Lesson: The Mind as Place

  The Mind as Place “The mind is its own place, and in itself Can make a heav’n of hell, a hell of heav’n.’ —Paradise Lost, Book I Though he’s the devil, Milton’s Satan makes a keen point–our perceptions are the governing principle in how we process where we go and where we’ve been. It’s […]

Lesson: Exploring Place

  Today’s activity is intended to start you on the path of exploring place for your first essay assignment. We will be making observations about three different “places,” and writing a blog post designed to get you thinking about the specific place you will write about in your essay. Place #1: The Exterior World We […]

Lesson, Day 1: What is this class about, anyway?

Contributed by Jaclyn Bergamino, 2015 On the first day of class, I wanted to start getting the students talking about the ideas. I divided the class into two groups. I was teaching on the theme of love, sex, and marriage so I brought quotes about writing and quotes about love all different, the same number […]

Lesson: Entering the Conversation

  Entering the Conversation Activity I. In class discussion, we choose a sample “hot’ controversial research topic, such as abortion (easy to demonstrate), and then brainstorm terms to use for searching for sources. Then, we look at common terms that come up during a simple Google search of “abortion.’ Motherhood, person, moral, freedom, murder, etc. […]

Lesson: Choices and Directions

Context In Alaska, I once had a tourist complain to me that “You guys give crazy directions, like  ‘turn right at the boulder.’ Don’t you guys have maps?” This tourist was from Southern California, like me, where Thomas Guides and Freeway directions are an indispensable part of life. But here, because of the vastness, because […]

Writing in Place

“Place-based” pedagogy attempts to engage the world around us and our students with our classrooms. A place-based pedagogy means bringing current events into your classroom (what’s the relationship between time and “place”?) or taking a class field-trip to the transfer site. It means engaging Alaska as place or assigning a prompt that encourages students to […]

Lesson: How to Analyze a Text

  Group 1: Discuss the author’s attitude toward the subject or theme. Explain what type of essay it is – argumentative, persuasive, exploratory, narrative, or otherwise. Define what the subject or theme of the essay is. * Try to sum up the subject/theme in one word or one sentence. Cite specific sentences or paragraphs where […]

Lesson: Research Interviews

(this is designed for two class periods) Research interviews! I required my students to interview “an expert’ for their synthesis/research projects. In addition to actually doing the interview, this required them to identify what sort of expertise was needed for their projects, reach out to the interviewee, and create appropriate interview questions — all important […]

Lesson: Sentence and Context

This activity asks students to look closely at sentences and challenges them to create and change meaning through a variety of techniques. The goal is to get students thinking carefully about how they construct meaning, at a sentence level. It’s also FUN – there’s lots of room here to play around. I’ve never gotten through […]

Lesson: Photo Observations

Part 1: I will display a photograph for one minute. After the minute has expired, I will remove the photograph and ask you to write for 10 minutes about what you saw in the photo. Please include as much detail as you can possibly recall. Details of character, scene, expression, mood, emotion, sense of time […]

Lesson: Museum Activity

This activity has been very helpful in showing students the differences between observational writing and analysis/synthesis. It is separated like a lab report so that it shows students what types of writing go into which fields. Activity: Today we will be going to the Museum. After reading the Hoshino piece for Tuesday, you have seen […]

Concepts for Your Writing Classroom

The university writing classroom can be a challenging space. Oftentimes our students are entering at different levels and with different awarenesses of and vocabularies for the ideas that matter in a writing classroom. Below, we’ve listed some key concepts for your writing classroom. Raise these ideas with your students. Are they aware of their rhetorical […]

Observation Unit Plan: Authority

The general theme for this observation unit is “Authority.’ Using Lad Tobin’s Writing Relationships model, this unit has been designed with fostering dynamic student-teacher and student-student relationships within the composition classroom. As the observation unit is the first in the curricular sequence, it is incredibly important to develop the relationships that the students and teacher […]

Sample Course Sequence: Autoethnography

Definition: Autoethnography is a blending of autobiography and ethnography. Autoethnographers describe and analyze personal experience in order to understand cultural experience. This genre acknowledges subjectivity, emotionality, and the researcher’s influence on research — rather than ignoring these matters or claiming to be objective. The genre demonstrates that cultural research does not have to come from […]

Observation

In the classroom, observation transcribes to students’ abilities to use description and summary effectively in their writing. Observation in writing is about options. The concept of observational writing is to show students how to examine their intellectual choices, as it encourages students to consider all of the decisions they can take in an essay. Observation […]

English 111x: Introduction to Academic Writing

Below, you will find catalog and course descriptions, course outcomes, scheduling sequences, and curricular sequences for English-111x. These guidelines form the scaffolding structure for your course; however, the “content’ of your course is completely up to you. The readings you choose should be in service of the writing project anchoring each unit.  While planning your […]