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Hitting the Refresh Button
TRANSFORMING PEDAGOGIES WITH NEW TECHNOLOGIES Hitting the Refresh Button (unit of work for a mixed ability Year 10 class) Ann Small St Andrew’s College (NSW) Context At my school we have around 60% of students undertake independent learning projects in a variety of subjects as part of their Higher School Certificate programme of study and yet so often they are unable to manage these projects because they rely on teachers to manage the learning for them in terms of organisation, timing, choice of topic, knowledge, skills and understandings. Students commonly do not see themselves as rule makers in the game of learning. They wait to do as they’re told. As a teacher I am particularly interested in the discourse of power that often operates in classrooms and this unit attempts to enable learning that is student-determined. In this unit students develop an appreciation of the ways that texts can be appropriated or refreshed into differing texts. Students read a novel (in this case Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird) which has been made into a film. Students will essentially learn about the ways characters, stories or issues from a novel can be shaped and remoulded or refreshed in a film. Using a number of resources from The Le@rning Federation (TLF) students learn about the ways in which imaginative texts can explore universal themes and social reality. Using digital resources that provide both representations of the depression in Australia: Scenes from the Great Depression, c 1930’s: asset 13 TLF ID R6350 Scenes from the Great Depression, c 1930’s: asset 3 TLF ID R6340 Scenes from the Great Depression, c 1930’s: asset 6 TLF ID R6343 Feeding the unemployed during the Depression TLF ID R2518 Connie Gibson remembers the Great Depression TLF ID R4388 ‘Banish the budget blues‘, 1930 TLF ID R824 and representations of racial conflict with racism and prejudice in Australia including: ‘Why does White Australia matter?’, pamphlet 1949 TLF ID R4640 Rally against Racism, Melbourne, 1996 TLF ID R3032 'Persecuted lovers', 1957-58 TLF ID R4740 These enabled students to make connections between attitudes and events from the American South and attitudes and events in Australia. Atticus’s character was analysed as an example of social activism and use of the learning objects, Making a difference: Charles Perkins (L5209) and Making a difference: Barak (L5205) enhanced student understanding of activism. Students analysed the ways in which the film was shaped by the novel: this was through the emphasis of certain aspects of the story, narrative point-of-view, shifts in characterisation, omission of parts of the story, or a new setting. The inclusion of the digital resource 'I Think …' - That's not fair (R6065) from the Australian Children’s Television Foundation aided the development of student understanding of the concept of voice and character and the ways particular forms and features of language and structures of texts are used to create characters such as Scout. 'I Think …' - That's not fair TLF ID R6065 With permission of the Australian Children's Television Foundation, Film Finance Corporation Australia Limited and Heytesbury Pty Ltd This digital resource was instrumental in the development of the concepts needed for the assessment task that invited them to write the opening of a new story, to be used for a new film, based on a particular character drawn from the novel they are studying. Students will also develop an ad for this proposed new film. Implementation Students were issued with the novel To Kill a Mockingbird and asked to read it before the unit started. This is a big ask in a mixed ability class. A number of strategies were put in place to support students including the provision of audio books, paired reading and teacher reading. Because this unit explores the film and the novel and because the film is relatively faithful to the novel, all students had a general understanding of the plot, issues and characters in the narrative throughout the unit. The learning happened in two parts. The first part was a set of negotiated activities called individual pathways. These frontloaded or immersed students in aspects of the unit including ideas and information about contexts, opportunities to draw conclusions about the universal issues in the novel and then make connections between these issues and parallel events in the Australian context. This section was a means by which I could personalise the learning pathways for students to cater for the range of students in this mixed ability class. I wanted to make sure students were included and challenged. Individual pathways were made available to students on a website. (http://annsmall.squarespace.com). Students previewed the activities and then in negotiation with the teacher decided on which activities they would undertake. Students did not have to complete all activities but were strongly encouraged to make sure that they challenged themselves. A chart illustrating the individual pathways activities and the integration of TLF digital resources is included below. The second section of the unit involved combined group activities that ranged from whole class to small group work. These built the learnings necessary for the final assessment task. Whilst these are also included on the student learning record, and they do include group and collaborative activities, we proceeded through these activities as a whole class with teacher-directed instruction. Distinctive about this phase was the use of our webpage 10E6 Homework. Here the class was able to collaboratively develop the research activities necessary for the completion of the formal assessment task. A chart illustrating the combined group activities and the integration of TLF digital resources is included below. Unit structure & activities PHASE ONE: Introduction As a class • we brainstormed