10th Grade English : Unit #4 - Persuasive Writing: Research and Rhetorical Skills : Lesson #3

Continuing Work on Locating Sources: Evaluating Usefulness

Objective: SWBAT assess the usefulness of sources for providing evidence to support persuasive claims, using both traditional card catalogs and on-line database resources, demonstrating understanding by completing source cards.
Standards: W.9-10.7 W.9-10.8
Subject(s): English / Language Arts
60 minutes
1 Introduction: Disney Day for Homecoming Week. - 3 minutes

As always, I welcome students to the classroom as they enter the library, and ask they sit in clusters at the tables until I go through the introduction today. After the bell, I take note of the kids who participated in "Disney Day," but as always, I'm careful not to alienate those who did dot participate; in fact, "The best I could do," I point out, is a blue-and-orange tie with dragons that, "kind-of look like Mushu from 'Mulan.'" I remind students about our focus being process--but three source cards are due by the end of the period tomorrow. As always, the Daily Holiday not only builds on the sense of community I try to establish in my classroom, but also ties to school spirit and community with Homecoming activities.  

2 Searching for Sources: Student Research Time - 45 minutes

As with yesterday, students have free access to the library stacks and computers.

Yesterday, they began to locate potential databases and began citing the sources. Today, students will continue this process, and revisit the sources they have found, evaluating their validity and usefulness. In order to guide this evaluation, I provide students with a copy of Purdue OWL's Evaluating During Reading and Print vs. Internet Sources.

As with yesterday, I circulate the room, checking the progress they have made with their source cards, answering questions, such as what to do when a source cites another source, and discussing potential issues and conflicts with their topics. During this time, the librarian is also available to assist. The primary objectives continue from the previous day: gather print and digital sources that may provide relevant information and begin to assess the usefulness of each source (W.9-10.8). The “grade” on this assignment will come from the source cards they turn in the end of the time in library, but between now and then, students will gauge the usefulness of a variety of sources. Especially if I see them using Wikipedia, Google, or starting a source card before they had time to read the source, as I will be asking them to explain the validity of the source.  

Reflecting on Students Searching for Sources
Complex Tasks

Students today were encouraged to "stick with it" in the face of the challenge of locating appropriate source information; the practice developed their research skills and understanding of patterns. (The video mentioned is technically "above" this one.)

3 Two-Minute Warning: Wrap Up and Reminders - 2 minutes

As class winds down, I approach each group or cluster of students; remind them we will meet in the library again tomorrow; and ask they save their work, pick up any trash, and push in their chairs. 

Tomorrow, students will be asked to complete their source cards in the library, making sure they have three strong sources that can support (or counter) their claims.

Three days in the library provides enough time for students to locate sources, share resources if needed, and provides me an opportunity to conference with each student and provide any needed clarification or focus. 


Once More into the Library

As students have struggled with locating sources and with putting the correct string of words together to search for their topics, not all have had the opportunity to locate and evaluate the required three sources. Given the time it took to introduce the database search options, and the shortened class tomorrow for the Homecoming parade, they ended up only having a net two days of work time to locate sources. We will return to the library one final time tomorrow so that I can conference individually with each of them, looking over their source cards and completing their look for valid resources. Anyone not completed in class tomorrow, however, will need to complete their look for sources on their own, using home access to databases or the public library.