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)

Strategies for Student-Centered Discussion
Lesson Objective: Master the art and science of engaging students in rigorous discussion
Grades 9-12 / ELA / Student Discourse
ELA.RL.11-12.1 | ELA.SL.11-12.1a | ELA.SL.11-12.1c

Thought starters

  1. How does beginning the lesson with student reflection and a guiding question equip students for the discussion?
  2. In what ways did Sarah ensure this to be student-centered, student-led?
  3. What does it mean for a teacher to prepare for a discussion?
67 Comments
This video reminded me of my 11th grade English class a lot! It makes so much sense to me now about how my teacher planned the lessons and why we do things the way they are during class.
Recommended (0)
The lesson in this video was really good. The teacher had the students engaged in the story and carried out a good student centered discussion. They were having a good time while learning.
Recommended (0)
I got some good ideas from this video. Some of my students lose focus quickly, so I have to ensure that the conversation stays active and includes something that will interest each student. This means that I have to interact with my students a lot and get to know what they like and what is important to them.
Recommended (0)
This was a great lesson! I teach 5th grade and I could see using some of these strategies with the students in my classroom. Sometimes I feel like I am so focused on getting everything accomplished that I leave out the important things like the student centered discussions.
Recommended (0)
Hi Caroline, This was one week into a unit designed to be an in-depth author study. After this lesson, students chose an author to read several pieces from and then write a literary analysis paper synthesizing those texts. Hope this is helpful! Sarah
Recommended (2)

Transcripts

  • Hi, I’m Sarah Brown Wessling. Today I got to see the power of a student-centered discussion when I gave that

    Hi, I’m Sarah Brown Wessling. Today I got to see the power of a student-centered discussion when I gave that discussion over to my students and we learned about Flannery O’Connor together.

    As an English teacher one of the great challenges of the classroom is being able to figure out how to manage and monitor and sustain a whole class discussion for an entire class period.

    Teacher: Make sure you have your stories out

    Last night my 12th grade English students read Flannery O’Connor’s A Good Man is Hard to Find.

    Teacher: Today our goal is to make sense of Flannery O’Connor, make sense of what doesn’t make sense.

    First of all you saw me establishing the learning goal of the day.

    Teacher: I want you to get out a piece of paper, scratch paper

    It’s very common in our classroom that I will ask them to start with just a little reflection.

    Teacher: Three items, it can be a question, it can be an inference, it can be a quote that you want to unpack.

    Getting ready to participate in a discussion is more authentic when they have something that they want to say right in front of them. So after students do their own writing, center their thinking, I always want to know what they thought.

    Teacher: Well first of all, what did you think?

    Student: inaudible

    Teacher: She’s amazing. She is depressing but we’ll talk about it, right

    Then I will start with a guiding question. And some days I really want to turn it over to them so I just work off of what they give me.

    Teacher: What about the rest of you?

    Student: There’s a quote in here by the misfit and he says he’s thrown everything off balance and he’s talking about Jesus and Jesus is like an icon for a lot of people so he’s kind of the opposite side of that spectrum.

    Teacher: OK, so I really like this idea

    Instead of just letting Sammy say I think that there’s this spectrum, I grabbed onto the idea that here’s this spectrum, that could be a visual for us, and then let’s start figuring out what this means together.

    Student: Where would we put human on the spectrum?

    Teacher: All right so where do we put human on the spectrum?

    Student: I have an idea for a chart that would encompass this spectrum ….

    Teacher: Do you need to come up and do it

    Student: I’d love to, can I?

    I loved the moment where Quinn just went to the front of the room and totally re-did what I had done in this new way that I think kind of reframed what we were talking about and thinking.

    Student: Then this would be our established spectrum of I guess we could call it good vs. evil and the misfit would be here, and the grandma would be about here

    This discussion that this discussion is not my discussion, this is their discussion.

