We open class today with a welcome to "National Swap Ideas Day!", an appropriate Daily Holiday to observe, given our collaborative look at the images of wrath used in Edwards' "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God". As always, Daily Holidays serve to build a sense of community, openness, and trust in the classroom, especially early in the school year as teachers and students are still "feeling out" the classroom climate and communication styles.
Yesterday, students began an analysis of Jonathan Edwards' "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God," individually identifying specific images of wrath (RI.9-10.1) (Students "Sinners in the Hands" Sample 1, Students "Sinners in the Hands" Sample 2) taking the imagery they have previously identified and illustrating it, providing an image that shows understanding of the figurative language and how it creates the mood of fear in the audience (RI.9-10.4). Today, they complete this activity, and take that identification and understanding to discuss how the mood of fear is developed and refined by these images (RI.9-10.2).
Students continue to work collaboratively, in student-selected groups. As they complete the poster element of the project, students discuss their choices for most vivid images. As students discuss, they take notes on their group's reaction to the images, clarifying, verifying, and challenging ideas and conclusions from their peers (SL.9-10.1c), building on each others' ideas, qualifying or justifying their own views and understanding of the piece's imagery and making new connections in light of the evidence and reasoning presented by their peers (SL.9-10.1d).
As a creative project, this task provides students the option to work to their strengths, teaming with those who are stronger artists, more thorough researchers, or clearer writers than they are. Working collaboratively allows the students to exchange ideas, and since they chose their own groups, hold this exchange of ideas in an environment where they are comfortable.
Additionally, crafting the poster as an advertisement addresses application and synthesis, rather than simply recall of facts. Students need to consider imagery that will catch the viewer's attention; the context of the sermon, in turn requiring them to seek out information related to how the ideas of the sermon develop over the text ; as well as start thinking about persuasive techniques, which will be the focus of the next unit.
Student notes are for their own use, and will be referred to during the class review discussion for the unit test.
With two minutes remaining, students are asked to clean up their supplies and return to their seats. They're reminded of their homework: to complete a list of 5-10 virtues they feel are important to have in life, and explain why each one is important. Through this list of virtues, students can begin looking ahead to The Enlightenment and considering the similarities and differences in the content and expression of the authors. Additionally, students can begin to see how Franklin's autobiography is effectively a "lab report," as he presents a hypothesis, tests it, and comes to a conclusion, and the students will be analyzing how this process develops over the course of the text