Today’s students arrive to class with the final of four paragraphs written for our Myth Madness unit. It starts with an opportunity for students to share their work with others. They take time to compliment what they notice a peer has done well and also help one another address problem areas. An example for Athena and Apollo as winners of the competition appears here and for Artemis and Demeter as winners appears here. This video explains the expectations in greater detail.
After sharing work with a partner, students now have time to revise and edit their paragraphs on Demeter and Hermes, as well as all of their other paragraphs. I ask students to review the Myth Madness guidelines and emphasize the expectations for each paragraph.
One of the best ways to identify missing pieces in the writing is to color code each paragraph according to the guidelines. Then pass out the rubric and review the grading criteria. It is at this point that I allow students to choose the best two paragraphs to be graded. Be careful not to tell them earlier or some will not continue to put forth their best effort. They write the names of their choices on the rubric. Any not completed correctly automatically leaves the choice to me. Two examples of final work appears here and here.
We quickly move on to the next round now that we know who survived the first set of competitions in the Myth Madness challenge: Apollo, Aphrodite, Athena and Hermes. The students refer back to their research notes and now must compare these gods to one another. Half the class prepares a project for Aphrodite and Apollo and the other half for Athena and Hermes. Instead of writing paragraphs, they create a poem (bio or diamante) or a Venn diagram. The International Reading Association offers a online format for diamante poems and Venn diagrams on their website (readwritethink.org) and these items are also available as free downloadable apps. Students have a choice whether to create a paper version or electronic version of the assignment. I know this is a change from the guidelines, but unfortunately I find myself in a time crunch and only have one day to devote to the final two rounds. While this is disappointing, it depicts real life in the classroom. Pacing is always a challenge.