Monday Success: Trending Events- Academic Discourse

Sep 23, 2013 by

Here is another Monday Success from Micki.  Wanted to share this one since she just showed us how to Google in ___ of searches.   This is another great idea-  especially for current events.
 Trending Events and Academic Discourse
Hook:  For several days, I have students create a class list of trending events from the front pages of Yahoo, MSN, Bing, etc.  The events do not have to be about a particular subject although you could make that be a part of the lesson.
Content:  I then choose a topic on which students can find multiple current sources (e.g. soccer or, most recently, Syria).  I create QR codes for each source whether it is an web based article, Youtube video, etc.   As students enter class, they receive a QR Code.  They read or listen to their link.  No writing is allowed although this can be modified for certain learners.
Activity:  We then have a class discussion on the topic.  Students have to use evidence from their source to justify their responses.  During their response they had to give credit to the author, the site, indicate if they are quoting something, etc.
We teach students how to do this in writing but not when they are discussing a topic or sharing information they’ve heard.  Since they have different articles on their QR codes, they couldn’t say, “In my article, it says…”  or “mine says…”.  Instead, they have to say things like, “Mr. Jones points out in his article on the differences between European and South American soccer that…”.
Students catch on but find it very difficult.  We do this as a class and then in partners.  They don’t like doing the partners bit as I make them introduce themselves, shake hands, and make eye contact.
Assessment:  For the assessment, students have to read an article, share the information with someone else, and make sure to cite the article in their conversation.  Afterwards, the students have to write up the experience.
Feedback:  A few students may not have completed the verbal part of the activity with partners but most did.  They told me that they found they paid more attention to what they were saying and giving credit to sources.  I found it to be a valuable lesson- I know they found it challenging but I think it was worthwhile.  You could also have them do this as a Primer Activity before a unit if you wanted to get content specific.

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