Lesson/Handout: Information Literacy Scavenger Hunt

  This lesson/handout is designed to help students begin to navigate the UAF library’s sources for research. The library has a great tutorial online and in this lesson, students use that tutorial to actually begin their own research. Go to the Library Information Literacy Tutorial. Watch the videos and take the self-check tests. Go to […]

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: Defining Success across Audiences

Contributed by Elizabeth Alexander, 2014 Goals: To identify audience needs and revise writing accordingly Engage in self-assessment and self-critique for more effective communication with different audiences When to use this: In a unit in which students must revise a piece using a different mode and/or for a different audience Prior Class: Ask students to bring […]

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: 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 […]

Lesson: Imitation Exercise

    This is an exercise that I did with my class to talk about style and learn more about writing effective descriptions. First, I split the class up into groups and gave each group a paragraph to work with from one of the essays we had recently read and discussed. They had to look […]

Sample Guidelines for Group Projects

Groups: You will be assigned to a group by the instructor.You will not be able to change groups. Your group is your “home” in this course. You will work in groups frequently. 10% of your final mark is based on your work in your group and will be evaluated by fellow group members. One half […]

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 […]

Lesson: Sensory Stations

1. Sight Station ∙ Look at the following six images by Christoph Niemann. ∙ Can you describe them using visual language? ∙ In what ways is the artist playing with metaphor? Sight Station (1)     Name: ____________________________ Date: ______/_______/ 2012 Group # ____ Sight Station ∙ What do you see here? Sound Station ∙ […]

Observation Unit Plan: Food, Culture, and Language

  Great fun for Lovers of Food! English 111x Unit 1 Observation and Food! A Sequence. Why food? Food is a great way to introduce thinking and writing about culture and language to the class. It opens a natural dialogue between you and the students, and between the student’s themselves– they disclose their cultural backgrounds […]

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 […]

Garden Gnome Liberation Mini-Project

  What I’d like to offer here is an example of how you can take a similar concept–a seemingly silly non-academic topic–and use it in a classroom on a smaller scale. In my class, before launching the zombie project, we spent several class periods working with garden gnome liberation, and my students had the option […]

Synthesis Unit Plan: The Zombie Project

This is a fairly large-scale project that builds upon itself and is meant to take up the entire unit, culminating in one final research paper. The project includes many smaller elements besides the final paper, including free-writing, blogging, interviews, reviews, and collaborative work with peers. It’s a bit complicated to explain, so here’s the basic […]

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: Pockets Actvity

  I used this activity as an ice breaker, entry into a discussion of texts, as well as an introduction to the observation unit. This activity also presented an opportunity to engage the students’ lives with what they brought into the classroom. I didn’t add anything to the contents of my pockets before the class, […]

Analysis Unit Plan: Transfer Station Sub-unit

Many of the composition teachers at UAF take their classes to the local transfer station, often early in the semester as part of the Observation Unit. This semester I taught a week-long dumpster diving unit, as part of my Analysis Unit. I thought others might be interested in seeing how else you might incorporate the […]

Lesson: Print Ad Analysis

Print Ad Analysis For this exercise, I like to bring in some goofy or bizarre advertisement or PSA For the last few semesters, I have used a PSA from PETA that I found at this URL: https://www.mediapeta.com/peta/Images/Main/Sections/MediaCenter/PrintAds/DiegoLunaHR.pdf Here is a citation: “Diego Luna: Safe Sex.” PETA.org. PETA. n.d. Web. 20 Jun. 2011. I like using […]

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: Vampire Games

(Like Reindeer Games, But Bloodier and Less Festive) A serum has been invented which has the power to turn everyone on the earth into a vampire. All of earth’s inhabitants have elected to take the serum, thereby effectively changing 100% of the human race into vampire-kind. The Pope, your grandparents, your former swim coach. Synthetic […]

Lesson: Battle of the Sentences

Bringing the Sentence Workshop (Macro in the Micro) To a New Extreme I used this for my unit on Analysis. It took about 15 minutes. This can be done with student produced sentences, or sentences between texts you wish to compare. For my exercise, I chose Deborah Tannen’s “There is No Unmarked Woman” and Lennard […]

Lesson: Textual Analysis

Goal for Lesson Series:   Moving towards analytical thinking and ultimately ending in an essay centered on textual analysis. Secondary Skills: Considering context, interpreting and paraphrasing a text, writing with the idea of an audience in mind. Prior Homework Assignment: Read Mark Doty’s poem “A Display of Mackerel” (p95) and write a few sentences on […]

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: 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 […]