I love the unpredictability of a class discussion. However, I don’t love the varying degrees of participation. I have tried every gimmick in the book to ensure equal participation. Yet, it never fails: some students blend into the background and fail to make a comment in class because they are shy or are unable to overpower the more dominant voices in the discussion. Having your students create and record their own podcast is a great way to solve all of these problems. Read more
Tag Archive for Transcendentalism
While I considered using Weekend Tech to discuss Zanesville, Ohio and exotic animals, I decided against it. It was too bizarre, and even though I laughed when NPR used “Pumped Up Kicks” as background music to discuss this story, I knew it was because I’m a bad person. The Occupy Wall Street movement seemed like a more versatile idea, especially since The Onion had some incredibly humorous tweets this week. Everything from infographics, to image analysis, The Onion to literature tie-ins is in store this weekend. What more could you want? Aside from some appropriate background music of course.
Occupy Wall Street Infographic
Last year The Learning Network at The New York Times created a “starter” kit for using infographics in the classroom. It’s a valuable resource if you’re not familiar with infographics or how to implement them. What do I like about infographics? Well they are everywhere. Newspapers, magazines, even The Onion creates infographics in jest for public consumption.
The website Visual.ly is a vast resource for infographics. The infographic titled, “The State of American Discontent” is a perfect supplement when discussing this movement. It fills the role of media literacy and still teaches argument, purpose, tone, etc. Amending the SOAPSTone format slightly here is useful because the same categories still apply. Use it even as an argument analysis. Analysis could include: types of data presented, organization of the information, even images used to convey the data.
Occupy Wall Street to teach Image Analysis and Transcendentalism
I’ve posted before that The New Yorker has fantastic blog resources. What caught my eye this week was the blog Photobooth. The series of images taken of protesters at Zucotti Park is remarkable. What makes the “slideshow” thought provoking is that each protestor in the series is photographed alone. Their cardboard signs are the central focus of each shot. Representing a range of ages and occupations it’s a great way to practice some of the image analysis techniques we’ve previously posted about. It’s also a great physical representation of Transcendenalist ideals, especially Emerson’s Self-Reliance and Henry David Thoreau’s Civil Disobedience.
I find it helps to organize books and units around one “principle.” This principle will be modeled and practiced throughout the entirety of the unit from a variety of angles. It’s always my goal to then have students “produce” that skill on their own or in small groups by the end of our study. Today I’ll provide two different approaches. The options for today all focus on culminating activities that measure writing ability.
It seems to me that many of the books we give our students are meta “texts.” Novels like To Kill a Mockingbird, All the King’s Men, even The Scarlet Letter include a series of speeches, sermons or courtroom arguments that have their own “life.” Books that include other “texts” within them offer a range of opportunities for end projects.