Poem A Day:
Today is all about sussing out what you think is right in the face of competing information. This is such a key skill in research and any type of learning, so I like to spend a lot of time on it. I think the more critical thought I encourage and support and facilitate, the better off these kids are going to be in their futures. There is a lot they will encounter and learn and see and experience out in their lives- and I cannot do anything about that. But, I can try to help them think critically- and hope for the best.
This song is a great way to get kids excited about taking a critical stance toward texts. Lyrics are here
(students will need access to google drive- I am using Chromebooks, a computer lab would work).
Today’s objective is: Students will collaborate with peers to define “nonfiction”
After discussing the poem a day, students will log into their “shared with me” folder on Google Drive.
I created this document and made several copies of it. I created groups of 5-6 students and then shared one copy with each member of each group. I name the documents for myself (like “Block 2 Group 1” or “Block 3 Group 2”). This way, when students access the document, they will be able to collaborate on the document only with the students I have selected for their group.
At the top of the document, I have listed 5-6 colors. I ask each student to pick a color on their document. This is the color they will type in.
These are the directions in the document:
We have had several thorough discussions about the nature of nonfiction writing and the tools writers use to convey meaning in nonfiction texts. Today, we will recap by defining nonfiction in small groups. You will engage in an online discussion with your peers. Be prepared to respond to each other, and to discuss your conclusions with the class.
First: Read this article from the New York Times. “How do you know if what you read online is true?” by Katherine Schulten.
Next: Answer each of the questions below in your chosen color. Then, respond to at least two of your peers using the comments feature. Ask them questions for clarification. Challenge their opinions. Be respectful in your discourse: all keystrokes on this doc are recorded 😉
Finally, students will work together to craft a definition of “nonfiction”
Students work on the “online discussion” while I circulate, and it is also fun to contribute to the discussions on their Google docs. Once the groups have finished, I collect their definitions of “nonfiction” on one google doc and post it on the smartboard. This can lead to a great discussion if you have time.
Recap/answer any questions. Once students finish the activity, they continue searching for credible information from sources outside of their nonfiction books in an attempt to answer a self-generated research question (or a few) for their project.
Here are a few examples of the work students did today: (very colorful, fun stuff).