My students will come in with a written rhetorical analysis of the "Halftime in America" commercial in which they were asked to focus closely on how video, audio, and words work together.
In this lesson I want the students to really dig into both their analysis of the commercial and translating their ideas to the page (as part of this course, they will not only learn how to analyze rhetoric, but also to write about it; consistently writing their ideas in low-stress environments that aren't being assessed formally will help them get comfortable with the writing portion). Additionally, they will develop their skills in academic discourse, including the shift in Speaking and Learning standard 1c that suggests students should respond to peers with ideas that "probe" reasoning and evidence" rather than just relate to the current discussion. To do this, they will both share their own observations, but also respond to the observation of their peers as they work to deepen their knowledge of rhetorical analysis.
To do this they will participate in a "Final Word" protocol, which I adapted from the Harmony Education Center (a wonderful site! There are great protocols here for group work and deep thinking that are designed for Professional Learning Communities, but adapt wonderfully to ELA classes). It is designed for students to speak more intensively about what they saw, and also to hear and add to observations and analysis by their peers.
In order to get everyone back to thinking about this commercial, we will first watch it again for context before launching in to the protocol. I think re-setting the context is really important (since this is an AP class there is a high expectation that all the students come in having done their homework. If I were doing this lesson in a class where homework completion is an issue, I would watch the video and have them write for fifteen minutes, so they would all have text to work with in the protocol).
After watching the video, I will put all the students into groups of 4 or 5 (I'm using slightly larger groups for this so there are more peers for feedback--this particular protocol kind of needs more participants). Then I will ask them to silently read their own piece and highlight the passage they think is particularly insightful regarding their analysis (they must include a direct reference to the commercial). I toyed with the idea of having them exchange papers and read someone else's paper, but decided it would be better for them to get to know their own writing better for now--so I'll put that idea in my back pocket for a future lesson.
Once i see that they have all read their pieces, I will give them the protocol instructions, both as a handout and put them on the Smartboard (halftime final word instructions.pdf).
The basics of the protocol are as follows:
-one person will read their passage, then explain why they think this passage is particularly insightful for approximately 3 minutes.
-each person in the group will then respond critically to what they heard--stating what they agreed or disagreed with, expanding on the presenter's thinking, stating issues raised, etc.
-after all other members have spoken, the presenter has the "final word" by responding to what they heard for about a minute.
-Repeat until all members of the group have been presenters.
Finally, I will make sure to save a few minutes at the end of class for reflection. Part of the training for use of protocols is to reflect as a whole group on the process to help build unity and understanding. Giving students a chance to talk about the process, positives, challenges, etc., will help build class cohesion, and also help in the speaking and listening learning process by hearing what others have to say about the experience.