Lesson Title: Establishing Group Norms to Analyze Text
Target Grade/Subject 8th grade English
Length: One class period, 90 minutes
In order to re-write a text using commas from the novel Scorpions as a group, students worked together to establish group norms in order for their task to be successful. Students are often asked to work in groups to create a product. In this lesson, students worked together to edit a piece of text from the novel, Scorpions, focusing on the use of commas. To help students best understand the nature of group work, they were asked to develop a list of group norms to create their product. Once the roles and rules were established, each group picked a text from the novel to re-write focusing on using and deleting commas correctly. Each group shared how adding and deleting commas changed the connotations of the particular passage. After the discussion, each student group used guided questions to reflect as a team. In addition to a team reflection, each student reflected on their role and created goals for the future.
Research was not a focus for this lesson.
This lesson focused completely on Communication and Collaboration. As a class, we used the software Primary Wall in order to collaborate as a class. The link to our answers could be shared on any blog, software presentation, discussion board, wiki, or personal sharing network like Diigo. Students formed their own teams to create a list of group norms in order to accomplish the goal of re-writing a text. Each team had to organize their roles in order to complete the task. In addition, each group chose the digital tool in which they could display their unique use of commas. Not only did students reflect as a group, but they also had the opportunity to reflect themselves and set goals for future growth during group work.
Students were given a variety of digital tools to complete the class activity. They applied critical thinking skills by elaborating on the changes the commas made to the connotation or meaning of the text.
The assignment allowed students to pick any piece of text from the novel Scorpions, but they were limited to only that text since that was the novel we were reading. To create the new piece of text, they could use any digital tool of their choice.