April 30th, 2008 JJ
Well, I have to start off by saying that I wish I hadn’t been so careless with my time. I knew that I was going to be pushing my luck with only a 20 minute presentation to explain how I would teach what has turned into about a 2 1/2 hour lesson. However, I didn’t want to just stand up at the front of the room and lecture to everyone about what I would do I wanted to get people involved a little bit, but in doing so I didn’t really get the opportunity to really get into the meat and potatoes of the lesson and the assessment components. Basically, I chose this story for this final project because I felt like we had already covered the more interesting stories in our class readings, but also because I truly enjoy Alexie’s work and I wanted to explore the possiblility of teaching some of his short stories. Because of the timing with this project and finishing up the teaching of Ceremony I received a lot of good feedback about what my students wanted in the way of background information, and the parallels between “Indian Education” and those elements the students indicated. Additionally, “Indian Education” is great for studing inferences because with each reading you find yourself asking ‘why?’, then you read and come up with an answer, but you also find another question. Which leads to another aspect of the story, it truly encourages re-reading and demonstrates the benefits of employing this strategy.
In addition to running short on time, I was kind of surprised that the encounter story did not generate more discussion, but I guess that’s what happens when you put a bunch of English majors in the same room. Really, this does work with high school students and I’ve seen it work well with Education majors…you know the culturally insensitive ones.
I enjoyed the opportunity of preparing this lesson and found it to be very valuable because I see myself employing it next year as an introduction to Ceremony. It has been great seeing how everyone would use the strategies that we learned in class, and I have enjoyed all of your insights and comments as we have worked through the course work. Best of luck to each of you.
Entry Filed under: Teaching Presentations