Before starting in their groups, I will hand out the rhetorical analysis essay rubric (Grades 11.12 rhetorical analysis Essay rubric.doc) and ask students to read and differentiate the “exemplary” and “proficient” categories (at the beginning of the year I told students that I’m treating scores like graduate school—that less than a B- [proficient] they should consider failing; so I only include the proficient and exemplary columns, with space for score and comments). While we’ve done this before, (and I had planned to do it yesterday before we had a snow delay) I think it is important to review once in a while, mostly to prime them going into the assignment to focus more closely on the standards (just talking about the expectations tends to increase focus a little!). Additionally, I just handed back their memoir essays, and talked a bit about the fact that the difference between proficient and exemplary is in the attention to small details; this discussion will help them think about what that means.
Because of the delay yesterday, the students had to spend time sharing ideas yesterday, and everyone went home with one element of the presentation to construct (an introduction or explanation of one appeal, because there are four students in each group). So today I want to give them some time to share with each other what they determined, and to organize the presentation. I will also emphasize the need to refer to specific evidence. I will also walk around and offer some guidance if I hear that the discussions are not specific enough. When all the groups seem to be done, we'll transition to presentations.
For the presentations, I set up desks at the front of the room with the rest in a horse shoe shape so the presentation can work more like a panel discussion (I find it awkward when three or four students are all standing at the front of the room with one talking; there is a different anxiety for a lot of students when they are standing and talking—a skill to work on, certainly, but not today. I want them to focus on presenting a clear and detailed analysis). They will also have access to the SmartBoard this way to show examples. The students in the audience are required to write down one question or comment they have regarding the presentation, as well as mark down how they would score the analysis based on the rubric. I won’t collect these, but I will randomly call on students to share their question, and eventually their scoring tomorrow when we talk about all three as a whole (in a class that needed more accountability or with students who won’t write questions because they might have to read them, I wouldn’t necessarily call on students randomly, but I would collect the questions, perhaps even to read a couple from the pile—it depends on the group of students).
At the end of the presentation there will be a brief question and answer session where the audience will ask questions or I may ask one if I want to deepen thinking about an appeal, particularly, or the effect of something they bring up.
Next Steps: We will likely do one presentation today, so the other two will be done tomorrow. Students are also completing their reading of Ready Player One for Thursday.