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 […]

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 […]

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: 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: Place Essay

Observation (100 Points) Purpose:  To draw from a variety of observations that will allow you to focus on possibility through observation. Your essay will rely heavily on selective description and perspective. Instructions: Select a “place,” and describe it in detail. This could be where you grew up, a place you feel most connected to, somewhere […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]