Reflection: Discourse and Questioning Students' Perspective of Thoreau's Walden - Section 3: Students Take A Position


Even after I invited disagreement, most students went on to write in support of what Thoreau was communicating. Thoreau’s statement is compelling so it makes sense that most students would be drawn to support it. However, it is important for students to be exposed to multiple perspectives. Today, it was up to me to make sure a different point of view was heard. This only happened because I was able to read body language and because of the comments I overheard as students were working. I plan to address this in future lessons. Specifically, it is clear that my students can benefit from activities that explicitly call for disagreement. A discussion where students disagree with each other can help them solidify their ideas. This is a sample from one of the few students who went against the flow. This particular student is an independent thinker and I can usually rely on him to offer an opposing view when the rest of the class is in agreement. His writing skills unfortunately need much work, but he usually offers clear and original thinking that is beneficial for my class.

  Discourse and Questioning: Inviting Disagreement
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Students' Perspective of Thoreau's Walden

Unit 14: A Short Writing Unit
Lesson 1 of 7

Objective: SWBAT take a position on a central idea in Thoreau's Walden after they have spent time making meaning of it through discussion.

Big Idea: Inviting student disagreement when they are taking a position on an author's point.

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