Walt Whitman WebQuest

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  • 1. Student Page Title Introduction Task Process Evaluation Conclusion Credits [ Teacher Page ] A WebQuest for 11 th and 12 th grade (American Literature) Designed by Matthew Seckinger [email_address] Based on a template from The WebQuest Page http://images.google.com/
  • 2. Student Page Title Introduction Task Process Evaluation Conclusion Credits [ Teacher Page ] Walt Whitman has been described by critics as the voice of the “common man,” and he saw himself as a representative in American democracy. Whitman’s seminal compilation of poems, Leaves of Grass , was released to widespread audience in 1855. The poet grew up in New York but spent much of his time, and his writing, exploring nature and the physical world – he was a contemporary of Emerson and Thoreau. In his early working years, Whitman was trained as a journalist and learned the value of the written word and the value of brevity. In this assignment we will be looking at the language Whitman uses in order to compare and/or contrast his views on urban life versus country life, the mechanical world with the natural world, life with death, and new ideas versus tradition. Photo by George C. Cox
  • 3. Student Page Introduction Task Process Evaluation Conclusion Credits [ Teacher Page ]
    • Students will provide an idea-by-idea interpretation of any of the poems from Song of Myself. Students who do not wish to write an interpretation may write a poem inspired by one of the poems from Song of Myself. If either of those two options do not appeal to those who do not learn through a linguistic style may choose to draw a picture that represents the images written about in a poem from Song of Myself. After completing one of the three above assignments, write a one-page paper speaking to the following points.
      • What are Whitman’s ideas on city life and country life? Defend your claims;
      • Does Whitman favor the mechanical world of advancement and technology over the simple, less-complex, and complicated life? Defend your assertions;
      • What does Whitman think it means to be truly alive? What are his thoughts on death? Explain both;
      • Does Whitman espouse tradition or new ideas? If he likes both, differentiate his arguments. Explain your thought process in analyzing Whitman’s thoughts;
      • Choose one of the above three options;
      • Turning in part one of your assignment (interpretation, poem, or drawn picture), as long as it is completed, earns you 20 points toward the 50 possible.
      • The one-page essay will be graded based on the accompanying rubric.
    • Please use Internet sites and pages to support your assertions regarding the aforementioned topics – make sure to cite the source. No citation equals plagiarism; plagiarizing equals an “F” and possible further action. Cites to investigate are -- http://www.poets.org , http://www.classroomelectric.org , http://www.neh.gov/news/humanities/2005-07/whitman , but do not limit yourself to these three.
    Title Photo by Matthew Brady
  • 4. Student Page Title Introduction Task Process Evaluation Conclusion Credits [ Teacher Page ]
    • To accomplish this task, students should schedule a 15-minute office hour appointment with me to discuss a strategy for approaching the assignment. In this face-to-face meeting we will discuss which of the three assignments you would like to complete. Please think about the assignment before we meet, and have some sort of game plan in mind for a proposal. Consider: Do I read and understand poetry well enough to put a poem into my own words? Do I enjoy writing poetry? (If you choose the second assignment option, enjoy writing poetry will make the assignment that much easier; if you hate to write poetry, you will hate this assignment.) Do I like to draw or express myself through a visual medium?
    • Formulate an idea of which of the three assignment options you’d like to choose.
    • Schedule your meeting with me.
    • Have fun. Have fun. Have fun. This is meant as an opportunity for you to learn; if you hate the process, odds are you won’t learn much other than to hate poetry.
  • 5. Student Page Title Introduction Task Process Evaluation Conclusion Credits [ Teacher Page ] Adapted from www.laep.org/humanitas Beginning 1 Developing 2 Accomplished 3 Exemplary 4 Score Writing is interesting/engaging Writing does not engage reader. Has no sense of writer’s interest or commitment to the position taken. No voice evident. Opening writing is correct, if pedestrian, not particularly attracting interest. Voice is weak. Writing attracts reader’s interest. Writer’s voice indicates engagement with the issue. Engages reader’s interest in a lively fashion. Writer’s voice is forceful. Context appropriate Little or no context provided. Confusing or weak context provided. Provides enough context to assist the reader. Provides appropriate context in an efficient manner. Position support Position is unclear, absent, or contradictory to the claims made. Stated position on the issue is somewhat vague or indefinite. States a position on the issue in a clear manner. Formulates a position on the issue in a clearly stated and thought-provoking thesis. Conventions, i.e., grammar, spelling, etc. Conventions and grammar impede understanding. Weak control of conventions and grammar is distracting. Correct use of conventions and grammar, for the most part, exhibited. Command of conventions exhibited. Writer’s assertions, claims Makes few and weak claims that are inadequately written, undeveloped, and/or presented in a tone that undermines the writer’s credibility. Makes few or weak claims resulting from: the general nature of the claims, inadequate writing, failure to develop argument, or weak control of tone undermining credence. Makes claims about meaning that are mostly convincing, if somewhat weak, because of less skilled use of language and/or tone. Makes claims about meaning in a convincing manner that may lend more credence than correctness to the argument. Uses appropriate tone to maintain credence.
