Making Curriculum Pop

I have an interview. Here's the deal. I have 10, yes 10 minutes, in which to present a mini lesson using technology, interrelating with the assessors and showing my stuff. I think my stuff just blew out the window. This is on English Composition or anything related to this. Anyone have ideas for a very interesting, SHORT, lesson?

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What about bringing in Gary Soto's poem "Oranges" and bringing oranges along with it?
Objective: To understand the purpose of poetry. To understand HOW to read some types of poetry.
Ask the group to write down five memories of a first date or first love. Then ask them what they know about poetry and you make it public on a giant note pad (know already). Then introduce them to the poem and ask someone to read it aloud. Then talk about the importance of watching the punctuation in poetry in order to get the ideas...Then you read it again to them and ask them what is happening in this poem....Ask what they think the purpose of the poem is..Ask if there is anything they would like to change or add to their list of what they know about poetry.... IF you move quickly, you can get it done! Then offer them oranges or tangerines, and relax while they tear into them....

OR what about comparing two poems using a Venn diagram? I only bring in poetry because it is SHORT, fun, and folks can be inspired to discuss it after a brief reading....
Beth, I don't know that this is an idea but you might read this article and see if it gives you any active teaching ideas that involve low-tech stratagies.
Are you familiar with the site? There are hundreds of lesson plans there that might give you some ideas. There is a new search and filter tool to help you find what you are looking for. Also, I used to share the RWT Calendar ( with my preservice teachers and have them create a lesson plan from the activities presented there. Good luck!
Here is a prezi on patterns in persuasive videos. We used this as an intro to writing a persuasive composition/commerical/video.
Helen, that is a fantastic prezi. I think I might integrate that one. Thanks
One very interesting way to utilize technology and writing is to do a group write with a laptop and LCD ( if available). Generate a random topic from the assessors - tea, vacationing, summer, best movies, et al. Let them decide which is the best one to write a persuasive essay about. Then go around the room clockwise or counterclockwise and have the first assessor devise a "topic sentence." The next one must connect a fact, incident, reason, or example (FIRE) sentence. After that each assessor much continue the paragraph until you have a persuasive freewrite on the topic. My students have written some of the funniest ones using topics like "Shoehorns" or "Clouds." The simpler the topic, the better the outcome. Avoid topics like elections, politics, the economy.

Best of luck. It's fun, interactive, and usually amusing and insightful.
That is a great idea. This is for a college section. How do you introduce it? We have a desktop connected to a projector. So I could type it in as they give it me. Is that how you have done it?
Yes, type it in as they dictate it to you. Then re-read for sense or revision if there is time. Again the more oblique the topic, the better the outcome. You might want to bring some in with you to ensure that no one gets too serious about the title.
Waking Up
Learning How to Tie a Shoe
Cloud Formations I have Seen
Multiple Uses for a Fruitcake
College composition requires the ability to write exposition, persuasion, description, narrative, and research papers, so you can focus on any genre in this mini lesson. It comes out just as zany and fun for the group writers. Of course, after the lesson, you can talk about the importance of pre-writing exercises as a composition technique.
How did you make out? what did you end up doing?



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