Unit Plan: Still A Work in Progress

Raph Here:

This post is in response to Dr. Stearns’ prompt as to what we’ve learned in doing our Unit Plan. After finishing what I consider to be a very rough draft, I am now beginning to understand that this unit plan will never be complete, but that’s a good thing. It will always be a work in progress because we never know what will happen in our classrooms. There is no way anyone can say, ” I have the plan to end all plans.”

As I review my work, I realize how much I followed along with old-school thought. I don’t offer my students much choice as far as reading goes and this is an issue that will have to be addressed in revision. I actually feel kind of stupid because I forgot such simple things as Literature Circles, which Ray H. mentioned he used in his Unit Plan. I have plenty of YA books to use, and I have them in my further reading section, but I don’t manage to integrate them into the unit. I stick with the classics and this is my major problem. I can’t help but feel like I’ve somehow managed to make Comedy boring. Literature circles would definitely help liven up my classroom.

As far as my best work goes, I feel I hit the nail on the proverbial head with the kick-off activity. I had previously posted a stand-up comedy routine by Brian Regan which I was going to use, but after thinking and re-thinking, I decided on this clip from Demetri Martin (comedian, writer for the Daily Show and Late Night with Conan O’Brien):

The Land Where Jokes Come From

I feel that this would be a perfect introduction to my unit and it would give students  some insight into the creative process of writing (not just Comedy, but writing in general). As a class we would watch the whole performance from beginning to end (this clip is the finale), but within these 5 minutes, Martin touches on the essence of Comedy and I would be really interested in seeing student responses.

How is everyone else doing?

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1 Comment

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One response to “Unit Plan: Still A Work in Progress

  1. sunyprof

    Raph, you have very fine insight into how much the old paradigms construct the work of ELA classrooms. The Ursula Kelly essay we read at the beginning of the semester is worth coming back to again and again. The Discourse we inhabit (those hours and hours of apprentice observation in ELA classrooms in both K-12 and undergraduate/graduate education) writes us. The ideologies that make us up script what we “choose” to do.

    Resistance takes practice!!!

    That is an incredibly important understanding.

    I’d like your thoughts on it.

    Your kickoff activity is great. I love the Martin clip.

    Re: progress in your unit plan. You have had to think deeply about comedy, a love, over these planning weeks. THAT is what you bring to the classroom now. The plans are important, yes, of course, but more important is the thinking and researching you have done.

    What do you think? KES

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