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Topics - jbrenna2

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Find attached: Westing Game Lesson Plan Guideline Support Materials Ch. 13-18

Reading/Writing Humor / There is no real explanation for this...
« on: November 16, 2011, 08:43:14 AM »
What is Gonzo Journalism ?? How can it be used to teach ESL? I have no idea... The answer is it shouldn't probably be taught at all. But it could be of use for advanced students?
Gonzo Journalism is the writing style of the late Dr. Hunter S. Thompson. It has become known for breaking some of the major rules of standard journalism by blending fact with fantasy & featuring the writer at the center of the story often using first person narrative voice.Gonzo Journalism is chaos mixed with fact & fantasy, but always claimed or defended as fact. This concept is not a paradox nor an oxymoron as due to different perceptions of reality, one personís fact is another personís fantasy. And no type of journalism is bad as long as itís accurate. True Journalism is simply a reflection of the times. So enjoy reading the Gonzo Journals. (Excerpt from
Here is a sample of the madness that is Hunter S. Thompson:

Prewriting / Edgar Allan Poe's The Gold-Bug Lesson Plan using Freewriting
« on: October 29, 2011, 02:10:38 PM »
I have attached a slideshow that offers a rough outline of a lesson employing freewriting. The slideshow also explains the theory behind freewrites and presents a variety of ways freewriting may be used. Also, there is a reference list of useful materials for invention techniques. I have also attached a separate document from LuAnn at the Intensive English Institute. This document is an example of how she used "quickwrites" to develop a thesis statement in an advanced reading and writing course. This shows how a "quickwrite" can be adapted to peer feedback in a web based course. This also provides a good example of how both a "quickwrite" and peer feedback may be used during the early phases of writing prior to a draft 1 to generate more meaningful feedback later on as well as acquanting students with their peers work prior to draft feedback. The Gold-Bug is from "Tales of Mystery and Imagination" by Edgar Allan Poe, Simplified Edition from Longman Fiction (ISBN 0582274982).

Theory / Knowledge Transformation - Alister Cumming
« on: October 12, 2011, 02:49:00 PM »
I made this presentation about knowledge transformation according to Alister Cumming. I was going to use it for the "presentation day" but it is just too much. However, it is a useful way to tie many areas of ESL Writing together; pre-writing, during writing, past-writing. It also offers great ways to "prompt" students to further discover themselves and become more adept at writing. I found the concept of knowledge transformation to be very enlightening from a teacher's perspective. It made me realize some of the problems learners face and how we as teachers can do a better job of helping students make connections that we often assume they will make. The evidence is usually quite clear in the final "product" that they either understood the "process" or they didn't. When they clearly don't understand the process that is where knowledge transformation comes in. Clearly presenting a variety of textual, cognitive, and social models along with meaningful self evaluation will make the "process" more transparent to all. Again, I like the concept of knowledge transformation as a way of unifying much of what teachers are trying to do in regards to higher congnitive learning.

Descriptive Writing / Descriptive Writing Paragraph: Where you live!
« on: October 12, 2011, 02:39:12 PM »
This lesson has many shortcomings. Most of all I think it was a little "complex" for students to follow. This was designed for 300 level low intermediate students at the IEI. However, it presents good opportunities to teach adjectives, and complex sentence structure. In addition it allows students to really attempt to exhibit knowledge transformation in their L2. Also, much more care should be taken during the brainstorming phase of this lesson to allow students to explore different methods of invention and apply what works best for them individually.


Descriptive Writing / Space Order: Grandpa's Car
« on: September 24, 2011, 12:52:56 PM »
I adapted this example of space order to illustrate "outside-inside" space order description. This could be used to help students with descriptive paragraph writing as it often employs space order.

Descriptive Writing / Go to the museum.
« on: September 24, 2011, 12:49:51 PM »
Here is a traditional activity at the IEI. I am unsure who started this so I don't know who to credit whith this activity. Sorry! I suggest you make sure items on are on display at the museum as many of the items weren't on display when I did this activity. But you can get the general idea. This was a good pre-writing activity for descriptive paragraphs.

Descriptive Writing / Descriptive Paragraph Writing
« on: September 24, 2011, 12:43:55 PM »
Here is what I consider a "detailed" lesson on descriptive paragraph writing for 300 level intermediate.

I developed this descriptive paragraph lesson but never used it. The link to NatGeo is worth taking a look at as it provides a variety of useful photos. Maybe someone can use this or adapt it. Let me know if you try it. Jay

Extensive Reading / Extensive Reading Novels
« on: September 12, 2011, 05:30:55 PM »
Sadler Sensei,
Has anyone ever written a novel or series of novels geared toward ESL learners which provides multiple instances of say the top 2,500 words on the academic word list?

Human Is: A Science Fiction Story / Human Is
« on: September 08, 2011, 10:18:59 AM »
On page 47 Frank says, "Not quite. The changes you mentioned. The odd diction. You see, the Rexorians have only a vague knowledge of human beings. A sort of ideal abstraction, taken from Terran objects that have found their way to Rexor. Books mostly. Secondary data like that. The Rexorian idea of Terra is based on centuries-old Terran literature. Romantic novels from our past. Language, language, customs, manners from old Terran books."

I would take this excerpt to guide them into an investigation of their perception of American culture and how it has been influenced in a similar way.

Any Level

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