What is the author saying about boredom? Do you agree with his view? To support your opinion, be sure to include specific examples drawn from your own experience, your observations of others, or any of your readings.
Here are some NY Times posts for ELLs where I’ve discussed writing compare/contrast essays:
Students separate run-on sentences in this interactive about International Dance Day, and use it as a model for creating their own. In addition, they can view a variety of dance videos and write a compare/contrast essay.
A fun writing lesson for English Language Learners is showing videos or images of animals and asking them to write down what they think they believe the animal might be thinking. I’ve written a number of posts related to these kinds of lessons and variations on it (having paintings or parts of the earth talk) and thought I’d bring them, and additional resources, all together in one “Best” list (feel free to contribute your own ideas!):
Nature Is Speaking is an amazing series of videos where celebrities give voice to parts of nature that are being threatened, including the ocean, coral reefs, etc. The could be good models for a more serious use of this instructional strategy.
There is a YouTube channel by Chris Cohen that he calls Animal Translations, where he puts his voice to animal thoughts. The accent is a bit thick, so it might be difficult for ELLs to hear everything, but they’d certainly get the idea. Then, students could create their own internal dialogue they could perform while the video was shown on a screen without sound.
I’m using the term “information literacy” here to describe assisting our students developing critical thinking skills to evaluate both web and content in other media forms. I’ve seen the term used to describe broader skills, too. Let me know if you think I’m off-based with my definition.
So, using that definition, here is a beginning Best list, and I hope readers will contribute more:
As regular readers know, I’m a big fan of students writing about “What if?” scenarios in our history classes, as well as in IB Theory of Knowledge courses. I’ve also used it in English when have students write alternative endings of stories. You can read more about this strategy at The Best Resources For Teaching “What If?” History Lessons.
Today, Scientific American published a nice piece summarizing research on the benefits of “What if?” thinking and also highlighting as aspect that I’ve never really considered in the context of teaching — the idea of personal “What if?” moments and stories.
I think that could be a fun writing activity in class.
As part of the article, the magazine is invited readers to submit their own personal “What if?” moments:
Share a couple sentences about a moment from your past that you often revisit and think, “What if…?”
Zoom In! is a new(er) free site that provides some very good U.S. History lessons that use historical documents and are standards-based. Along with in-class instruction, students use the online resources to do close-reading and scaffolded written responses.
Teachers create online virtual classrooms where they can monitor student progress.
Two of their features standout to me:
First, they clearly have been very intentional about choosing primary source documents that are likely to be more accessible to students and then have made them even more accessible with their lay-out and easy ability to look-up word definitions. I haven’t really seen any other site that has been able to do this anywhere near as well as Zoom In!
Secondly, I really like the way they scaffold the writing of written responses/essays. Again, more sites could learn from them.