Lesson Title: Coming of Age in the Global Village: The Power of Culture Project
Instructor Name:Allyson Daly
Subject Area/ Course Title: English II, World Literature
Geographical Link: Colombia, Poland, Russia, Estonia, Georgia, Armenia, India, Bangladesh, and the USA
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1–3 above.)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.6 Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products, taking advantage of technology’s capacity to link to other information and to display information flexibly and dynamically.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.5 Analyze how an author’s choices concerning how to structure a text, order events within it (e.g., parallel plots), and manipulate time (e.g., pacing, flashbacks) create such effects as mystery, tension, or surprise.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.6 Analyze a particular point of view or cultural experience reflected in a work of literature from outside the United States, drawing on a wide reading of world literature.
Personal Objective: for students to connect with other people their age across international borders, through stories and letters.
Essential Question: What kind of stories do teenagers write in Poland or Estonia? In Bangladesh, India, Armenia, Georgia, Russia, or Colombia?
Reference Material: Coming of Age in the Global Village: The Power of International Stories the book is available on the website www.stories.annakrzeminska.pl
and students may post there or at http://annakrzeminskapowerofculture.blogspot.com/
Warm-up Activity—Engage: Show book and the pictures of the international teachers and their students. Connect their service projects with this project, which is my service project. Hours of editing and communicating across international boundaries were involved.
Explore: Together we read “Frozen” Merlin Kasesalu’s story from Estonia, and “Death, Welcome to Poland” by Natalia Maruta’s story form Krakow, Poland. Students take turns reading for the first story, but for the second, most of it is told through the dialogue of two characters, Marcin and Death. Ask two students to read these characters. I prompt them as narrator and help keep the characters straight.
1. Students write a letter to the author commenting on the writer’s story, its strengths, etc.
2. Students then share their findings with each other.
3. The whole class discusses the stories.
4. Then the students collaborate on a single letter to the author, capturing the best of their comments.
5. We will post these comments to the message board attached to the book as well as portions to Anna Krzeminska’s blog, so I ask them about manners, representing themselves in print, and writing clearly for an international audience.
Students explore in the book for homework, selecting one story and writing a response on a five by eight notecard.
Day 2: Engage: Students come to class ready to share what stories they read and recommending them to other students.
Students determine what questions they have about the stories that they read.
Because we read a story from Poland, I show the pictures from my exchange, the school system, Krakow, the streets, the projects we worked on, etc. We look at how the schools are different and similar, how the government has shifted to capitalism in the last twenty years, and various other cultural and historical changes as an overview.
Closure: After the two day journey, ask how far have we come? What did you know? What do you want to know? And what did you learn? Allow students to consider a world beyond their own experience.
Strategies: Collaborative grouping; Writing to Learn; MAP Data; Questioning; Classroom Talk; Literacy Groups; Scaffolding Text; Marzano’s Instructional Strategies: 1. Identifying similarities and differences, 2. Summarizing and note taking, 3. Reinforcing effort and providing recognition, 4. Homework and practice, 5. Nonlinguistic representations, 6. Cooperative Learning, 7. Setting objectives and providing feedback, 8. Generating and testing hypotheses, 9. Cues, questions, and advance organizers; Bloom’s Taxonomy *Strategies used are italicized.
Assessment—Evaluate: Use their letters and class discussion to assess their engagement and expand their experience.
Homework Assigned: Students explore the book, selecting a story to read and write a response to.
Notes & Comments: After reviewing their letters and hearing their comments, I could see that the students were genuinely interested in these students and their cultures. I was proud to see that they were engaged, they used many of the terms that we studied in class to describe the stories, and they really appreciated a good story, a skill that they themselves had worked on when they wrote the Hero’s Journey paper earlier in the course.
Both Anna Krzeminska (Poland) and Mamta Kumar (India) and I have worked so hard to get this book together that it is awesome to see it in a way that students can read and have access to.