Reflection: Modeling Examining Facades & Misinformation with Realist Poetry - Section 3: Building Knowledge


If there's one thing you can count on as a teacher, it's the fact that at least once a day you'll get all the way through a direction-spiel (which is also written out somewhere within student reach and perhaps, within their immediate view) before being asked a completely obvious question like, "Now what page are we supposed to be on?" or worse, "Now WHAT are we supposed to do with this?" leading to eye-rolling and groans from the rest of your well-informed classroom.  Though this routinely happens, it makes my head want to explode nearly every time.  I probably spend an inordinate amount of time trying to avoid this question, but the only real solution I have found is to just model the heck out of what I want them to do.  

In this section, I did just that with a poem by Sylvia Plath, which I found to be thematically related to our readings today.  I thought about just using one of the poems they were to do, but ultimately, I want to model to show them a process, not just do their work for them.  We've done collaborative note-taking in my classes before (they were actually started in response to a brilliant student suggestion!), but this particular assignment requires a more specific student product, including answers to set questions and the need for supporting evidence, which is still sometimes hard to get students to do with consistency without several prompts.  By modeling this activity the whole way through, I gave them a concrete expectation about the quality and nature of responses, and even if my slow-to-pay-attention students missed the early directions, most of them figured it out by the third column!  With the time going by faster than I'd imagined it would, however, I was definitely glad that I had done the entire "write-up" of the chart in advance!  I know that my time was better spent explaining and talking students through it, rather than trying to type, then talk.   

  Complex Directions? Save Yourself the Headache and Model It. They'll Thank You.
  Modeling: Complex Directions? Save Yourself the Headache and Model It. They'll Thank You.
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Examining Facades & Misinformation with Realist Poetry

Unit 5: Life is Hard. That's Realism & Naturalism!
Lesson 5 of 6

Objective: SWBAT evaluate the author's purpose and language choices to examine similar themes of deception in three Realist poems through small and whole-group collaborative analysis.

Big Idea: What do you get when you put together truth, deception, Realist poetry, and high school students? One heck of an evidence-based discussion.

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autumn forest by oakmyth
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