Common Core Standards: ELA
Comprehension and Collaboration
SL.11-12.1. Initiate and participate in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 11-12 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
- Come to discussions prepared, having read and researched material under study, explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence from texts and other research on the topic or issue to stimulate a thoughtful, well-reasoned exchange of ideas.
- Work with peers to promote civil, democratic discussion and decision-making, set clear goals and deadlines, and establish individual roles as needed.
- Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that probe reasoning and evidence; ensure a hearing for a full range of positions on a topic or issue; clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions; and promote divergent and creative perspectives.
- Respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives; synthesize comments, claims, and evidence made on all sides of the issue; resolve contradictions when possible; and determine what additional information or research is required to deepen the investigation or complete the task.
Getting teens to talk is usually no problem - until they have to speak in front of a large group, that is. In this Standard, we’ll see that preparation is the key in helping students feel comfortable in that situation. In the sample assignments given here, students will work in groups to prepare for discussion, often creating their own questions and topics. This standard also calls for the demonstration of proper discussion techniques.
Proper preparation takes away some of the fear of public speaking. In this standard, students will understand the importance of solid planning and organizing within various types of groups. Students will understand and be able to implement respectful and insightful dialogue with others, which is a lifelong skill. Now, let’s get fishin’.
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Using this Standard
- 1984 Teacher Pass
- A Raisin in the Sun Teacher Pass
- A Rose For Emily Teacher Pass
- A View from the Bridge Teacher Pass
- Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Teacher Pass
- Animal Farm Teacher Pass
- Antigone Teacher Pass
- Beowulf Teacher Pass
- Brave New World Teacher Pass
- Death of a Salesman Teacher Pass
- Fahrenheit 451 Teacher Pass
- Fences Teacher Pass
- Frankenstein Teacher Pass
- Grapes Of Wrath Teacher Pass
- Great Expectations Teacher Pass
- Hamlet Teacher Pass
- Heart of Darkness Teacher Pass
- Julius Caesar Teacher Pass
- King Lear Teacher Pass
- Lord of the Flies Teacher Pass
- Macbeth Teacher Pass
- Moby Dick Teacher Pass
- Narrative of Frederick Douglass Teacher Pass
- Oedipus the King Teacher Pass
- Of Mice and Men Teacher Pass
- One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Teacher Pass
- Othello Teacher Pass
- Romeo and Juliet Teacher Pass
- Sula Teacher Pass
- The Aeneid Teacher Pass
- The As I Lay Dying Teacher Pass
- The Bluest Eye Teacher Pass
- The Canterbury Tales General Prologue Teacher Pass
- The Canterbury Tales: The Miller's Tale Teacher Pass
- The Canterbury Tales: The Wife of Bath's Prologue Teacher Pass
- The Cask of Amontillado Teacher Pass
- The Catch-22 Teacher Pass
- The Catcher in the Rye Teacher Pass
- The Crucible Teacher Pass
- The Great Gatsby Teacher Pass
- The House on Mango Street Teacher Pass
- The Iliad Teacher Pass
- The Lottery Teacher Pass
- The Metamorphosis Teacher Pass
- The Odyssey Teacher Pass
- The Old Man and the Sea Teacher Pass
- The Scarlet Letter Teacher Pass
- The Tell-Tale Heart Teacher Pass
- Their Eyes Were Watching God Teacher Pass
- Things Fall Apart Teacher Pass
- To Kill a Mockingbird Teacher Pass
- Twilight Teacher Pass
- Wide Sargasso Sea Teacher Pass
- Wuthering Heights Teacher Pass
The example that follows is something that you could give to your students to demonstrate how a class presentation that goes smoothly needs work and organization to be successful. Or, you could have your students work on this assignment or a similar one, if you are so inclined.
This assignment is based on the short story “How Much Land Does a Man Need?” by Leo Tolstoy and also requires that students are at least mildly familiar with Bloom’s Taxonomy.
You have recently read “How Much Land Does a Man Need?” by Leo Tolstoy. You loved the surprise ending! You discovered that despite the main character’s quest for more and more land in order to be happy… WARNING! SPOILER AHEAD… a man needs just six feet of land when he dies. The theme of the story is that it is human nature to want more. Bigger. Better.
