it finished. We will be spending a few classes to complete the project culminating in a reporting out to the class using their computers while demonstrating their proficiency as required in standard SL.9-10.5.
The task of writing a resume will give students an alternative method to demonstrate their understanding and synthesis of a character's development, themes and symbolism used in the play.
I tell them that their two choices will be to either design a power point presentation or a character resume using glogster.com. for those who want to write a character resume I ask them, What if a character from this play came to you and asked you to help write a resume so he or she could apply for a job? What would you need to know to help that character? You would need to know that character’s skills, knowledge, and personality traits as well as any symbols the author used to give greater insight into the characters thinking."
Next I ask students what they already know about designing a power point presentation. After getting their feedback, I project my computer's screen so the class can see what I'm doing and model the steps for designing a power point presentation using the Think-Aloud strategy. Think-Aloud can be described as eavesdropping on someone's thinking. It is a differentiated instructional strategy commonly used to model effective thinking skills when reading which I explain in a book I authored, The Inclusive Classroom - Good Year Books. I say out load what I may be thinking when designing my power point. For example, "To accentuate the titles I now want to add a color to the title so I will click on this tab and choose between..." Because many of my students are visual learners and may not have designed a power point independently this process is important for their understanding.
I go through the steps students need to follow when designing their power point. I model referring to the play to cite evidence for my power point as required in standard RL.9-10.1. Next I log onto the glogster.com web site and repeat the process of modeling what students will need to follow to complete their resume products W.9-10.6.
I then review the proper use of the lap tops and explain that after they make their Academic Choice will get a Power Point Presentation and Glogster.com Resume directions handout which will also act as my scoring guide for the project. I include an adapted Power Point Presentation (b) for my basic level students who have had little or know prior experience with power points and/or are struggling readers.
I check for understanding by pausing throughout the Think-A-Loud demonstration asking students clarifying questions.
Students choose their project, pick up a lap top and directions sheet. They can work either individually or with a partner. I instruct students who have had little or no past experience with designing a power point presentation to sit with a partner who has so they can get support form a peer during the project.
As students are working on Power Points or Glogster.com Resumes projects, writing their resumes or drawing on information from the play for their power points, W.9-10.9, I circulate among them checking for understanding and giving words of encouragement to maintain on task behavior and creative thinking.
Ticket to Leave
As student are working, during the last several minutes of the class I circulate though the class asking each student one question about a character, theme, symbol or event in their presentation. They then log off their computers and return them to the lap top cart before the bell rings and tell them they will continue with their projects during the next day's lesson.