Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Hooking the Somebodies...Via a Pronoun

We live in a day and age of somebodies.  Everyone wants to be extraordinary, famous, or extreme--and no one wants to be a nobody.  Nobody.  Nada.  And,  we're not talking about Theodore Geisel's dopey siblings that had to shovel the snow while Mom when shopping downtown. We are not talking "somebody has to, somebody you see.  So, she picked two somebodies:  Sally and Me."  They were the supply. But--we all love a good story, so we read on.

If we are teaching the somebody-wanna-be's, then they have to be in the center of our instruction.  Remember that next time you craft your assignments.  Feed their disease by placing a pronoun into your essential questions:  "If you were in charge of the United Nations, which countries would you recommend to take a look at our Bill of Rights in order to improve the quality of life for their citizens?"   Now that's synthesis with the self-centered  (7th grade) Millennial in mind.

Examine these EQ's for "short term research assignments" and see how critical the pronoun placement is to shifting the ownership of the endeavor to the student:
  • Is your insect a "friend or foe?" (See Think Tank Library for this lesson plan!) 
  • If you were to build a "Wall of fame for local history,"  who would you include? And why... ?
  • If you were living during the 1700's in Europe, would you have chosen to immigrate to America?  Choose a European Country and examine your conditions and options.  Write me a letter (EBC- evidence-based claim) as to why you are emigrating or staying from a first-person point of view.   How will/won't you prepare?  We will hold an auction for boat tickets. 
  • How big is your carbon footprint? 
Some may say we are feeding a self-centered disease, but it works.  This generation wants to see the "relevance" of the assignment.  A pronoun in your assignment EQ will help to transfer the ownership from a "teacher-centered" assignment to a student-centered learning adventure. It's only one small step in teaching the millennial that we should have in our "bag of tricks."

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