Reflection: Student Grouping Persepolis Star Seminar - Section 5: Wrap up and Next Steps


While I totally ran out of time on this lesson, I really liked the format that I used for the seminar. It is always difficult to find the appropriate format for a class of 60 something kids to speak somewhat large group. There are always dominating conversationalists and kids who either hide or get frustrated by their peers for dominating.

The idea to the do the star-seminar came from my teaching partner, who had successfully navigated a similar seminar with his other core class the previous year. He also helped me to see the wisdom in letting the students spend some time talking with their small groups before engaging in a large group seminar.

The questions were sort of a last minute idea from the night before. I was trying to figure out how to wrap up some of the conversation that we had begun earlier in the text regarding author's craft and to make sure that I was hitting the standards that I intended to hit (thus the slide at the beginning of the PowerPoint returning all of us to the essential learning/questions from my district unit of study). These questions are proof that sometimes your best ideas come at the last minute and that occasionally, you need to trust your gut and go back to your initial plans before you have to move away from the unit all together.

The students did a great job of negotiating with their peers and the small groups ensured that everyone had a chance to practice the speaking skills listed in the standards, specifically utilizing their prep work to participate in a thoughtful and well-reasoned exchange of ideas.

  Seminar Reflections
  Student Grouping: Seminar Reflections
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Persepolis Star Seminar

Unit 2: Narrative Reading and Writing: Persepolis and Memoir
Lesson 6 of 11

Objective: SWBAT demonstrate their ability to prepare for a seminar style discussion by participating in thoughtful and well-reasoned dialogue in small and large group settings.

Big Idea: How do you know when students get a text? Asking them to use it to lead their classmates through a seminar style discussion is a great place to start.

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