DAILY LESSON PLAN

Teacher’s Name: Andrew Barlam                             Class/Period: English 9 / Period 2
Unit: Writing Conventions                                 Date: February 10, 2010

• Introducing parallel structure
• Fixing faulty parallelism
• Handout: Creating parallel sentences
• Finding our own examples
• Journal reflection on lesson
• Homework: Self-critiques

California Content Standards:
Grammar and Mechanics of Writing
1.2 Understanding sentence construction (e.g., parallel structure, subordination, proper
placement of modifiers) and proper English usage (e.g., consistency of verb tenses).

ELD Standards Addressed:
Writing: English-Language Conventions
• Grades 9-12 Sentence Structure and Grammar: Revise writing for appropriate word choice,
organization, consistent point of view, and transitions, with some variation in grammatical
forms and spelling.
• Grades 9-12 Grammar: Create coherent paragraphs through effective transitions and parallel
• Grades 9-12 Capitalization, Punctuation, and Spelling: Edit writing for the mechanics to
approximate standard grammatical forms.

Objectives: When reviewing sentences containing faulty parallelism in their own writing,
students will be able to recognize and correct their mistakes, making clearer sentences.

Materials Needed:
• Whiteboard and dry erase marker
• Overhead projector and computer
• Handout on creating parallel sentences
• Classroom textbook
• Student reflection journals

Time                 Teacher Procedures                                       Student Responsibilities
5 minutes     Introduction to parallel structure
              • Introduce concept of parallelism, with the              • Contemplate and share with the class
              sentence “I came, I saw, I conquered” on the board.        the potential benefits of parallel words.
              Explain how its parallelism makes it powerful.
                                                                        • If called on, explain how the sentence,
              • Explain that the term “parallel” isn’t just for          “I like pizza, rice, and eating hamburgers
              math. It also applies to writing. Explain that phrases     could be improved using parallelism.

               such as “Veni, vidi, vici” have their place when
              used for emphasis. When the extra emphasis is
              not needed, explain how the words used in a series
              need to have the same parallel structure (i.e. if one
              (element is a noun, all elements must all be nouns)
              for the reader to properly understand its meaning.

              • Write an example on the board of a series in
              which the words have faulty parallelism in their
              structure. Use the example, “I like pizza, rice,
              and eating hamburgers” and ask the students how
              it can be changed to make the sentence smoother.

              • Call on students, asking for potential benefits of
              using parallel words when writing sentences. They
              need to understand that by using parallelism
              correctly, their writing will be clearer, more concise,
              easier for others to understand, and more stylish.

5 minutes     Fixing faulty parallelism together

              • Use overhead projector to display six sentences         • Identify the cause for faulty parallelism
              which contain faulty parallelism due to incorrect          within a sentence and explain why the
              word structure. Explain that each of the sentences         word is being misused in the sentence.
              contain mistakes. The class will fix them together.

              • Unveil each sentence one at a time for the class        • Fix the error in a sentence, changing the
              to see. For the first four examples, point out the         words in the series to give it parallelism.
              error in each sentence and demonstrate how the
              words could be changed to improve the sentence.

              • Call on students to fix the remaining two
              sentences, one at a time. Have the student identify
              the incorrect word or words being used, explain the
              effect the word has on the parallelism of the
              sentence, and provide a way to fix the sentence.
15 minutes    Handout: “Creating Parallel Sentences”
              • Distribute handout to the students on creating          • Answer the questions independently.
              parallel sentences. Give students directions for the
              handout, which will ask them to combine two or            • Ten students will be called on to share
              more phrases or clauses into one parallel sentence.        their answers with the rest of the class.

              • Lead the class in a discussion of their answers.

15 minutes    Finding examples in the textbook

              • Further explain the possible benefits of using         • Read a persuasive essay, writing down
              parallelism effectively in all forms of writing.          examples of parallelism found in the text.

              • Provide directions to the students to open             • Spend five minutes writing a response in
              their textbooks to a persuasive essay and find            the reflection journals about the impact
              examples of strong uses of parallelism. Students          the author had with the use of parallelism.
              will be instructed to examine the effects of these
              sentences, writing in their reflective journals.         • Share responses with classmates.

              • Navigate the classroom, providing help.

              • Lead the class in a discussion of their answers.

10 minutes    Reflection on benefits of the lesson

              • Instruct students to re-open their journals in order    • Write in journals, reflecting on what was
              to reflect on what they perceive to be the benefits        learned in class and on the advantages of
               of the day’s lesson on parallel structure.                being able to recognize and fix faulty
                                                                         parallelism in the student’s own writing.
              • Navigate the classroom, providing help.
                                                                        • Share responses with classmates.
              • Lead the class in a discussion of their answers.

5 minutes    Wrap up the lesson / assign homework

              • Do a final check of student understanding.             • Write down the homework assignment.

              • Explain the homework assignment to students.           • Clean up desk area before dismissal.
Assignment(s)/ Homework:
       Students will review their own journal entries written earlier in the semester, highlighting
five total examples of either effective use of parallelism or faulty use of parallelism in their
writing. For the examples of faulty parallelism found, students will identify the error and re-
write the sentence in a way that will be more clear, concise and understandable to the reader.

How Student Learning is Assessed and Analyzed:
       Throughout the class period, I will ask questions to check for understanding and assess
students based on their answers, recognizing whether to slow down or speed up. I will be able
to see how the students are grasping the concept from their work on the in-class handout, to be
turned in during class, and their work on the homework assignment, which will be collected the
following day. Students should be able, by the end of the lesson, to recognize sentences that use
faulty parallelism and provide solutions. The in-class assignment will not be graded. The
homework will be given a grade of either credit or no credit based on whether the work is done.

Reflection on Lesson Plan (effectiveness, rationale for choices, etc.):
       This lesson has not yet been taught in a classroom, but I have reason to believe it will be
effective. I chose a lesson that I feel can help students improve their writing, created it in a way
that should help them understand why they should desire to improve their writing, and created a
series of steps which I feel will help them understand the concept of parallel structure and
recognize its importance. The objective for this lesson was for students, by the end of the day,
to have the tools necessary to recognize faulty parallelism in their writing and learn to fix it.
       To introduce this concept to the students, I chose to start the lesson by introducing an
example of the power one can have through the right word choice. Rather than giving an
extended lecture on the topic, I decided that showing would be more effective than telling. I
showed examples of sentences in which the pratfalls of not using parallel structure are
demonstrated. After walking the students through the first few examples, I made the choice to
let the students gradually become the experts and point out some of the mistakes for themselves.
Rather than writing complicated, confusing sentences, I purposely came up with examples that
the students, I feel, would recognize as common mistakes that they themselves often make.
       Beyond the first 10 minutes of the lesson, I chose to incorporate opportunities for the
students to learn from the lesson in a variety of ways — answering questions independently,
reflecting in their journals and participating in discussions — as a way of getting the students to
understand the concept of parallel structure on a deeper level and for it to feel important. Did I
accomplish all of my goals? I’m not sure. I feel I created a strong lesson with a good balance of
explanation from the teacher, examples for practice, and time for class discussion. If there’s one
potential weakness, I wonder if I am not spending enough time being the expert. I chose to rely
more on student participation than on lecturing from the teacher, I hope I made the right choice.

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