While our classroom here on campus does not represent accurately the kind of classroom you will teach in, it’s still valuable to give you a chance to plan for good grammar instruction and have some experience with delivering that instruction to a group.
Purpose & Task
You are to select a grammar principle and teach it in a mini-lesson to a group of your peers. Your instruction should be placed in some authentic writing context. It must also show good pedagogical practices; specifically, you will show your ability to plan using the framework we’ve discussed and modeled in class, including the gradual release of responsibility (modeling, guided practice, independent practice), one or two (at the most) of Killgallon’s sentence composing techniques, and the notice-name-apply method.
Length & Format
This assignment consists of two parts: the plan and the teaching. You will prepare for teaching a 20-minute mini lesson class, and on your scheduled day you will deliver that lesson. Your lesson plan must be handed to me at the beginning of your presentation; in the written plan, your use of the gradual release of responsibility, of one of Killgallon’s techniques, and the notice-name-apply method must be highlighted in some way. Your plan should also make a concrete connection to a hypothetical writing assignment for which students are preparing. Within three days of your teaching experience, you must submit a final copy of your lesson plan and a paragraph-length reflection of your teaching experience (describing what went well, what you would change next time, etc.); this submission should be submitted to me via email (with your name and the assignment name in the email subject).
Consider first the grammar principle you’d like to teach. You can consult with class members to see which concepts they’d like to have covered or emphasized. And don’t worry about showing perfect mastery of the concept; I will not reduce your grade because of something you don’t understand while teaching. Anderson’s book has some great ideas you could choose from, and there are other concepts in the materials below.
You need to consider a context for the lesson—where would you teach this in your writing curriculum? Of course, for this assignment the context will be hypothetical, but it’s critical that your grammar concept have a meaningful connection to a specific (albeit hypothetical) writing assignment that your “students” are working on. Also consider what kinds of models you can use, how you can integrate the techniques of sentence composing, and how you can have students practice the grammar principle so you can give them feedback. Remember that each student will have some writing to work with in their writer’s notebook and you should make use of that in your teaching.
Finally, you will have access to a whiteboard and markers as well as an overhead projector. If you’d like me to make transparencies or copies for your lesson, please email those to me by the morning of your teaching day. You will not be able to use the computer/LCD projector.
Your teaching performance will be evaluated essentially on your implementation of the required techniques. The lesson plan will be graded on its conformity to the department template and the level of detail in the plan. Your reflection will be graded based on the quality of the insights you have and the appropriateness of the changes you suggest.
- Although it’s already in the reading schedule, it would be good to revisit the video lecture in which I explain the details of this assignment.
- You will be required to use this lesson plan template (the same used in other courses in the department) for your lesson plan. You should remove the annotations (in blue text) as you plan: Lesson Plan template (annotated revised)
- This model of the mini lesson plan should help you in your planning; it describes a lesson taught about colons in the context of students writing an argument essay. Please note that I’ve used bold text to highlight the required elements in the plan (see above): Colon Lesson Plan Model
- You should consult the Utah state standards (basically the Common Core standards) while planning. To make things easiest, I’ve pulled out the standards specifically related to reading and writing: Utah Core Language and Utah Core Writing
- Finally, here’s a document with some general concepts and grammatical features; many of these would work as topics for your lessons, although some will be less appropriate: Grammar Terms and Concepts