After studying utopian literature, students design their own utopian society, publishing the explanation of their ideal world on a blog. As they blog about their utopia, students establish the habits, practices, and organizing social structures that citizens will follow in their utopian societies. They begin by brainstorming ideas about what a perfect society would be like and then, in groups, begin to plan their project. Next, they become familiar with the blogging process, including legal guidelines and the specific site they will be using. Over several class sessions, students work on their blogs comparing their work to a rubric. Finally, after students visit one another's blogs and provide constructive and supportive feedback, they reflect on their own work. The lesson plan includes alternative handouts for classrooms where computer or blog access is limited. In this alternative, students complete the same basic activities, but publish their work using a Flip Book.
This LearnZillion video models how to select significant and relevant evidence by selecting examples from a written text. The video reviews the writing process and provides an example thesis based on "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" and the development of concurrent themes. The process of choosing pieces of texual evidence that best support the thesis will be modeled.
In Module 11.3, students engage in an inquiry-based, iterative process for research. Building on work with evidence-based analysis in Modules 11.1 and 12.2, students explore topics that have multiple positions and perspectives by gathering and analyzing research based on vetted sources to establish a position of their own. Students first generate a written evidence-based perspective, which will serve as the early foundation of what will ultimately become a written research-based argument paper. The research-based argument paper synthesizes and articulates several claims using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence to support the claims. Students read and analyze sources to surface potential problem-based questions for research, and develop and strengthen their writing by revising and editing.
I have used the Keeper of the Culture Project as a final assessment in Native American Literature. Students have the opportunity to follow up on a major theme in Mary Crow Dog's autobiography Lakota Woman: the importance of Native people embracing their identities and preserving traditions and culture. Students will interview and write about a person who is keeping the culture alive in some way and may invite the person to come in and speak or record an interview with that person.
This lesson extends over several class periods. Students view a Prezi presentation on Toulmin's argument and complete an assignment based on the presentation. Students then write an argument essay about the power of prevailing passion over reason.