and discussed the idea of “refreshing texts”. • we gathered examples of the ways texts are refreshed including remaking of texts, appropriations of characters, sequels, prequels. • we completed some homework activities regarding racism in contemporary Australian society and posted these on the class discussion board: see discussion board post for July 17th 2007 at http://annsmall.squarespace.com/10e6-homework • we read, discussed and understood the student learning record The student learning record (Appendix 1) was kept and maintained by students as they completed their tasks. It enabled students to negotiate their learning and work in an independent, but highly supportive learning environment. PHASE TWO: Individual Learning Pathways Activities (Appendix 2) According to the negotiated pathways, students completed the activities in Appendix 2. PHASE THREE: Combined Group Activities (Appendix 3) Using the class homework discussion board students worked towards developing the skills, knowledge and understanding necessary for the completion of the assessment task (Appendix 4) Evaluation Student feedback is available at http://annsmall.squarespace.com/10e6-homework dated August 11th 2007. By and large the student evaluations are extremely positive. Some comments: its good because there was info about the work and you could see what other people wrote Blake In this unit of work, I have enjoyed working freely through the activities provided in my own pace and working together as a group since we can all suggest our different opinions. Emmanuel D the website is very useful, it lets us share ideas and makes sure were all on the right track. Danielle i think my assesement result will improve because we are expected to do more than one draft and its more controlled. Steph i would enjoy another unit of work based on this format of learning as it gives the students a chance to control their own learning. Emmanuel G. This class has 29 students and 18 took the opportunity to reply in their own time. Students liked the community nature of the work and they liked the access to resources. A number of students also commented on the fact that they understood the concept of narrative voice. The digital resources enhanced student learning in a number of ways: firstly, the understanding of the concepts in this unit are clearly demonstrated in the tasks, secondly the engagement level in lessons was high and lastly the multimodal nature of the literacy learning in this unit assisted all students in the class. As a teacher, I really enjoyed the process of developing and, more importantly, implementing this unit. To make it work effectively in the real world of an under-resourced school, I had to anticipate potential barriers such as network problems (although having TLF content non-internet dependent made an enormous difference) and student access to computers. The structure of the unit and its individualised pathway allowed me to maximize the use of the 15 functioning computers that were available in the learning space we used. And of course, students had free access to all resources from home. TLF Resources Scenes from the Great Depression, c 1930’s: asset 13 TLF ID R6350 Scenes from the Great Depression, c 1930’s: asset 3 TLF ID R6340 Scenes from the Great Depression, c 1930’s: asset 6 TLF ID R6343 Feeding the unemployed during the Depression TLF ID R2518 Connie Gibson remembers the Great Depression TLF ID R4388 ‘Banish the budget blues‘, 1930 TLF ID R824 ‘Why does White Australia matter?’, pamphlet 1949 TLF ID R4640 Rally against Racism, Melbourne, 1996 TLF ID R3032 'Persecuted lovers', 1957-58 TLF ID R4740 Making a Difference: Charles Perkins TLF ID L5209 Making a Difference: Barak TLF ID L5205 'I Think …' - That's not fair TLF ID R6065 Print texts To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee Websites: http://www.slate.com/id/2164062/slideshow/2164626/ http://newdeal.feri.org/eleanor/index.htm http://www.immi.gov.au/media/fact-sheets/08abolition.htm http:annsmall.squarespace.com Other technologies: School intranet School library resources APPENDIX 1 Student Name: Activities negotiated: Read novel by Harper Lee (1961) or listen to audiobook BEFORE THE UNIT BEGINS IN CLASS readings or read the play version Comple ted someti me by the end of Learning Cla Indi Gro WEEK about STUDENT LEARNING RECORD ss v. up Concept A. What does the idea of “hitting the refresh” button mean 1&2 of unit and student learning contract Unit introduction - class The film B. View film on DVD narrative 1&2 Learning to record the storyline of the film in a visual summary for future use Backgro C. Great Depression und to 1, 2 & 3 Learning to create a distinctive voice in writing novel Backgro D. The Scottsboro trials und to 1, 2 & 3 Learning to listen to a class report, make notes from novel student presentations and draw conclusions Backgro E. Caricatures, stereotypes and vilification und to 1, 2 & 3 Learning to evaluate whether the attitude to cultures other novel than white has changed in this historical perspective Backgro und F. Making links to the Australian context 1, 2 & 3 to novel Learning to compose and deliver a spoken explanation Make G. Character: Atticus as a social activist 4 connecti Learning to select key episodes from the novel or film that ons align with events from our own context Charact H. Narrative Voice of the child: Scout and Jem Begin er formal task 5&6 Learning to analyse the ways composers create character through voice and speech rhythms Analyse I. Transfer of understanding of narrative voice Building key formal task. 5&6 episode Learning to analyse the language features in a text to s create a distinctive narrative voice - Mayella Formal J. Creating a story opening that has a distinctive voice task based on a character from the novel. 