English Senior Seminar Course Teacher Guide: Marking Period 1

Personal Identity: Who do you think you are? Who are you now? Why do I like the books I like? How do the books influence me?
  • Public Speaking Skills and Writing Skills
  • Building students’ sense of ownership over their own learning
  • In lesson 4, students begin their independent reading. They will continue to complete independent reading books throughout the rest of the school year. The teacher and students should keep track of all the books started and completed.
  • Administer a pre-test on students’ reading and writing skills within the first few weeks of school. The same test should be given as a post assessment in the final weeks of school. (VA Community College System Placement Test)
  • Students will keep an ePortfolio of all work throughout the school year to be used in reflection and assessment.
  • An important aspect of this course is building relationships with the students. The first two lessons are a start for this, but brief get to know you activities and discussion should continue periodically throughout the year.
Key Concepts (to focus on in lessons and assignments)
  1. Audience (informal vs. formal) – self (journal writing), friends, peers, teacher, etc.
  2. Author’s Message/purpose
  3. Tone
  4. Voice
  5. Interpretation
  6. Qualifying Statements
Lesson Plans
1. Literacy Timeline Lesson Plan
.....a. Teacher and students create literacy timelines in order to reflect on themselves and their experiences as readers
.....b. Key concepts: interpretation, audience

2. Student Response page prompt
.....a. Students complete an open-ended question survey to reflect and share more in detail about themselves, their goals, and their experiences
.....b. Key concept: audience

3. Introduce students to my text set and topic – Personal Identity: who or what defines you?
.....a. Students begin their independent reading journey in this class with an introduction to the teacher’s own ‘text set’
.....b. Key concepts: audience, qualifying statements

4. Discovering Books for Independent Reading
.....a. Students use online sites with book reviews to locate, rate, review, keep track of and share their reading
.....b. Key concepts: interpretation, qualifying statements, audience
.....c. Suggested texts: amazon.com; goodreads.com

5. Scheduling and Time Management
.....a. Share your 1MP syllabus (contains the dates that the class meets and what is due when, etc.) and give students a basic copy of the nine weeks calendar (one
.....month per sheet of paper) for them to manage their time with reading, writing, and assignments.
.....b. Purpose: building students’ sense of ownership
.....c. Suggested Test: Sample college course syllabus to compare to high school expectations and help students see what they need to learn to do over the course of
.....the year to prepare.

6. Examining Identity: What does the contents of your purse or backpack say about you?
.....a. Students explore their possessions and complete a writing prompt
.....b. Key concept: interpretation
.....c. Suggested Text: Remix Chapter 1: Identity page 3 & 4 and writing prompt – (tweak/create a lesson plan modeled after the story; questions on page 4) Read the story
.....of the lost wallet & have students take out items from their wallet/purse/backpack – what does the contents of your purse or backpack say about you?

7. Examining Assumptions about Identity
.....a. Students debate ideas about identity
.....b. Key concept: qualifying statements (work on public speaking skills)
.....c. Suggested Reading: Remix page 5 – 13 (teacher pulls out the assumptions for student discussion - I believe / don’t believe – here’s how my experience influence
.....my beliefs) . . . OR three corners (one for each assumption) . . . OR Gallery Walk?

8. The Words We Use Impact Our Message
.....a. Students define voice and tone and explore how we use language to effectively communicate and some of the inherent challenges of doing this.
.....b. Key concept: tone, voice, audience, message
.....c. Suggested Text: Essay: “English is a Crazy Language” by Richard Lederer http://english-zone.com/language/english.html or Remix pages 184 – 186; Animated
.....Short Film “The Human Voice” http://storycorps.org/animation/the-human-voice/

9. Narration with a Purpose
.....a. Students consider the purpose of storytelling and begin exploring the message they want to share about their personal lives and stories (tie to writing a college
.....application essay)
.....b. Key concepts: author’s message/ purpose, audience, tone, interpretation
.....c. Suggested Texts: Frames of Mind Narration with a Purpose Chapter pages 121 – 129; Animated Short Film: “Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty”
.....http://vimeo.com/7937986# (use as a hook for the lesson)

10. 6 Word Memoirs
.....a. Students read sample 6 Word Memoirs and then design and complete an assignment in response to the memoirs they read
.....b. Key concept: interpretation
.....c. Suggested Text: 6 Word Memoirs are available at http://www.smithmag.net/sixwords/ or in Remix: page 657 – 663 and have been published in the books:
.....Six Words by Teens; Not Quite What I Was Planning; More Six-Word Memoirs
.....d. Note: This can be connected to ongoing work on writing a college application essay.

11. Making Connections Notecard Lesson Plan
.....a. Students share with each other about the books they have been reading by making text-to-text connections
.....b. Key concepts: author’s message/purpose, interpretation, qualifying statements

12. Plagiarism Lesson Plan – modeling highlighting and annotating
.....a. The teacher will model how to highlight and annotate an article. This type of modeling should be repeated and reinforced through lots of student guided and
.....independent practice throughout the school year.
.....b. Key concepts: audience, message, interpretation

13. How do you want to be seen / viewed? How do people see / view you?
.....a. The teacher models highlighting, annotating, and writing a summary of an article and students practice this with their own article (connected to their own text sets) and
.....make a presentation to the class. Journal Article Lesson Plan for text set: “Superman and Me” 50 Essays (Cultural Identity)
.....b. Key concepts: author’s message, summary, interpretation, making connections, audience
.....c. Suggested Text: Essay “Superman and Me” by Sherman Alexie http://whisperdownthewritealley.wordpress.com/2010/06/22/sherman-alexies-the-joys-of-reading-writing-superman-me/

14. Favorite Passage Lesson Plan.....a. Students choose, share, and complete a written response to a favorite passage from their independent choice book.
.....b. Key concept: author’s message, audience, interpretation
.....c. Note: this lesson should be repeated throughout the year as the students will always be reading new books and this gives them an opportunity to share what they are
.....reading with each other.

15. Voice: Listening for message and tone
.....a. Key concept: voice, message, audience, tone, interpretation
.....b. Listen to podcasts from storycorp.com – what is a podcast? How is the person getting their message across? What is their message? What is their tone of voice in the
.....podcast? How do you know that is their tone of voice? What elements are included in the podcast to convey that message, tone, etc.?

16. Voice: Sight and Sound
.....a. Key concepts: voice, tone, message, purpose, interpretation
.....b. Compare/Contrast: Read an article from NPR StoryCorp site (suggestion: Teacher Category – “I’m Curious How I Could Have Reached Out to You Better”) and then
.....listen to thepodcast of that same article from NPR site. What assumptions do you make when reading the article as opposed to hearing it? What is the tone of the article
.....when you read it? What is the tone of the article when you hear it? Is the tone the same/different? Why/why not?
1MP Product: Representation of Self/Identity – “This I Believe . . .” Public Speaking in a poem, list, paragraph form, etc. “Don’t Be Boring!” -> Student designed assignments (guidelines/instructions), student scheduling and time management, student-teacher developed rubric.]

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