Thursday, October 7, 2010

Hold yer horses

But wait! Did I just send you off to the library without a refresher on paraphrasing?

Oops! That was my mistake my first year - silly me, thought a general review of the term "paraphrase" would be enough. When kids got into the library and started just copying word-for-word from the book, I realized we needed a refresher. So, learn from my mistake - make sure before you go into the library they remember how to paraphrase.

Since, in all honesty, paraphrasing should not be a new skill to 10th graders, even if they might need to brush up on it, I combined this lesson with one on media reliability. Again, I was going to send them off to the library, where they would naturally (and fairly) assume that in a school library, just about anything they pick up would be a reliable source. But I knew it wouldn't be long before they attacked the computers. Again, a good defense is a good offense! (or is it the other way? Whatever. Be prepared!)

Materials: Printed notes, PPT, Reliability of Source Pages

1. I had students do the "fill in the notes" practice with the first half of this powerpoint to save time. Hand these out.
2. Go over the Powerpoint regarding paraphrasing, emphasizing its importance in research. I introduce a short discussion of the value of paraphrasing in the first slide when I go over the definition.
3. Students fill in their notes as we go through the PPT. Stop on slide 3 for them do to the practice provided on the notes page.
4. Continue with a discussion on media reliability. I admit I stole this latter part of the PPT from a website, but I can't even remember who/where I got it. If the author wants his/her name on the latter part of the powerpoint, please speak up and I'll certainly give you credit here!
5. At the end of the powerpoint, I have students break up into groups to practice discussing media reliability, an activity I picked up from the Gateway Institute. Here is a list of possible sources for the stated activity: Media Reliability Exercise. Print each on the center of its own page, and hand each group a set.
Alternative: If you have a big enough class, give each student a source and reserve 3 or 4 students to place their classmates in order. In this way, the whole class can discuss together. Encourage the students holding sources to speak up if s/he feels s/he could be more appropriately placed.
6. There is no "correct" answer. When a group feels s/he is done, go over to their group and ask them about certain items, just to make sure they thought about their order. Ask them how easily they agreed on this order, or what items gave them the most trouble. If you feel strongly that they have missed a certain idea, correct them. But in general, if they can defend their reasoning, go with it.
7. As closure, give each student a post-it note after reviewing his/her group's order. Tell them to mark on the post-it note whether the group completely agreed with the final order and whether or not s/he would have moved one item.

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