Looking at our students thought the lens of their assets, not their deficits, has been an underlying them of my teaching career, and I thought I’d bring together many of the posts I’ve written on the topic.
I plan on have students first read this portion of the speech:
Groups like al Qaeda, like ISIL, know that…they will never be able to defeat a nation as great and as strong as America. So, instead, they’ve tried to terrorize in the hopes that they can stoke enough fear that we turn on each other and that we change who we are or how we live. And that’s why it is so important today that we reaffirm our character as a nation — a people drawn from every corner of the world, every color, every religion, every background — bound by a creed as old as our founding, e pluribus unum. Out of many, we are one. For we know that our diversity — our patchwork heritage — is not a weakness; it is still, and always will be, one of our greatest strengths. This is the America that was attacked that September morning. This is the America that we must remain true to.
Across our country today, Americans are coming together in service and remembrance. We run our fingers over the names in memorial benches here at the Pentagon. We walk the hallowed grounds of a Pennsylvania field. We look up at a gleaming tower that pierces the New York City skyline. But in the end, the most enduring memorial to those we lost is ensuring the America that we continue to be — that we stay true to ourselves, that we stay true to what’s best in us, that we do not let others divide us.
They then would respond to this prompt:
What does President Obama think is the best way to honor those who died on 9/11? To what extent do you agree with what he is saying? To support your opinion, be sure to include specific examples drawn from your own experience, your observations of others, or any of your readings.
Feel free to leave suggestions on how I can make this a better learning activity.
“Do Now,” “Walk-In Procedures,” or “Warm-Ups” – they are names for activities that students begin to do right at the beginning of class or, as we try to do in our school, three minutes prior to the bell ringing.
There are lots of options for them. In my English and Social Science classes, students have a book they’re reading and they read silently for five-to-ten minutes. In my IB Theory of Knowledge class, there is generally a “Warm-Up” activity on the board requiring them to write a short response. Afterwards, we divide into six groups to share.
Here are ideas from others for these kinds of openings (please share your own in the comments section):
The Best “When I Say Jump” Online Sites For Practicing English (this site has a few tools where students can take control by commanding online characters to do what they want them to do. Most of the original sites on that list are off-line now, but there still are a few – let me know if you are aware of others).
One of the best sites on the Web for learning English is Henny Jellema’s Online TPR Exercises — You’ve got to see this site to believe it. I can’t imagine the amount of work that went into creating the exercises. However, as he cautions, it’s critical to combine using his online activities with physical TPR lessons.
Now, here are a few resources for just plain good-old TPR that I think offer particularly useful materials and ideas: