Reflection: Shared Expectations Evaluating Theses & Building Background for Of Mice & Men - Section 2: Introduction


I absolutely loved this part of the project.  When I was planning it, I knew it would be challenging for some students to complete, but the value for all students was too tremendous not to try it.  I decided that making a quick video would be the best way to ensure that all students could go at the speed they needed to go in order to get a beautiful result for peer collaboration and support.  Though many things don't work out as planned, this video REALLY did.  (It also helped for students that were absent today!)  Planning activities that allow students to go at their own pace is wonderful, but it was also critical that all students had something else to do (like complete their peers' surveys) once they finished their surveys.  This way, it was not awkward and no one felt like they were waiting for "slower" students.

The other reason this activity was so successful is because creating surveys to gather information is really practical to the real world and a great way to make the abstract concept of considering your audience MUCH more tangible.  I make surveys all the time at my job to gather feedback and improve instruction, and I can imagine many careers would be aided by a familiarity with Google Forms.  The other great feature of this activity was moving from considering the relevance of the audience in an abstract way to a concrete way.  This really "upped the ante" for students to choose more interesting topics, better phrase thesis statements, and frame arguments in ways that were immediately focused on the reader.  It even resulted in students that were more likely to complete their homework, as not leaving feedback on peer thesis statements would be letting down a friend, not just a teacher or themselves.  This led to higher student accountability and ownership of the project as both a reader and a writer.  Few activities successfully do this, but I will definitely try to use something like this again to make that important connection.  

  Creating Complex, Relevant Tasks with Scaffolding Support for ALL Learners
  Shared Expectations: Creating Complex, Relevant Tasks with Scaffolding Support for ALL Learners
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Evaluating Theses & Building Background for Of Mice & Men

Unit 6: Multitasking with Modernism & Research Skills
Lesson 2 of 9

Objective: SWBAT draw connections between thematic ideas in "Of Mice and Men" and "To A Mouse" with the novel's historical context and narrow their thesis statement options using peer feedback.

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