7 Learning to explain how characters, stories or issues from a novel can be shaped and remoulded or refreshed in a film APPENDIX 2: Phase Two: Individual Pathways Learning Activities Activity B Level: whole class Viewing the film on DVD Read the activity carefully before starting and follow each step. Keep your work books with you. The aim of this task is to summarise the action of the film – you do this in half hour sections Working with your video partners, spend 30 minutes watching the film. Note down how far you have proceeded in the plot. Then go to a computer and open the Celtx software package. Navigate to storyboard. Using the image bank (directory path) of screen shots from the first 30 minutes of the film create a storyboard with captions that summarises your film. Save your file in the 10E6 folder named as <<bothstudentnames>> summary.doc Repeat this process until you have finished viewing the film Extension activity Choose three scenes from the storyboard that you think are extremely significant. Using the drop down menu in Celtx, analyse the film techniques used in these scenes. Record your findings in your work book. Activity C Level: whole class Learning about the Great Depression Read the activity carefully before starting and follow each step. Keep your work books with you. The aim of this task is to learn to create a definite voice in a piece of writing. Go to the galleries section of the website and find the file Letters to Eleanor Roosevelt. These three letters were written to the wife of the US President during the depression. Her name was Eleanor Roosevelt. Working with a partner, read the letters aloud together. Complete a letter exploration chart in your books. Author Age Voice Reasons Sentences Vocab Correctness given Letter One Letter Two Letter Three Go to galleries and watch the sequence called The Depression. Choose one of these images to use as the basis for a letter to Eleanor Roosevelt asking for assistance or support regarding the situation in which you live. In your planning pay particular attention to creating a voice. Complete the image exploration chart in your books for three different images from the gallery. Content Mood Perspective Persona Possible scenarios Image Image Image Write the letter. On the letter highlight and label the ways you have created a particular voice. Extension activity Read the activity carefully before starting and follow each step. Keep your work books with you. The aim of this task is to research the depression in Australia and write an extended paragraph on the effects of the depression on society. Go to G Drive TLF folder and navigate to the following digital resources: Scenes from the Great Depression, c 1930’s: asset 13 TLF ID R6350 Scenes from the Great Depression, c 1930’s: asset 3 TLF ID R6340 Scenes from the Great Depression, c 1930’s: asset 6 TLF ID R6343 Feeding the unemployed during the Depression TLF ID R2518 Connie Gibson remembers the Great Depression TLF ID R4388 ‘Banish the budget blues‘, 1930 TLF ID R824 Complete the exploration chart below Content Mood Perspective on depression Resource Resource Resource Resource Write an extended paragraph (250 words) answering the following question. Jack Lumsdaine, the composer of Banish the Budget Blues, wrote the following chorus in his song: Banish the budget blues, spread the happy news. Good times are coming. Keep on humming. Whether you win or lose, put on your running shoes. Give it a smile, get over the stile and banish the budget blues How easy do you think it would have been to adopt this view during the depression in Australia? Argue your viewpoint, making reference to each of the digital resources you have reviewed in your chart. . Activity D Level: whole class Scottsboro Trials Read the activity carefully before starting and follow each step. Keep your work books with you. The aim of this task is to learn about some historical facts that may have shaped Harper Lee’s novel. This is a short activity. Three students have been researching the Scottsboro trials and they will make a short presentation for the class and lead the class to take notes. Student leaders will have prepared some internet research. They will present to students the results of this research, the sources used, and headings needed and key vocabulary to write notes Activity E Level: extension Caricatures, Stereotypes and Vilification Read the activity carefully before starting and follow each step. Keep your work books with you. The aim of this task is to evaluate the ways that racial caricatures and stereotypes can be (ab)used and to evaluate whether the attitude to cultures other than white has changed. Research activity: Using the Visual Thesaurus as your resource, determine some definitions for the words vilification, stereotypes, caricatures and record these in your notebook. Is there a difference between caricatures and stereotypes? Written answer: What are some language techniques commonly used to create caricatures and stereotypes? What is the language of evaluation in writing? Ask for the handout. Go to http://www.slate.com/id/2164062/slideshow/2164626/ Read the opening slide on the presentation. Written answer: What is the aim of the presentation? Go to the second slide. Carefully look at the image. Written answer: Why is the image offensive? Continue to read the rest of the presentation. Written answer: Summarise the intent of the presentation. Does the composer of this presentation think that attitudes to cultures other than white have changed? Give reasons for your answer The 16th Slide. What slide could be added for the American perspective in 2007? Design a slide. Write a description of the image and the text that would go alongside this slide. Make sure you evaluate the use of caricature and stereotype in your written comments. Activity F Making Links to the Australian Context – Small Group Speaking Activities The aim of this task is to compare the situation in the novel and film with the Australian cultural experience. Read the activity carefully before starting and follow each step carefully. Keep