Reflection: Shared Expectations Setting the Right Tone for the School Year: "Dear Students Returning to School" - Section 2: Warm-Up: Listen to the Letter


Students hearing John Green for the first time are often a bit shocked at how rapidly he speaks. I'm a fast talker, but my rate of speech pales in comparison. I have to remind students that it's okay if they only heard a few details from the clip. Indeed, a foreign exchange student told me she didn't understand anything. 

After the rate of speech, the main detail many students hear is "teachers are stupid." Some will say this in an attempt to goad the teacher. I ask, "Does he really mean teachers are stupid?" That allows for discussion about subtext regarding the point Green makes that we're all still learning. 

The next time I teach w/ the letter, I might begin w/ the line "Teachers are stupid," -John Green and put this on the board. Maybe an initial discussion will temper the emphasis on these thre words. 

  He talks fast!
  Shared Expectations: He talks fast!
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Setting the Right Tone for the School Year: "Dear Students Returning to School"

Unit 1: In the Beginning: The First Three Days of School
Lesson 2 of 3

Objective: SWBAT Evaluate John Green's point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric, in his "Open Letter to Students Returning to School."

Big Idea: Our world is a better place when citizens are well educated, which is why society invests in public education.

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English / Language Arts, Listening Maps
  55 minutes
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