Today we are on a minimum day schedule and the entire period is only 37 minutes long. This will give us enough time to begin today’s assignment, which is to create a graphic organizer in small groups, but students will need time tomorrow to finish the assignment.
In the previous lesson, I gave students a preview of today’s assignment. I open class today by explaining the assignment in detail. I tell them that the notes they finished writing in the previous lesson are to be used today to create a graphic organizer that compares and contrasts the three views of storytelling we have been studying. Although they have all been asked to compare and contrast information more than once during their education, students usually need a brief refresher. I ask them if anyone can remember what it means to compare and to contrast. Several students try to answer and together they are able to remind the entire class that compare means to highlight similarities and to contrast means to highlight differences.
I then explain that they are working in groups to create a graphic organizer in which they compare and contrast the three views of storytelling as outlined in their notes. Each group will get a white paper and colored pencils. They are to decide how they will visually organize information so that when we look at their paper, we will be able to see the differences and similarities between the three views presented.
By this time students are looking at me wondering what exactly I am asking them to do. To address this, I project sample graphic organizers, like I show in this video, and I give them some general guidelines. Most samples are meant to compare and contrast two items only so I have to tell students that they’re going to have to get creative, by using color for instance, in order to include all three texts and the relationships between them.
The first thing that comes up after I tell students to get to work on their organizer is the importance of jumping into the assignment. It is not a traditional assignment so they want to sit and stare at the paper. I push them to just jump in.
As they work, I can also tell that they need assistance with the graphic representation of comparing and contrasting. They will get more time tomorrow to work on this assignment so today I let them attempt it mostly on their own today. I do provide some general guidelines:
I ask students to leave their graphic organizers with me so that I can see what type of help I will be offering them tomorrow. I encourage them to take their notes home tonight and organize information that is similar and different between the three texts. I assure them that doing that tonight is very helpful because this activity calls for their ability to organize information by identifying what is similar and what is different.