Sample Syllabus: ENGL 213, Writing on Alaska

This syllabus employs creative visual formatting, and so we’ve attached it as a PDF rather than translate it here. Click below to view. Sample Syllabus: Ragan Syllabus 213

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 […]

Prompt: Reflective Essay

A reflective essay is one that collects your thoughts on a subject — writing the essay is just a way of thinking back on what you learned. This should be a very personal piece of writing: it is more about you and what you learned. It should highlight the problems you faced, how you feel […]

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 […]

Prompt: Engaging in Inquiry

  Assignment: Write a 5-7 page researched essay that identifies and explores an important question related to a contemporary social controversy. Your paper should be followed by a Works Cited page in correct MLA style. Purpose: In Unit 1 we looked at contrasting ideas (they Say / I Say) on a given topic from a […]

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: 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, […]

Prompt: Short, Prep Essay

Assignment: Write a 1-2 page typed response to the following questions Purpose: To help you expand your Essay 2 paper by looking into a specific topic that relates to your theme combining the two texts we have read in this class. Process: Step #1: Choose a theme and a question that intrigues you and relates […]

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: Observation and Perspective

(Consider taking students to the museum or the transfer station and having them choose an “object” for this activity) Read Wallace Stevens’ “13 Ways of Looking at a Blackbird.’ In the poem, Stevens describes 13 different ways of looking at a blackbird. Some of Stevens’ observations are concrete others are more philosophical. Your assignment is […]