Reflection: Student Ownership Creating an Annotated Bibliography - Section 5: Wrap up and Next Steps


I am realizing that blowing open the topic choices to virtually anything is problematic. I was ready to narrow it after working with nearly every student today because they had NO idea which direction to go. After reflecting with Ms. Poinier, though, I realized that their struggles were not such bad things.

For example, I have a student who want to research and speak about the privacy rights of adoptive parents. I'm not sure why he is so interested in this topic. To really do it justice, he will likely need to do an interview with someone who has experienced this. We will need to be creative if he keeps this topic in mind. 

There are so few opportunities for students to have complete choice in their learning. This is a disservice of our system. When they leave high school, they will need to be able to find information. They will also need to know how to think for themselves and develop interests, opinions, perspectives, etc. The struggle that I am seeing today is caused more by the newness of the process than anything else.

Ms. Poinier pointed out that providing student autonomy and choice are both really critical parts of their becoming capable young men and women. Knowing how to find information about something that interests you is an important skill--maybe even the most important skill that I teach.

I will definitely provide feedback on topics that I think will be hard to research or support, but I am going to let this play out and hope that the research process is as valuable as the anxiety caused by public speaking.

  Student Generated Topics
  Student Ownership: Student Generated Topics
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Creating an Annotated Bibliography

Unit 7: Argument: Persuasive Speaking and Rhetorical Anlaysis
Lesson 4 of 11

Objective: SWBAT demonstrate their ability to research based on self-generated inquiry questions and to pay specific attention to the quality of their sources as they research using online sources for their persuasive speaking topics.

Big Idea: So you have a topic in mind. Now what? Better make sure there is information to back up your ideas!

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