D.I.Y. Graphic Organizer

In a stack of papers called Instruction.

  • Dec
  • 15
  • 2006

My juniors are not reading… again. Still, I have confidence that this can be a learning experience for them. I’ve split the class into groups, based on where they are in the novel: 2 groups that are where they should be, 2 groups about 50 pages behind, and 2 groups 100+ pages behind. Ideally, they help each other make sense out of those pages and push forward in the story.

Group Meetings

The past 2 days they worked on putting together a presentation about the 4 different Group Meetings that happen in the story. My idea is that each Meeting is different from the one before it. With the facts in front of them, they’ll hopefully be able to see that and struggle to figure out why. Focusing on description of the meeting, patient behavior, Ratched’s role, and McMurphy’s role, this could be some good writing. Feel free to use this assignment (Word document), just leave a comment here to tell how it went.

Write It Down

The first group got up on Thursday to present. They couldn’t tell me names or who said what and they certainly did not have any page numbers to prove that what they were saying actually happened. Being the group who has read the fewest amount of pages in this novel, they gave vague responses and didn’t have their ideas firmly asserted or defended.

I quickly abandoned the presentations, stopping that group about halfway through, and helped students build a graphic organizer to structure their ideas and take notes.

“Take a piece of paper,” I said, “and hold it landscape.” I just finished showing them the difference between ‘portrait’ and ‘landscape.’ “Now, fold the paper in half.”

“Like a hot dog or a hamburger?” someone asked, inevitably, in both classes.

“Good question. Hamburger fold, so fold it vertically. Then, fold it again.” One class suggested that constituted a ‘hot dog’ fold, but I didn’t want to debate fast-food semantics, so I just demonstrated the fold a few times. “When you unfold this, you should see that you have 4 columns on the page.”

The Group Meeting presentation they were all working on involved 4 questions. Each column was to be devoted to one question, with plenty of room down the length of the paper to take notes on all 4 Group Meetings that would be presented. With columns properly labeled, groups set about filling in details, complete with page numbers when appropriate (as often as possible).

The Result

That same group stood up today to present and was a bit better. They still couldn’t tell the details that they should have been able to, but that’s just because they didn’t read. All other groups had page references, some even reading the select passage just to prove their point, and had details to support their presentation of the facts. With any luck, students all have a good collection of facts that we can use later to infer some meaning. Without this graphic organizer, this would have been a disaster.

And all we did was fold some paper.

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