Friday, December 30, 2011

11:26 AM - No comments

Typing Sentences

There are many different 
types of sentences.

Every sentence contains a basic statement.

Bells rang.
Love is blind.
The dog chased Daryl.
Andrea gave her mother flowers.
The teacher considered him a good student.

The group of words in the statement contain a subject and predicate.

The subject names the "do-er" or "be-er" of the sentence; the predicate does the rest of the work. The statement might use an implied predicate. ("Listen!" . . . implying, "You listen.") A simple predicate consists of only a verb, verb string, or compound verb:

The bells rang.
The bells have been ringing.
The bells rang, and chimed and filled the air.

Sentence Pattern Types:


  • The Periodic Sentence -- additional details are placed before the basic statement:
    "Andrea, the tough one, the sullen kid who scoffed at any show of sentiment, gave her mother flowers."
  • The Cumulative (or Loose) Sentence -- basic statement with a string of details added to it:
    "Bells rang, filling the air with joy and bringing people into the streets to hear the news."

Also note --

The Periodic Interruptive -- additional details are added inside the basic statement:
"Love, as everyone knows except those who happen to be afflicted with it, is blind."

The Combination Sentence -- additional details are added before and after the basic statement:

Function Types:
  • Declarative (most of the sentences we use)
  • Imperative ("Don't write about that!")
  • Interrogative (questions --"Why are those bells ringing?")
  • Exclamatory ("That's a fine paragraph!")

Sentence Structure Types: (differ depending on the number and type of clauses)

  • Simple (one independent clause)
    "We drove from Minneapolis to Bismarck without stopping."
  • Compound (more than one independent clause)
    "We were exhausted, but we arrived in time for my father's birthday party."
  • Complex (one independent clause and at least one dependent clause)
    "Although he is now in his eightieth year, he is still quite active."
  • Compound-Complex (more than one independent clause and at least one dependent clause)
    "After it was all over, my dad claimed he knew we were planning something, but we think he was really surprised."

 The Nagging Inner Ear

Suppose you are working with a short, simple sentence: John was angry. This short sentence may sound exactly right inside your paragraph -- just short enough and sharp enough to have the force you want. In that case, leave it alone. But perhaps that nagging inner ear tells you that it isn't quite right; it needs something.

"John, usually the calmest of men, was suddenly, violently angry."

"John, usually the calmest of men, was suddenly, violently angry, so angry that he lost control completely."

Thursday, December 29, 2011

12:39 PM - No comments

Writing an Essay: 10 Steps

1.   Research
2.   Analysis
3.   Brainstorming
4.   Thesis
5.   Outline
6.   Introduction
7.   Body
8.   Conclusion
9.   Format (APA, MLA Style)
10. Language editing

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

POP: Pathos - Speech Unit

Powers of Persuasion: Pathos

A Pop Literacies, Urban Middle School
Language Arts Unit Learning Plan

In this seven-lesson, multimedia, Language Arts unit – eighth grade urban learners encounter the power of persuasive speaking and expand their understanding of the concept of persuasion in advertising. Learners consider that effective speakers use volume, pacing, vocal inflection and word choice appropriate to audience. They evaluate how rhetoric designed for a target audience employs imagery and transfer to make appeals to emotion. Through questions concerning cultural perspective, learners also look at ways in which they themselves are a target audience, developing awareness of how the popular mass media maneuvers to persuade them as purchasers of products and consumers buying in to the cultural marketplace of ideas.

While this plan is a discrete, one-week unit, POP: Pathos is envisioned as the second part of a four-part series – not necessarily scheduled back-to-back -- investigating the three appeals identified by Aristotle in classical rhetoric: appeals to reason (logos), to emotion (pathos), and to the speaker’s authority (ethos). These persuasive text/pop media units would ultimately lead to a major final project where teams of learners would collaborate to prepare live multimedia presentations – expressing opinions on a social or cultural issue at play in Chris Crowe’s narrative non-fiction text, Getting Away with Murder: The True Story of the Emmett Till Case, or a similar work.

In this unit, learners will:

  •      Review and discover vocabulary associated with persuasive speaking and persuasive advertising techniques;

  •      Interpret their thoughts about various advertising images, symbols and slogans;

  •      Write and deliver a targeted ad voice-over using various learned techniques;

  •      Create a sound recording of a persuasive speech using Audacity software;

  •      Create a full-motion video clip and publish it using webware;

  •      Present targeted texts and assess why and how student ads are convincing.

Instructional Strategies: Lesson Two sequence is from Sullivan’s “Persuasive Speech” lesson – at Poway Schools, Lesson Three uses ideas and information from McCarthy’s “Persuasion through Advertising” lesson, located at

Big Idea: Cultural Perspective

Essential Questions:

  • What makes a good speaker?
  • What makes a persuasive speech?
  • For what purposes might an author create a persuasive speech?
  • How are images associated with emotions and feelings?
  • How are images used to persuade?
  • What is perspective?
  • What is cultural perspective?
  • What cultural perspectives do I identify with?
  • How do I deliver a spoken text convincingly?
  • What is a target audience?
  • What target audiences do I belong to?
  • How does intended audience affect word choice?
  • What shapes our point of view?
  • How do others influence our thinking?

