This quarter, the 9th graders were introduced to myth and legends. This unit started off with a class discussion of some of the students’ favorite myths and an analysis of Louise Bogan’s “Medusa.” Through an analysis of “Medusa,”students reviewed grammar.
Students were then grouped into triads –each triad was assigned 2 Greek Olympians to report on (origins, appearance, powers, symbols, etc.) and was required to do a mini oral presentation to the class. Following this, students were introduced to Socratic Circles and linked what they’ve learned so far to the value and culture of Greek society.
To reinforce their understanding of a hero, students answered the question “What is a hero?” on post-it notes and placed their answers against a poster. This visible thinking method allowed students to visualize their classmates’ ideas.
During the discussion of different types of heroes (most importantly, the epic hero), the students learned about the Trojan War and listened to an in-class dramatic reading of Iliad’s Book 22 “The Death of Hector.” Likewise, the students learned about the epic hero cycle and selected a hero of their choice to map out the elements of an epic hero on a chart. Students were then assigned to read of “Theseus and the Minotaur” and answer a comprehension sheet with guide questions based on the story. From this, the students applied what they’ve learned about the epic hero cycle and wrote a creative portfolio entry on their definition of a Modern-Day Epic Hero based on a public figure or role model.
In preparation for IB, the students learned how to find evidence for their argument by learning how to analyze quotes. They also learned the proper use and format of in-text citations according to the APA format. After further study and analysis of “The Death of Hector” and “Theseus and the Minotaur,” students completed an in-class essay based on teacher-generated questions.
The last essay that the students had to write this quarter was the definition essay. To start off this topic, students partook in another visible thinking method by generating abstract and concrete terms for a few selected definitions using post-its on poster paper. Students then selected an abstract term, defined its history and origins, its denotative definition (literal meaning), and its connotative definition (personal and symbolic meaning). Students were provided with templates and samples to guide them as well as feedback from the teacher for their outlines and drafts.
The final assessment of the term was a persuasive speech. This topic began with a wordle activity where students submitted their responses to the question “What do you think makes an effective persuasive speech?” The teacher generated a word cloud from students’ responses and discussed the largest to the smallest terms as a class.
A game followed where groups matched the cutouts of words and definitions of effective persuasive methods and pasted it onto coloured posters. After the correct answers were revealed, the group(s) with the highest scores received a prize. In preparation for their persuasive speech, students partook in 3 activities.
In the first activity, students watched a persuasive speech on heroes and answered a template that identified the persuasive methods. In the second activity, students analyzed a tribute and annotated the different persuasive methods. Finally, they repeated the first activity with a different video (a persuasive speech about safety).
To end the unit, students prepared for their persuasive speeches and received teacher feedback for their outlines, drafts, and oral communication. Finally, they presented their speeches in class while classmates wrote down comments in a sheet provided by the teacher.
Persuasive Speech Presentations