    Teacher: Talk that out for me

    Student: She always wants to be the center of attention. No matter what it is she’s always making random comments

    Teacher: Give me some specific examples from the text when does grandma do this, Tess?

    Student: I thought just the fact that she brought the cat with her saying oh, my son doesn’t care about the car

    Teacher: What else does she do, what else does she say?

    Student: They don’t even really give her that much attention but she keeps on going on and on about it

    Today you would have seen that there were a few students who always had their hand up and there are others who are just more reserved. I have some students especially who want everything to be just kind of perfect in their mind before they raise their hand and by the time it gets all perfect in their mind somebody else has already said. So being able to sustain that kind of dialogue in which you have students listening to each other, building on what each other says instead of it just being a popcorn or that it bounces off of me entirely. Those are things we want to avoid and I think today you would have seen students moving beyond that.

    Student: It doesn’t make him bad, it just makes him off center from what she is

    Student: I kind of have something to say basing off that

    When you see a student building on each other one of the first things that I notice is that they don’t look at me first

    Student: I mean, why not?

    When I can see that a student is ready to respond to another student they’re looking at that other student.

    Student: I would agree that the grandmother is kind of like giving the grace to the misfit.

    The other thing is that I’ll hear students say I agree with or I’ll take exception to. So when we hear those kinds of phrases we know that they’re thinking and they’re processing, and that’s really important.

    Teacher: What do you think about that?

    Student: They keep talking about the better times

    Student: He’s trying to bring it back to the balance

    Student: He said he raised the dead and that’s why he’s thrown everything off balance

    Teacher: I kind of want to try to pull it together a little bit. First of all I want to tell you a couple things about Flannery O’Connor

    When I realized we were at this fulcrum point in the discussion I took the focus lesson which is traditionally at the beginning of a lesson and instead I embedded that about two-thirds of the way through.

    Teacher: Do you know what the definition of grace is?

    One of the points that I really wanted them to consider was who is the instrument of grace and it’s a wonderful point with this story because it’s pretty ambiguous. You could really make a really solid argument that it was either of the main characters.

    Teacher: Grace is unearned mercy

    I think it gave them a concrete entrance into the text.

    Teacher: Any thoughts about whether or not it’s the grandmother whose the instrument of grace? Taylor?

    Student: I’m going to say that she’s giving the grace and she was tilting the scale to the left by that grace

    Student: I almost think the misfit gave the most grace out of everything in a way, like he gave them the escape of suffering for the rest of their lives.

    Student: Obviously in a way Rachel is probably right, they basically did give the most grace by making the grandmother give it

    Student: I kind of struggled with the idea of thinking that the man who killed the entire family is the one that has the most grace.

    One of my favorite moments of the discussion actually was when this student said I read this line at the beginning and this line at the end.

    Student: Something I found interesting was Bailey was the son she lived with, her only boy, then at the very end why you’re one of my babies, you’re one of my children, my own children. I think that she’s linking the gram and the misfit …

    I hadn’t quite put those two lines together the way that he did and this is why I love to teach, because I get to learn with them.

    Teacher: What’s your reaction to her?

    As advice to other teachers who are really interested in trying to create more student-centered discussions I would say really prepare as though you’re coming to be a participant. Go ahead, write down your questions but spend time writing your own response.

    Teacher: What do you think?

    In terms of the common core we actually hit quite a few of the standards today. The text complexity component, speaking and listening. Certainly students are engaged in that. The importance of textual evidence. This is a precursor to tomorrow’s discussion which is going to get text and conversation with each other.

    Teacher: I’ll see you then

    If they’re still talking or still asking questions when they leave or they come in the next morning and they say I was thinking about this; that’s when I know we’ve done really good work.

    ? 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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Teaching Practice

All Grades / All Subjects / Collaboration

Teaching Practice

All Grades / All Subjects / Planning

Teaching Practice

All Grades / All Subjects / Engagement

Lesson Idea

Grades 9-12 / ELA / Tch DIY