Ted Nellen
NCTE Conference, Baltimore, MD
Nov. 2001

Lesson Plan for Development of Student Compositions
Shazia Habib, Karachi, Pakistan,

Regardless of nationality, the repercussions of the events of September 11, 2001 have had a profound affect on all age groups. The reactions to these events have ranged from sympathy to anger, and in a lot of cases, have been unfocused and untamed outbursts that have resulted in hate-crimes, protests, and rioting.  One of the largest segments of society to be affected by the events are the school children. They are also the ones who remain "unheard." In order to help them deal with the traumas that have resulted from the situation, it is important to let them voice their opinions and share their ideas. However, this sharing of ideas needs to be focused and evaluative.  It is for this purpose that this exercise was conducted in the English class.

SHAZIA PROVIDED ONLY A PROMPT "SEPT 11" WHICH SHE WROTE IN THE CENTER OF THE WHITEBOARD. SHE THEN ELICITED COMMENTS FROM THE STUDENTS WHICH SHE WROTE UP AS THEY CAME (AND THEY CAME QUICK AND FAST) . AFTER EVERY INCH OF SPACE ON THE BOARD HAD BEEN FILLED, SHE MOVED TO STEP 2 - CATEGORIZATION SIMILAR IDEAS AND RELATED THEMES WERE CLUSTERED BY COLOR CODING. THEN STUDENTS GAVE EACH THEME A NAME/TITLE. THE STUDENTS DECIDED WHICH ASPECT THEY WOULD LIKE TO WRITE ABOUT AND HOW TO PHRASE THE TITLE. THEY WERE ALLOWED TIME TO LOOK UP DETAILS AND THEN WRITE THEIR COMPOSITIONS.

TOPICS:

Osama bin Laden is innocent - Middle Year Program 2 (grade 7) - Stating opinion.

They got what they deserved - Middle Year Program 4 (grade 9) - Argumentative

Media's role in manipulating events - Middle Year Program 5 (grade10) Analytical Writing

Methodology:

Step 1. Brainstorming

All students voice their opinion regarding the issue from which a specific topic emerged.

Step 2. Categorization

Ideas were accumulated and clustered into similar themes/ideas.

Step 3. Draft one was written

Students developed the theme stating their own ideas and opinions..

The students will continue to work on the compositions according to the feedback they receive from the teacher. This will help them refine their compositions.

  • A Political Cartoon used for drawing prompt.

    The main news sources are BBC, CNN, the local English dailies (morning editions) - the DAWN ( the oldest and the more conservative) and THE NEWS a newer one and a little more prone to sensationalism). Also the eveningers - THE STAR (a sister publication of DAWN) THE DAILY NEWS (the evening publication of the News) and THE LEADER ( one of the oldest but least credible ). Students also seem to be swamped by articles that come through on the net - these go around and we don't know the source of origination because a friend sends one to a friend, who in turn forwards it to a number of friends and so on they go. Some students read TIME and NEWSWEEK and BUSINESS WEEK and such magazines. Plus 2 of our local newsmagazines - THE HERALD (again by the Dawn group) and NEWSLINE that says it like it is and is an independent).

    LINKS:
    http://www.jang.com
    http://DAWN.com

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