NF UNIT P2 Days 12-13

Poem A Day:

No time for Poems on this day. Students are presenting their projects!!


I originally planned one day for students to share their presentations. I mean, our classes are 80 minutes. Surely, that is enough time for 20 presentations.



I mean, really, I am still completely blown away. I wish I had recorded a few of the presentations that still have my mind spinning.

One student gave a “Ted Talk” and the students in his class were rapt. There was an applause when he finished. Please read his words: They are gorgeous. I am also attaching the images he used while presenting-

Active Engagement:

Students listened to their peers



After students were finished presenting, I gave students this reflection form.

Here are some of the responses I got on this reflection. This is real evidence of learning. When a student can articulate clearly what they have learned, that means they have learned it. (my capacity for logic is, frighteningly impressive, I know).

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This one made me proud. From the mouths of babes. “I learned more in 19 presentations than I have learned throughout the whole year in science.” Notice, she quotes one talk, and references several others. She paid attention- and I did not force them to, via some handout.
Double check!
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Do your research, yanno, so you don’t embarrass yourself with misinformation! It’s practical.
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Authentic learning and understanding takes TIME. Nice conclusion.
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NF UNIT P2 Day 4

Day 4

Poem A Day:

This one is just for fun- I play it as students walk in (it is clean) and we do not analyze it. It is called “21 questions”. Today is all about INQUIRY.


Today’s objective is: Students will craft questions to answer through research for their “capturing reality” projects.

Today, students will listen to Listen to one piece of original nonfiction- “The Spirit of Inquiry” from Ted Radio Hour. and assess what the creators did well to create an engaging show.(students listen to two sections out of 5)

Students also think about the content covered in the podcast. It was all about asking the right questions. Inquiry is all about you asking your own questions.  

I gave them this handout for today’s lesson.

Active Engagement:

Students apply our lesson today to their “Capturing Reality” projects.

They create at least SIX questions they may be interested in learning the answers to. 


Recap/answer any questions.

NF UNIT P2 Day 3

Day 3

Poem A Day:

You won’t have to ask, but go ahead: Ask the students how they “feel.”


The objective today: Students will understand how nonfiction writers use rhetoric to persuade readers to think a certain way or to act.

For today’s lesson, I stuck to the basics- many of these students have zero background knowledge about rhetoric (the art of persuasion).

I defined the types of rhetoric on the white board and then showed various examples of each. It’s a pretty straight-forward lesson, but the kids love it if you pick good videos.

For Pathos, we discussed the emotions we feel that are strong enough to compel us to act, (fear, hate, love) and discussed how each of the following ads evoked those emotions in the viewer (music, graphics, imagery, suspense, word choice, etc.).

I showed:


And, finally, of course: (cue the water works).

For Ethos, I gave some examples off of the top of my head (I may or may not have made up a story wherein Ben Roethlisberger takes NyQuil in order to prepare for the big game).

Finally, for Logos, we watched some mac vs. pc ads. There are lots of fun things to choose from out there.

Next, I modeled for students how I found rhetoric in my nonfiction novel for my “capturing reality” project. 

I made sure to emphasize that I found a lot of evidence that the writer of my book, Dave Eggers, spent nearly 200 pages of his book estabilishing Zeitoun’s credibility as a loving husband and father, a hard worker, a responsible member of his community, and most importantly, a heroic and brave man. I told them that I thought this was intentional, and it was ethos-

I discussed the several moments Zeitoun has where he is feeding dogs and then thinks about what happens to them once he is captured and can no longer take care of them. The anecdotes about dead dogs? Pathos.

This tied the whole lesson together. I cannot stress the importance of modeling your thinking and reading for students. This is how they learn to do it.

Active Engagement:

Next students had time to delve into their books and look for ethos, pathos or logos.


I reminded students to read their books, and continue brainstorming ideas for their projects.