your work books with you. Find out the White Australia Policy (try your history textbook or http://www.immi.gov.au/media/fact-sheets/08abolition.htm). Write down in your books five key points about this policy. Go to the galleries section of the website and find the file Discrimination. Browse through the images in the file. In the file you can see that there are six images that illustrate different examples of discriminatory treatment from the context of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird and three images that are drawn from the Australian context. Draw a chart in your book as follows and make notes about: Image title Type of discrimination illustrated Human values or rights that are challenged EITHER Close Study of slide 1 in the discrimination file: Why might an Australian audience consider To Kill a Mockingbird a text that has familiar concerns? What criticism does this image offer of the White Australia policy? In your answer make reference to three different language techniques used by the author. Explain your findings to a group of four students in the class, using the image on the computer screen as a reference point. OR Close Study of slide 5 in the discrimination file: Why might an Australian audience consider To Kill a Mockingbird a text that has familiar concerns? What criticism does this image offer of Australian attitudes to the indigenous? In your answer making reference to three different visual language techniques in the painting. Explain your findings to a group of four students in the class, using the image on the computer screen as a reference point. APPENDIX 3: Phase Three: Combined Group Activities Activity G What is an activist? Use visual thesaurus to explore definitions of activism. As a class we read the episode in the novel where Jem is required to visit Mrs Dubose after he resents her accusations about Atticus “lawin’ for niggers”. Students made notes about the language used that showed particular beliefs and values of characters including Atticus, Jem, Mrs Dubose, Scout. Students viewed learning objects Making a difference: Charles Perkins (L5209) and Making a difference: Barak (L5205) and completed the note-taking activities. Students then revisited the idea of activism and identified and explained similarities and differences between the activism of Atticus and the Australian activists in the learning object. Activity H Narrative Voice of the child: Scout and Jem In this activity students analyse the ways composers create character through the use of voice. The assessment task for this unit was distributed to students and previewed prior to this lesson. On arrival in class students were issued with a card that had focus questions to be used in conjunction with viewing the animation called 'I Think …' - That's not fair (R6065) from the Australian Children’s Television Foundation. These focus questions covered the use of image (sound and visual), the use of language techniques to create voice, similarities to the novel, similarities to the characters of Scout and Jem. The animation was viewed twice. Students completed task cards individually. The class was divided into groups to use to combine their answers to these questions and then to post them on the discussion board. Students then individually completed the questions below. What are the arguments or clashes covered in the animation? What language techniques does the composer use to create the child’s voice? What is the effect on you of children speaking about these issues? What is the argument in To Kill a Mockingbird? Who’s right and who’s wrong and how do you know? At the end of the animation child says: “Some things have answers and some things don’t”. To what extent does this reflect your view of the story in the film and novel? Students placed answers on the discussion board. See post for July 8th 2007 at http://annsmall.squarespace.com/10e6-homework Activity I Transfer of understanding of narrative voice – building to the formal assessment task This task required students to use the character of Mayella from To Kill a Mockingbird and write the opening of a new story, drawn from an aspect of the novel, in the voice of a «character»-type character. The story had to have an engaging title the voice and perspective of the character from the original text in the writing evidence of experimentation with effective, interesting and engaging choice of words carefully constructed sentences, spelling, punctuation and grammar. Students also were required to design an advertisement for the film based on this new story. In the writing aspect of the task, students had considerable freedom. They had to represent the voice of Mayella but the context and situation of the new story was open. The story could be moved to the Australian context, for example. The digital resources were extremely valuable for the generation of situations and ideas for the story and also for the graphic aspects of the advertisements. To prepare for this task: As a class we listened to Sissy Spacek’s reading of Chapter 19 of the novel – a scene focusing on Mayella Ewell, the focus of the assessment task. We discussed the language features. Students were then instructed to identify key passages that involved Mayella and register these on the discussion board. See post for August 7th 2007 at http://annsmall.squarespace.com/10e6-homework Students were instructed to look carefully at the key passages and write down in their books some of the language features Harper Lee uses to create the character of Mayella. They considered any words, phrases or expressions the character uses repeatedly, any types of sentences that the character commonly uses and whether they speak in a formal or informal manner, correct or incorrect manner. Students were to use this for the research aspect of the assessment task. Activity J Formal Assessment Task: Creating a story opening that has a distinctive voice based on a character from