When the newest iPhone came out, you wanted to replace your adequately functioning unit with the latest and greatest. You know that your current cell phone is fine. But you WANTED the new one… just because it’s cool. Your friend, who has an iPad 2 instead of hands, just spent her hard-earned money on the new iPad 3. Just because. Yes, it’s human nature to want something that does more and performs better.
In order to better understand the story, your class has been placed into groups according to concept or theme. These are: allegory, greed, characterization, and irony. Your task is to prepare and conduct a Fish Bowl discussion on your topic. You’ve also received information about developing questions using Bloom’s Taxonomy.
You choose five group norms or standards of behavior so that your group can meet its goal:
- • Be involved.
• Be an active listener.
• Be respectful.
• Stay on task.
• Everyone participates.
And, lucky you -- you’ve been elected leader! PUFF. PUFF. Other roles that your group members might take on might be taskmaster, liaison-to-the-teacher, and timekeeper.
Your group has been assigned the topic of greed. With your group, you make a list of six questions -- one for each level of Bloom’s. (These are: Knowledge, Comprehension, Application, Analysis, Synthesis, and Evaluation.) In addition to creating the questions, you are expected to answer them. Sheeesh! You’ll make strong claims and offer solid evidence from the text to support those answers. Direct quotations add a nice flair.
Each of you takes notes on your small group discussion. These will come in handy during the larger Fish Bowl discussion in front of your classmates. You have two days to prepare your work. Complete any additional research you might need to consider your topic thoroughly and effectively.
On the day of your assigned discussion, you meet with the two other groups also assigned to the topic of greed. The three groups sit in a small circle in the middle of the room with all your other classmates in a circle around your circle. Getting dizzy yet? Remember, it’s a fish bowl, and the audience is LOOKING at you. The outer circle acts as an audience -- they take notes but are NOT participating in the discussion.
You will be graded for your discussion. Here’s the deal: You’re expected to ask questions, respond to other students’ comments, answer questions with analytical remarks, and provide textual evidence. This won’t be too bad, you think, since your notes will come in handy, and you feel fully prepared.
Group norms for the Fish Bowl are established. They sound just like the ones your small group set. As the discussion progresses, you remain respectful of all opinions. You notice the other groups’ questions are often different from yours, offering differing perspectives about greed. It seems your teacher is not participating at all except to correct misunderstandings. Students doing all the work? When did THAT happen? The conversation goes very well as each team builds on the others’ ideas. When differing in opinion, you do so with grace and well-reasoned arguments.
You were brilliant!
Quiz QuestionsHere's an example of a quiz that could be used to test this standard.
- As I Lay Dying: Adaptation
- As I Lay Dying: Why Should I Care?
- Beloved: Characterization
- Beloved: Chew On This
- Beloved: Facebook Plot Summary
- Beloved: Archetypes
- Beloved: Setting
- Beloved: Symbolism, Allusion, and Irony
- Beloved: Literary Devices
- Beloved: Adaptation
- Beloved: Why Should I Care?
- Beloved: Endings
- Beloved: "Rememory"
- Teaching Beowulf: Speaking Beowulf
- Teaching Beowulf: Anglo-Saxon Word Hunt
- Teaching Beowulf: Wise Guys in Beowulf: Gnomic Verse
- Teaching Beowulf: Adapting Beowulf
- Teaching Beowulf: Characterization
- Teaching Beowulf: Chew On This
- Teaching Beowulf: Facebook Plot Summary
- Teaching Beowulf: Archetypes
- Teaching Beowulf: Setting
- Teaching Beowulf: Symbolism, Allusion, and Irony
- Teaching Beowulf: Literary Devices
- Teaching Beowulf: Adaptation
- Teaching Beowulf: Why Should I Care?
- Black Boy: Characterization
- Black Boy: Chew On This
- Black Boy: Facebook Plot Summary
- Black Boy: Archetypes
- Black Boy: Setting
- Black Boy: Symbolism, Allusion, and Irony
- Black Boy: Literary Devices
- Black Boy: Adaptation
- Black Boy: Why Should I Care?