Friday, February 27, 2009

Making Changes

One thing that teachers do is to make changes to lessons that don't work. Yesterday I started the unit on "Letter From A Birmingham Jail" and it went over like a lead balloon. The students complained about the letter and said this was better suited for history than for English. So today before we continued the lesson I played a short video on the civil rights crusade from the 60's and got the desired result.

Once the students saw the photos and heard the eye witnesses, it was much easier to focus their attention on the task at hand. I knew I had them when I asked for a volunteer to read and had a plethora of volunteers. since the letter is 17 double spaced pages, everyone will get a chance to read.

We also do biographies on a daily basis of famous people. Today I did BB King and on a hunch found this video of "The Thrill is Gone" and played that for the students before they did the assignment. So today I was 2 for 2, not bad considering I have a nasty cold right now.