the novel Students completed the first draft of the task in class. They undertook drafts, working in pairs and individually. The final draft was completed at home. APPENDIX 4 Year 10 Assessment Task Writing and Representing Task Due Date: You have been learning about the ways texts can be refreshed in your combined study of a novel and film. In this task you will: write the opening of a new story based on your novel design a promotional ad to accompany a film based on this new story STORY OPENING Using the character of Mayella from To Kill a Mockingbird write the opening of a new story, drawn from an aspect of the novel, in the voice of a «character»-type character. Your new story: must have an engaging title must capture the voice and perspective of the character from the original text in the writing must experiment with effective, interesting and engaging choice of words must be written in carefully constructed sentences, paying attention to spelling, punctuation and grammar Length: 400 words You will be submitting your drafts as well as your final story. PROMOTIONAL AD Create a movie advertisement to promote a film based on this new story. Persuade people to watch this movie by including: the name of the movie a design that reflects the mood of the movie catchy, colourful appropriate images. at least two images that are a symbolic representation of the issues in your story effective layout quotes from two critics to make you think that the movie must be good Assessment Task Planner & Marking Guidelines Student: …………………………………….. Class …………… The Challenge: how do you shape your writing to capture the voice of the character in the opening of a story? STORY OPENING MARKING CRITERIA 1. Research You will be assessed on your ability to select and use detail from texts effectively Identify and read about six key passages in the novel that deal with «character» A note down the page references in the novel B C D E outstanding next to each key passage list the qualities you find out about the accomplished consolidating developing elementary character List as well any words – places, people, events – that are particular to the character and that you can use in your new story 2. «character»’s voice You will be assessed on your ability to analyse a given character and use this knowledge in Look carefully at what that character says and does in the list above. Is a story opening the character best described as: controlled? emotional? A B C D E aggressive? outstanding accomplished consolidating developing elementary frustrated? confused? anxious? other????? 3. Language Features You will be assessed on your ability to analyse the composer’s use of language to create Look carefully at the key passages again. Write down and use some of character and then use some of these techniques effectively in the story opening these language features in your story opening: any words, phrases or expressions the character uses repeatedly any types of sentences that the character commonly uses whether they speak in a formal or informal manner, correct or incorrect manner A B C D E outstanding accomplished consolidating developing elementary 4. Writing the story You will be assessed on your ability to create a voice in the opening of the story via action, Think about the audience for your story. Who is it? How does this dialogue, implication, rather than through recounting the story. story opening hook this audience? Try to create a voice in the opening of the story via action, dialogue, implication, rather than through recounting the story. A B C D E outstanding accomplished consolidating developing elementary 5. Editing the story You will be assessed on your ability to edit and change a story opening through submitting Rewrite your story a draft and final copy of the story that shows that the story opening has been edited Edit the story, make every word count, every punctuation point, substantially every full stop. Read it aloud to someone else to hear what you've said. And if in reading it aloud it sounds confusing, clumsy, overwritten or A B C D E boring, then change the story outstanding accomplished consolidating developing elementary Use verbs, adjectives and adverbs deliberately Leave the story for a day or two Read it aloud to someone else to hear what you've said AGAIN. And if in reading it aloud it sounds confusing, clumsy, overwritten or boring, then change the story AGAIN 6. Finalising the story opening You will be assessed on your ability to compose a story opening that has no expression Give it a title that grows from the story errors. Final proof-read – check for spelling punctuation, grammar, paragraphing, typos etc, A B C D E outstanding <2 accomplished 2-4 consolidating developing elementary errors errors 4-6 errors 6-8 errors >8 errors PROMOTIONAL AD MARKING CRITERIA 7. Designing the poster Explore and research advertisements for movies (www.imdb.com) You will be assessed on your ability to design a movie poster that reflects the mood of the Invent a name for the movie that will hook an audience movie in its use of title, fonts, layouts, white space Plan and sketch an effective layout Choose fonts, special effects A B C D E outstanding accomplished consolidating developing elementary 8. Images You will be assessed on your ability to select images that effectively represent the character Select catchy, colourful, appropriate images. and issues in the movie Include at least two images that are a symbolic representation of the issues in your movie A B C D E outstanding accomplished consolidating developing elementary 9. Critics’ Reviews You will be assessed on your ability to use emotive language to persuade the audience to Persuade people to watch this movie by including critics reviews and watch the movie their sources Use effective adjectives, verbs, punctuation to engage the audience A B C D E outstanding accomplished consolidating developing elementary
"Hitting the Refresh Button"