Courtney Langton

Courtney is an aspiring high school teacher. Her teachables are History and English, but she's happy to teach anything that doesn't involve numbers or formulas. Her particular interest is in promoting gender equity and anti-oppression both in and outside the classroom. She writes a detailed To-Do list every morning, and enjoys nothing more than a good book and a plate of bacon on a rainy Saturday.

Jonathan Wong

Jonathan's primary interest is moral education. His teachable subjects are English and Music. He encourages critical thinking and hopes to teach his students to recognize, and strive for, what is truly important to them without forgetting to be compassionate, tolerant, and open-minded along the way. He likes making analogies and his favourite is one that compares life to jumping on a trampoline.

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A lesson plan in 30 minutes or less
Monday, September 21, 2009

A few days ago, Courtney and I (as well as the rest of our English class) were instructed to plan a lesson in 30 minutes based on a short story (which I can't seem to find on the internet) we were given. So no prior preparation or knowledge of the text. And did I mention we had 30 minutes to do this? I think our professor wanted to see how well we could do in a pinch. And how well did we do? I'll let you be the judge. Here is a verbatim copy of what I wrote down:

A Short Story Lesson Plan (in 30 minutes or less)

Title of the story: The Drum

Motivation: What happens when we give meaning to something? When something, big or small, becomes important to us or holds significance, we tend to notice details about it. And the way we think about these details can oftentimes reflect the overall significance it holds for us. For example, if you showed me a car, I might just see a car. But to someone for whom cars are a hobby, he or she might notice details about the finish, the model, the year, the hood ornament or anything other number of things. What are some other examples? What are some things you take a particular interest in? (10 minutes)

1. Read the story silently (5 minutes)

2. Read aloud (2 minutes)

3. Generally speaking, what's actually happening? (2 minutes)
  • Nothing much, actually
  • The narrator's unexcited about practicing
  • He's bored in Calculus
  • He notices a drum
4. If nothing is really happening, why is the story so long? (3 minutes)

5. Close reading, in groups, partners, or self. Look for adjectives, descriptors, metaphors, and other fun parts of speech. How do they contribute to the story? (10-15 minutes)

6. Reconvene: What did you discover, if anything? Was it boring? Interesting? Why or why not? Would it be any different with a different subject, i.e. a pretty girl, an iPhone, a concert? (10 minutes)

7. What happens in the last paragraph? Why is it different? (pending time constraint, this might be considered extra material)

  • The importance of personal meaning, i.e. what happens when something takes on significance for you.
  • Respect for what other find important, even if you don't understand why. There will be times when you will want others to respect the things you find important, even if they don't see things the same way.
  • A reminder to search for, recognize, and understand, what's important to you. Maybe you'll begin to feel for certain things/people/ideals in the same way the narrator does for his drum.
Assignment: Write 2 short stories/paragraphs. One about something you find like or find important, the other about something you find absolutely no interest in. Synthesize the differences.

Jonathan posted at 12:11 PM - Comments (0)


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