  • 6. Student Page Title Introduction Task Process Evaluation Conclusion Credits [ Teacher Page ] As mentioned earlier, this assignment was created to foster fun in the classroom. You may or may not leave this class as a lover of Walt Whitman. You will, however, leave this class having had assignment option that hopefully paved the way toward an appreciation of poetry and Walt Whitman as an American poet. The paper may not have been enjoyable to everyone, but as an accompanying portion of a larger assignment everyone has had the opportunity to make this assignment a learning experience.
  • 7. Student Page Title Introduction Task Process Evaluation Conclusion Credits [ Teacher Page ] Drawing not credited -- http://images.google.com/ Photo by George C. Cox -- upload.wikimedia.org/.../Walt_Whitman_edit_2.jpg Photo by Matthew Brady -- upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/ea/W Rubric credited to -- www.laep.org/humanitas/ Include a link back to The WebQuest Page and The WebQuest Slideshare Group so that others can acquire the latest version of this template and training materials.
  • 8. [ Student Page ] Title Introduction Learners Standards Process Resources Credits Teacher Page A WebQuest for 11 th and 12 th grades (American Literature) Designed by Matthew Seckinger [email_address] Based on a template from The WebQuest Page Evaluation Teacher Script Conclusion http://images.google.com/
  • 9. [ Student Page ] Title Introduction Learners Standards Process Resources Credits Teacher Page This lesson on Walt Whitman is part activator of prior knowledge, part essay. The option of three assignments used for activating prior knowledge opens up a range of possibilities to the student to allow them to: feel as though they have a say in their own education and that they are involved in a democratic learning environment, and it allows students to succeed using their skills and talents. Assessment : -- Handing in a completed interpretation, poem, or drawing will automatically earn 15 points toward the assignment. -- The other 35 points will be earned on the paper. Students need to write an effective persuasive essay addressing the topics listed in the second bullet point of the “Objectives” section of the assignment. A copy of my “persuasive essay” rubric will be handed out with the paper copy that outlines the two portions of the assignment. Learning styles addressed in part one of the assignment  :   Concrete Sequential: The first part of the assignment doesn’t really speak to this learning style directly. These students will be addressed and better served for the essay portion of the assignment. The rubric that goes along with the assignment will be helpful to these students.   Concrete Random: These students will have their needs met through either doing the poem assignment or the drawing assignment. The poem may be the easiest of the three for this group. The paper should also accommodate these students who are naturally curious.   Abstract Random: This group will also benefit from the poem and drawing options. The sensitive and compassionate sides of these students will lend themselves well to be able to express themselves through another means other than “just a paper.”   Abstract Sequential: The students with this learning-style tendency will do well with the option of a poem interpretation. The analytical facets of these students’ personalities will lend itself to this assignment. The paper should also prove easier for these students. The structure of their learning style, matched with the structure of a rubric, will blend well.   Multiple Intelligences Used : Interpersonal — students will be able to put their own feelings and/or memories into their poem pieces, their drawings, and/or into their persuasive essays. Intrapersonal — students who wish to bounce ideas off each other for the interpretive assignment can use each other as sounding boards for their ideas on what Walt Whitman was trying to say in a particular line, stanza, or passage. Verbal Linguistic — students who choose the poem assignment will be able to express themselves through the written word. Logical/Mathematical — students will do well with the structured essay and the ability to use their gifts for logic in approaching the paper. Visual/Spatial — students who chose to draw a picture representing an idea or image in one of the Song of Myself poems will benefit from having an option outside of a written one. Evaluation Teacher Script Conclusion
  • 10. [ Student Page ] Title Introduction Learners Standards Process Resources Credits Teacher Page This assignment is geared to 11 th and 12 th graders in either an American Literature course or an Introduction to Poetry class. Students need no prior knowledge of poetry of Walt Whitman to complete this assignment, but background knowledge could be helpful – I find it hard to believe that any junior or senior in high school would make it to that level of education without any exposure to poetry. Evaluation Teacher Script Conclusion
  • 11. [ Student Page ] Title Introduction Learners Standards Process Resources Credits Teacher Page Colorado Model Content Standards (Reading and Writing) Addressed : Students read and understand a variety of materials. Students write and speak for a variety of purposes and audiences. Students write and speak using conventional grammar, usage, sentence structure, punctuation, capitalization, and spelling. Students apply thinking skills to their reading, writing, speaking, listening, and viewing. Students read and recognize literature as a record of human experience.   Objective s: Students will: read a poem by Walt Whitman (Song of Myself #1, #21, or #31) and write a line-by-line interpretation of the poem, or write a poem of their own that is inspired by one of the three poems, or draw a picture of one of the images from one of the three poems. use the Internet as a research tool to write a one- to three-page paper speaking to Whitman’s ideas surrounding: urban life versus country life, the mechanical world versus nature, life and death, and traditional ideas and ideals versus progressivism. demonstrate an ability to “read” poetry. write a paper with correct English conventions, i.e., spelling, punctuation, etc. analyze poetry and decide how to convey its meaning in an interpretation, poem, or drawing. relate (in their persuasive essay) how Whitman can be called by critics, “the voice of the common man,” yet still speak to everyone. Evaluation Teacher Script Conclusion
