Reflection: Continuous Assessment Seminar-An Opportunity To Develop Ideas Through Talk - Section 3: Seminar


The comments students shared in today’s discussion made for very good data. I was able to notice that they have strong opinions on Carhart’s argument but they are not rooting their opinion on evidence. For instance, some claim that Carhart was wrong in thinking that the wall was going to express shame, but they don’t explain why the wall is far from this. They could easily cite the images I shared with them on an earlier lesson or the notes they wrote when I projected a large image of the monument on a classroom wall, but they are not. They are not citing any of these details as evidence yet because such task requires a close analysis of the meaning and effect of the monument, a skill that my students are still developing. My attempt to get them to speak of the specific aspects of either monument during the discussion was meant to help them engage in this type of analysis. As heard in the video, students struggle to discuss the specifics of the monument and what it is that may draw the attention of the viewer. This is one are I will have to address throughout the writing process for this project.

One interesting thing that came up was unexpected for me. I first thought that students were going to overwhelmingly argue against Carhart because of all the images I showed them of people who are absolutely touched by Maya Lin’s design. I did not see a problem with most of them making a single argument because they were still going to have to work at organizing and presenting a well thought out argument supported by evidence. However, a significant number of students are supporting Carhart’s concerns. What dawned on me is the fact that my students, like the people who originally expressed opposition to the selection of Maya Lin’s design, have a preference for a more traditional design and are thus drawn to something more realistic like the Three Servicemen. This was an interesting insight into my student population. If I had known this at the beginning of this project, I would have been much less concerned with sharing so many images of people appreciating the wall. I also would have directly addressed the difference between a realistic and an abstract design to help students think about what is it that drawn their attention to one monument more than the other.

  Seminar Is A Good Opportunity To Gauge Student Needs
  Continuous Assessment: Seminar Is A Good Opportunity To Gauge Student Needs
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Seminar-An Opportunity To Develop Ideas Through Talk

Unit 10: Responses To The Things They Carried
Lesson 4 of 13

Objective: SWBAT develop their position on the controversy that surrounded the Vietnam Veteran Memorial design by engaging in a discussion where they share their opinions and agree and disagree with each other.

Big Idea: A heated discussion can develop students’ ideas as they prepare for a full written response.

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English / Language Arts, prewriting, Writing, Reading, responses to literature
  55 minutes
pix seminar opptodevelopideastalk
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