ELA.RL.11-12.1

Common core State Standards

  • ELA:  English Language Arts
  • RL:  Reading Standards for Literature 6-12
  • 11-12:  11th & 12th Grades
  • 1: 
    Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain.

Download Common Core State Standards (PDF 1.2 MB)

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ELA.SL.11-12.1a

Common core State Standards

  • ELA:  English Language Arts
  • SL:  Speaking and Listening Standards 6-\x80\x9312
  • 11-12:  11th & 12th Grades
  • 1a: 
    Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one on
    one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 11-\x80\x9312 topics,
    texts, and issues, building on others'\x80\x99 ideas and expressing their own clearly and
    persuasively.

    a. Come to discussions prepared, having read and researched material under
    study; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence from texts
    and other research on the topic or issue to stimulate a thoughtful, well reasoned
    exchange of ideas.


    b. Work with peers to promote civil, democratic discussions and decision making,
    set clear goals and deadlines, and establish individual roles as
    needed.

    c. Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that probe
    reasoning and evidence; ensure a hearing for a full range of positions on a
    topic or issue; clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions; and promote
    divergent and creative perspectives.

    d. Respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives; synthesize comments, claims,
    and evidence made on all sides of an issue; resolve contradictions when
    possible; and determine what additional information or research is required
    to deepen the investigation or complete the task.

Download Common Core State Standards (PDF 1.2 MB)

|
ELA.SL.11-12.1c

Common core State Standards

  • ELA:  English Language Arts
  • SL:  Speaking and Listening Standards 6-12
  • 11-12:  11th & 12th Grades
  • 1c: 
    Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one on
    one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 11-12 topics,
    texts, and issues, building on others'\x80\x99 ideas and expressing their own clearly and
    persuasively.

    a. Come to discussions prepared, having read and researched material under
    study; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence from texts
    and other research on the topic or issue to stimulate a thoughtful, well reasoned
    exchange of ideas.

    b. Work with peers to promote civil, democratic discussions and decision making,
    set clear goals and deadlines, and establish individual roles as
    needed.

    c. Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that probe
    reasoning and evidence; ensure a hearing for a full range of positions on a
    topic or issue; clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions; and promote
    divergent and creative perspectives.


    d. Respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives; synthesize comments, claims,
    and evidence made on all sides of an issue; resolve contradictions when
    possible; and determine what additional information or research is required
    to deepen the investigation or complete the task.

Download Common Core State Standards (PDF 1.2 MB)

Pinwheel Discussions: Texts in Conversation
Lesson Objective: Facilitate effective literary discussions with a pinwheel 'recipe'
Grades 9-12 / ELA / Literature
ELA.RL.11-12.1 | ELA.SL.11-12.1a | ELA.SL.11-12.1c

Thought starters

  1. In what ways do the mini-lesson and prep time provide for a successful discussion?
  2. How does the role-playing support more rigorous discussion and encourage students to take risks?
  3. Why are Ms. Wessling's tally marks an important part of the discussion?
85 Comments
Sarah: I really liked that TC released both videos on student discussion at the same time. In the one, students clearly had control of the discussion, but in the other video, the structure you provide (the pinwheel) almost allows for even more student control of the discussion. I think for teachers afraid to turn over the discussion to students, the pinwheel activity allows them to feel connected and as if they are "teaching" during that discussion. I shared the two clips with my department members and the department chair of my sister school. I hope they see where an activity like this doesn't "meet" the common core but uses strands in the common core to help students show what they understand about a text.
Recommended (0)
Hi Jeff: I agree that the more structured version actually gets me to relinquish even more control. I think that this is often a kind of discussion that we build up too. I hesitate to think it would have had the same degree of effectiveness at an earlier point in the year. That said, I do think the pinwheel could have implicit scaffolds. For example, instead of using three different stories, it could be used with one. I've also done this where I have 3 different characters from the same texts comment on ideas/themes/conflicts in the plot. This more complex version (the three different stories) is a version of the pinwheel I work up to. I always appreciate your insights and our conversations!
Recommended (0)
I am going to teach this strategy to a group of high school teachers when I give a course on Native American literature. I was thrilled to see Alexie as part of the teacher's choices. I'm not clear, though, about how the students move around from one group to the other. Great stuff!
Recommended (0)
I would like to know what editing program you used for the video. I teach a video class and was attracted by the effects.
Recommended (0)
Hi Kathy, Our amazing editors use Adobe After Effects + Final Cut Pro.
Recommended (0)

Transcripts

  • TC0399_001018
    Teaching Channel
    Transcript of
    Pinwheel Discussions, Texts in Conversation
    Teacher: Sarah Wessling GLI

    Let me share with you my recipe

    TC0399_001018
    Teaching Channel
    Transcript of
    Pinwheel Discussions, Texts in Conversation
    Teacher: Sarah Wessling GLI

    Let me share with you my recipe for great literary discussions. It requires three students, three authors, and one provocateur.

    Today students were getting texts to talking conversation each other. When they walked in they saw the desks were rearranged in this pinwheel shape and they’re coming in knowing something isn’t going to be done to me today, I’m going to be doing something and it made them a little nervous.

    Teacher: You’re going to be fine …You’re going to be fine.

    This week they had been introduced to three different authors and today I wanted those authors to talk to each other, and I wanted the students to be able to take on the persona of the authors and have a discussion that they were really leading.