  • 12. [ Student Page ] Title Introduction Learners Standards Process Resources Credits Teacher Page This is how the lesson will be presented to students – Procedure : To accomplish this task, students will schedule a 15-minute office hour appointment with me to discuss a strategy for approaching the assignment. In this face-to-face meeting we will discuss which of the three assignments the students would like to complete. Students will think about the assignment before we meet, and that student will have a game plan in mind for a proposal. I will try to ask probing questions to stimulate thought and to progress the proposal. Students will consider: Do I read and understand poetry well enough to put a poem into my own words? Do I enjoy writing my own poetry? (If the student chooses the second assignment option, an enjoyment of writing poetry will make the assignment that much easier; if he or she hates writing poetry, the assignment will be a pain.) Do I like to draw or express myself through a visual medium? Formulate an idea of which of the three assignments to choose. Schedule a meeting time with me to flesh out ideas and make sure he/she chose the “right” option for his or her learning style and learning preferences. Have fun — have fun — have fun. This assignment is meant as an opportunity for the student to learn; if he/she hates the process, odds are that the work will suffer as a result. Get the paper written and make sure to cite at least three sources — Web or other. Ask me for help. I chose this career for a reason — I could talk shop all day! Don’t hesitate to schedule a second, third, or fourth meeting time. This is for fun and learning — let’s do both! Evaluation Teacher Script Conclusion
  • 13. [ Student Page ] Title Introduction Learners Standards Process Resources Credits Teacher Page Materials : 1. A copy of Whitman’s Leaves of Grass — purchased or checked out from a library … you don’t have to buy this book, people! 2. Access to the Internet — at school, at home, or at the library. I will allow some class time for the writing of the paper and time to visit the school library. 3. Other materials will depend on assignment chosen. The art assignment will require a paper or canvas and something to draw with, i.e., pencils, paints, etc. Evaluation Teacher Script Conclusion
  • 14. [ Student Page ] Title Introduction Learners Standards Process Resources Credits Teacher Page The first portion of the assignment should prove to be an activator of prior knowledge and a way to prime students to write their essays. The rubric for the essay should then guide teachers to accurately evaluate papers. It is my hope that the assignment will help foster, if not love, at least an appreciation for poetry. But what is the intended result? Reading a poem multiple times to decipher meaning. None of the three options for part one of the assignment will be able to be done without reading the selected poem at least two or three times, if not more. Evaluation Teacher Script Conclusion
  • 15. [ Student Page ] Title Introduction Learners Standards Process Resources Credits Teacher Page
    • The WebQuest model is best suited for learners who can navigate the Web on their own and can read the kinds of material commonly found on the Web.
    • This page will include step by step directions to the teacher:
      • Check out the three sites I have listed for you on the “The Task” page.
      • Read through the sites for information that can help you write your paper.
      • Do these pages adequately guide you to information you need to complete the paper?
      • If more information is needed to support your arguments, consult the teacher for additional sites before going off into the World Wide Web unguided.
      • When you have the information needed to address the points in your paper, begin writing an re-evaluate later whether or not you need to return to the Internet for more information.
    • This page is linked to the Process segment off of the Teacher Page
    Evaluation Teacher Script Conclusion
  • 16. [ Student Page ] Title Introduction Learners Standards Process Resources Credits Teacher Page In my undergraduate studies I had a professor who would tell us repeatedly, “If you can read literature, you can read life.” That credo works just as well with poetry. If we can teach our students to read poetry, the mysteries of life will be revealed to them, and we will prepare them for life in the real world. As dedicated instructors, we owe them that much! Evaluation Teacher Script Conclusion
  • 17. [ Student Page ] Title Introduction Learners Standards Process Resources Credits Teacher Page Drawing not credited -- http://images.google.com/ Photo by George C. Cox -- upload.wikimedia.org/.../Walt_Whitman_edit_2.jpg Photo by Matthew Brady -- upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/ea/W Rubric credited to -- www.laep.org/humanitas/ Include a link back to The WebQuest Page and The WebQuest Slideshare Group so that others can acquire the latest version of this template and training materials. Evaluation Teacher Script Conclusion