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Bard High School Early College - Newark

Writing & Thinking Workshop


Workshop Script for Henry David Thoreau, Observation, Bo Juyi, Liaoling and Robert Pinsky, Shirt (90 min) Goals for the Session: Explore the possibilities within texts, and draw linkages between them, via several Writing & Thinking techniques, particularly Believing and Doubting, Text Explosion and Thought Chain. Key Elements: RJ FW FFW BELIEVING AND DOUBTING SHARING: READ-AROUND TEXT EXPLOSION THOUGHT CHAIN VOLUNTEERING PROCESS FW. The session begins with a Free Write. (5 min) Next Step: On the board, the instructor writes out the first sentence of Thoreaus piece: There is no such thing as pure objective observation. The instructor need not identify the source of the sentence (or say anything at all). (1 min) FFW. Students do a Focused Free Write on what the word objective means to them. (5 min) SHARING. FFW is read in a READ-AROUND. (7 min) FFW-DOUBTING. Students do a Focused Free Write disagreeing with the sentence There is no such thing as pure objective observation. (5 min) FFW. Students do a Focused Free Write on the objective qualities of their neighbors shirt. (5 min) FFW-BELIEVING. Students do a Focused Free Write agreeing with the sentence There is no such thing as pure objective observation. (5 min) SHARING. One of the last three FFWs is read in a READ-AROUND. (7 min) 1

Teacher then teaches the term Believing and Doubting. (1 min) The following steps will ultimately lead to a TEXT EXPLOSION: Reading a poem aloud. Students turn to the Liaoling text in the Reader, page 94. First the poem is read aloud a few times, by at least two different volunteers. Then, the group might also read it together; there are a variety of possible formats, such as one line per reader in read-around format, or each reader reading until choosing to stop, at which point the next reader in the circle begins. (4 min) Reading and underlining. The instructor reads the poem aloud. This time, students underline words and/or phrases that strike them in some way. (2 min) Three short FFWs: Students select three of the words/phrases they have underlined and write a short FFW on each of them. (3 min total, 1 min per FFW) TEXT EXPLOSION: The instructor, or a volunteer, reads through the poem aloud. Every time a word/phrase that has inspired an FFW is read, the student who has written the FFW interrupts the main reader by repeating the word/phrase and then reading her/his FFW. If two students have written on the same (or overlapping) word/phrase, they work out who will go first. Each repeats the word/phrase before reading the FFW, no matter how times it has already been read. (10 min) FFW: What do you notice about this poem? (5 min) SHARING via THOUGHT CHAIN. A volunteer reads the FFW s/he has just written. Another volunteer then follows by saying I hear you saying and summarizing the previous speakers point. The statement continues with a linkage of and or but followed by a reading of the current speakers FFW. This continues on until all have read. (15-20 min) PROCESS: What did we do in this session? (5 min) SHARING via VOLUNTEERING. Share a few of the Process pieces. (2 min) (Time permitting) READING: Turn to Thoreaus Observation. Read aloud, in a Read-Around, one sentence per person. (2 min)