Thursday, September 27, 2012

Common Core: Evidence and Argument-Multiple Ways of Interacting With Informational Text

Here is an excellent English lesson on how to guide and support high school students in interacting with informational text.  INTERACTING WITH INFORMATIONAL TEXT

The piece of informational text in the video is Dr. King's "Letter from a Birmingham Jail."  Students were to read the letter before they came to class.  Once in class, students were to read and analyze the text in cooperative groups, explore a central idea, and then present their findings to the class in a power point slide.  Fellow classmates share their opinions with specifics and no negatives.  Students take notes as they listen to fellow students share their views.  All of those instructional techniques make content accessible to ELLs as well as build their knowledge of the English language.

Next, they do a SOCRATIC SEMINAR also known as FISH BOWL.  ELLs especially benefit from this since often times they are allowed to listen first in the outer circle.  This provides them with time to take notes (as the others are doing) and digest the powerful arguments/discussions going on in the inner circle.  (Sometimes, teachers will have ELLs enter the inner circle in the second discussion group because they will have picked up enough language to be active participants in the second round.)  Notes students are taking while the other students share thoughts will be used in the writing activity coming at the end of the lesson.

After all the reading, small group discussion, presentations, Socratic Seminar, note-taking, and extensive small group/partner discussion, students are fully equipped to present their own opinions backed up by facts in their blogs.  Students may discuss their writing ideas with their partners. This takes some of the stress that many ELLs face when confronted with a writing assignment of any length.   Blogging is online publishing and a new way to excite students about writing.  This is the 21st century "essay."



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