    Teacher: The three stories that you have read so far we’re going to have them in conversation with each other today, all right?

    I needed to prepare these small cards so that every student would have a card with a role on it that I just shuffled to randomly put students in a different category.

    Teacher: So you’re either going to be Flannery O’Connor today, you’re going to be Sherman Alexi today, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, or you’re going to be a provocateur.

    Teacher: The job of the provocateur is to make sure that discussions continue to happen.
    When I introduced the role of the provocateur I saw about seven of them, “I want that one.”

    Teacher: We’ve got O’Connor right here.

    They will sit in this square shape so that the four people who are sitting kind of knee to knee would be in discussion with each other, and then after a little while someone new takes their place and they in turn then take on that conversation.

    Teacher: The provocateur group is going to work to un-devise several questions pretty quickly, but I am going to ask each group to submit at least one question that you think is important to your author and to the story.

    At the beginning of the lesson I did a mini-lesson on how to use text from the story in order to write this question.

    Teacher: I want to kind of give you a formula. So you can start by saying something like “In O’Connor she,” and then we’ve got an active verb, what are some of our good verbs? Implies. Presents, brings out. Proves. So we’ve got a good verb. Then you’re going to say what that is. You can also use something more specific here. “In Old Man, Marquez writes.” So implicit in your question is a quote from the text, and then you have what he writes, and then you form your question after that. If you’re not using a specific quote you can also use a paraphrase. “In Jimi Hendrix”, you can say something about the character right. “The father.” You can kind of paraphrase something very specific that happens, and then you move to your question from there. As you start to own this skill you need to follow the formula anymore, you’ll be able to craft your own. You’re going to have about 10 minutes to prepare. You’re thinking about concepts, the characters, important textual evidence.

    Student: Here’s the question. I said “In a Good Man is Hard to Find the mistress says ….

    Teacher: You’re going to answer it as Flannery O’Connor.

    Student: Oh, man.

    Teacher: I know, but you’re going to rise to it.

    Student: I really don’t know much about Marquez because I wasn’t here that day.

    Teacher: OK, so just a couple quick things.

    I kind of wanted to have a little huddle with the provocateurs because if the provocateurs don’t ask the questions, don’t ask the follow up questions, don’t listen, then the whole thing kind of falls apart.

    Student: ….more of a coffee house discussion than a debate?

    Teacher: Yes, yes, very well said.

    The only thing I’ll do is I’ll just say when it’s time to rotate.

    Teacher: All right, go ahead.

    Student: In the midst of it he says “Gee ______ off balance, do you think that’s a good thing or a bad thing?

    Student: The misfit is maybe a good thing because then he can justify what he did.

    Student: Just off the top ___________ I think __________ wants to kill an angel which is kind of weird because you wouldn’t really think of killing an angel. So I think that kind of throws things off balance, kind of your perception of it.

    Student: When the father gets arrested and that’s like throwing things off balance and he gets punished for that but without those things then that picture would never have been shown of him and when that happened that possibility for change for a whole group of people …

    If the culture of the exercise is to take on a different persona they are more willing to go into that persona, analyze a little bit more fearlessly because that’s what the expectation of everyone is, is to kind of be fearless in this persona.

    Student: Alexi presents the conflict of viewpoints in the lines “only the good die young and only crazy people choke to death on their own vomit.” How does conflict outline morality and heroism.

    Student: I think some people kind of have a skewed version of their heroes.
    My role is really to listen. I also think it was kind of helpful that I’ve told them I was going to tally up on the board some of these skills that we were looking for.

    Student: He’s old, he barely has any teeth, has hardly any hair and you don’t see that as something that’s coming to save you.

    Are they making connections, are they using textual evidence, are they offering a new idea, are they asking a follow-up question.

    Student: What I hear from you guys is that it kind of isn’t the savior or real hero figure ___ in any of these stories, right?

    If you’re seeing people getting little tally marks for follow up questions I think it creates the environment for more follow up questions.

    Student: So then do you think that there’s no possibility of a cultural reciprocation?

    Student: I think there is a reciprocation, nothing is without its consequence.

    Student: In Marquez’s story The Old Man, an angel falls and since they’re angels there’s no ____ God yet in the story there’s no explicit God nor is there any savior for the angel in the end except himself. How does this relate back to real life?

    One of probably the most important things that I said to them was that they should be ready for some silence and that can feel really awkward and it could make you want to answer your own question. So they were practicing some pretty amazing wait time today.

    Student: I think the debate was was it an angel or was it just some weird old dude with wings. I don’t know if it necessarily flies, I don’t ….

    One of the things I really loved was when it was a student other than the provocateur who asked one of the other authors a follow up question.

    Student: Is the angel an actual angel, or is it a good man?

    Teacher: They never actually tell you.

    That lets us know they are synthesizing all of these stories at once because they’re trying to get this other person to pull out something that maybe they’re already thinking.

    Student: Do you think the misfit actually wants there to be a god?

    Student: Not necessarily because he has probably convinced himself already that there isn’t a god but ____ is still unbalanced.

    It’s not just about them and their learning, it’s also about seeing them as people. When you give your class to them, when you turn it over to them they get to be who they are and that’s just really special and important.

    {end}

    ? end of transcript

School Details

Johnston Senior High School
6501 Nw 62nd Ave
Johnston IA 50131
Population: 1541

Data Provided By:

greatschools

Teachers

Sarah Brown Wessling
English Language Arts / 10 11 12 / Teacher

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