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 7

Day 7

Poem A Day:

For this unit, I am trying to find poetry and music that celebrates the individual’s mind, critical thought, and questioning “official truths”.  It gets the kids in the right zone to learn more about a topic of their choice and decide how to report their findings, in their own voice.


Today’s objective is: Students will identify successful components of nonfiction in various films in order to decide which components they may want to incorporate into their products. (wordy- I will work on that).

Today, students are going to watch a series of short nonfiction films and think about the decisions made by the producers of the videos. They will consider how they can use these moves in order to create a final product that will be informational, credible, and engaging.

I started the day by asking students to list types of nonfiction films. This is the list they came up with:




-Ted Talks


-Video blogs

I gave students this handout and described the activity we would be doing today (all of which is in the directions of the handout).



Active Engagement

I showed the following examples of nonfiction in film, and students recorded notes on their handouts for each video. I gave them a few minutes in between videos to jot their ideas, discuss with a partner, and share with the class. I also pointed out the great things I noticed, or criticisms I had.

Video 1

Things we liked about this video:

  • transitions
  • music
  • editing
  • writing

Video 2

Things we liked about this video:

  • appropriate music
  • Pathos- appeals to emotion

Kids were quick to catch spelling errors and editorial mistakes in this video- I reminded them that viewers of their products would also notice those things… EDIT EDIT EDIT.

Video 3

For this video, we discussed multiple perspectives being recognized, even though the pov of the creator was clear.Students also appreciated some of the more “artsy” shots and how the interviews were presented.

Video 4

Students learned from this video not to film scenes in places with a lot of background info- the video suffered as students could not understand the interviews.

Video 5

Students enjoyed this video the most so far. We talked about how there is a fine line between standing alone in a room and with your iphone and just talking endlessly into the camera. This is so engaging because of the cuts, the humor in the writing, the props, the rating criteria, etc.

Last, but not least, one of the most popular vloggers on the interwebs:

Video 6

Students filled out the handouts.


I had students get out their project handouts from the beginning of the unit. We reviewed the types of projects they could create. Then, I gave students a post-it. On it the wrote,

their name

their research topic

the type of project they want to make

For example,

Ms. Minto

Research topic: The creation of Camp Greyhound in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina

Project: Ted Talk