Lesson Plan Overview

     Lesson 1 – POP Quiz
o   Web pretest. Review vocal speech techniques -- What makes a good speaker? - volume, pacing and vocal inflection. [What is perspective?]
     Lesson 2 – Commercial Properties
o   What makes a good speech? - word choice. Targeting audience. [How can persuasion skills be used to change perspective?]
     Lesson 3 – Target Audience: Pathos
o   Investigate the concepts of transfer and appeals to emotion. [What is cultural perspective?]
     Lesson 4 – The Write Angle
o   Vocabulary Quiz Bowl. Write text, make word choices, for advertisement voice-over. [What cultural perspectives do I share with others?]
     Lesson 5 – Speaking Engagement
o   Deliver and listen to voice-over speeches. [How does my worldview differ from the perspectives of others?]
     Lesson 6 – Power of Pictures
o   Vocabulary Quiz. Create sound file, choose picture files for voice-over and publish video [How do others influence my thinking?]
     Lesson 7 – Commercial Appeal
o   Presentation of final projects / evaluations. [How is my worldview shaped by the way the world views me?]

Learners: (based on a class from Patrick Henry High) 22 mixed ability students of widely diverse cultural backgrounds. Class has theoretically had a previous speech unit – POP: Logos – and some experience with the basic vocabulary associated with persuasive speaking, the delivery of brief speeches and solo readings, and manipulation of Audacity sound recording software and webware.

Duration: seven, 60-minute sessions

Special Resource Requirements: computer lab, account, Audacity software, examples of print and video advertisements from

Materials – Unit Plan Forms: Target Audience, Picture–Symbol–Slogan map, Transfer Techniques, Voice-Over rubric, Persuasive Presentation rubric feedback form, web pretest, web POP Quiz, Vocabulary list for Quiz Bowl review

Resources/Websites:; sample adverts from [];

“Persuasive Speech” lesson by April Sullivan [ admin_powayusd_com_20090724_163000LessonPlan6.pdf].

“Persuasion through Advertising” lesson by Tara McCarthy at [];

The three appeals identified by Aristotle in classical rhetoric;
appeals to reason (logos), to emotion (pathos), and to the speaker’s authority (ethos).

POP: Pathos
Core Learning Strategy Map

Standard: Delineate and respond to a speaker’s argument, specific claim, and intended audience, evaluating the soundness of the reasoning and relevance and sufficiency of the evidence and identifying when irrelevant evidence is introduced.

Core Objective: I can determine a speaker’s target audience to evaluate a speech’s power and persuasiveness.
Learning Target: I can identify names of common vocal techniques used by speakers.
Learning Assessment: word splash, vocabulary quiz bowl
Learning Target: I can evaluate a persuasive spoken text.
Learning Assessment: two Voice-Over rubric forms – partner and self-assessment
Core Assessments: vocabulary POP Quiz - 20%;
six completed Persuasive Presentation Rubric feedback forms - 30%

Assessment Description: Just before learners partake in the unit’s final presentations, they will each be randomly assigned the names of six other students whose projects they will evaluate using the Persuasive Presentation rubric feedback form.

Standard: Present claims and findings, respect intellectual properties emphasize salient points in a focused, coherent manner with relevant evidence, sound valid reasoning, and well-chosen details; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation

Core Objective: I can present my ideas clearly and convincingly to a target audience.
Learning Target: I can author a speech intended for a specific audience.
Learning Assessment: written text of advertisement voice-over
Learning Target: I can deliver a speech persuasively.
Learning Assessment: speech presentation of advertisement text
Learning Target: I can record a speech using standard software.
Learning Assessment: Audacity sound file of voice-over
Learning Target: I can create a full motion video using standard webware.
Learning Assessment: published video
Core Assessment: final presentation of published advertisement projects - 50%

Assessment Description: Learners will give a brief introduction and present a published 30-second video – for assessment of written text, *recorded speech, and multimedia elements.

*Based on evaluation of the initial speech presentations, this summative core assessment could be altered so that students would deliver speeches live as their Animoto media file’s music and images play. This would place a greater emphasis on public speaking -- if focus on that skill component is deemed necessary.

Success Opportunity for Urban LearnersSOUL Focus:
Comprehension, Collaboration and Presentation of Knowledge

ISTE NETS (National Educational Technology Standards) addressed:

Standard 1 - Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology.

Standard 6 - Students demonstrate a sound understanding of technology concepts, systems, and operations.

Differentiated Instruction: This multidimensional, multiliteracy unit dynamically aligns with several of the MDE’s Speaking Viewing, Listening, Media Literacy benchmarks for Grade 8 and should be fairly simple to adapt to suit all learners in an urban middle school program. For the final project, advanced learners could alternatively be invited to deconstruct a completed, previously published Animoto design and create new narration for a specific target audience – while differentiation for struggling learners might involve inviting students to work in pairs or shifting project length requirements.

Please note the name and acronym of the new heading listed under standards, representing my thought to include -- along with a state standard – an additional standard that specifically identifies the college and career readiness anchor area for inner-city students: Success Opportunity for Urban Learners SOUL Focus! This urban learning protocol -- based directly on the Common Core website’s CCR definitions – would be an instructional planning assessment tool and a guide to answering the question: “Why do we need to learn this?” My concept here is to energize the passive, academic CCR language so that urban students are explicitly instructed as to which of the basic, broad areas of life and learning skills are being addressed.