I put those words in quotation marks to indicate how the nature of reading and writing in digital environments is notably different than in print environments.
The essay pushes students to write about something that matters to them and helps them get to know each other on a deeper level.
I know building relationships with students is important and a way to get to know them is through their writing, so I did some research to see what other teachers were trying. I wanted to give everyone plenty of time to write but held them to a firm deadline of having four weeks to work.
I made it clear that students had a lot of choice regarding both content and format.
The biggest restriction came directly from the This I Believe site: I know a lot of writing teachers are divided when it comes to word count, but I figured it was still better than giving a specific number of required paragraphs and sentences.
Over the spring semester, we spent a lot of time reviewing both rhetorical and literary devices anaphora, hypothetical questions, simile and I told students to focus on the devices they genuinely felt comfortable using.
Helping Students Choose a Topic Because the rubric leaves room for a lot of choice, I encouraged students to visit the featured essays site and not only read, but listen to real examples. I also made it a point to tell them our end goal was to share this essay with their entire class by way of a gallery walk.
Can be feelings, symbols, names, events, etc. After students generated this list, I asked them to consider what they wanted to write about and share with others.
I wanted them to imagine a larger audience and think outside of meeting my expectations.
For some, deciding what to write about was easy and they began drafting immediately. However, the majority of students struggled not so much with what they believe, but how to write about it.
Even though they appreciated having so much choice, they still needed some direction to get started. I asked them to focus on why they remember what they remember, and whether or not it impacts any of their beliefs. Another strategy I tried was using involved sentence stems: I emphasized that these phrases did not have to be included in their final products, but should help generate ideas.
Drafting and Revising Because of block scheduling, I gave students about a week and a half to complete a working draft, which required having at least two paragraphs of their essay done.
I only gave a portion of two to three class periods to actually write in class; students were expected to write on their own time. I asked students to refer to the rubric and focus on voice and vocabulary strategies. Questions I told them to consider were: Does this sound like me? Do I talk like this to my friends or family?
I gave students the option of reviewing their own essays or partnering up with someone to peer edit. Again, this was the end of the year, so we had already established a pretty firm community of trust in class.
Students were very concerned with whether or not they were making sense, if they should add more, or if they were being too repetitive, rather than only being concerned about capitalization, spelling, and grammatical errors.
Sharing the Finished Essays The culmination of this assignment was when the essays were shared in a gallery walk. The gallery walk is my answer to having students write for a larger audience, and it really helps this essay become about what students have to say instead of just another grade.
With a gallery walk, not only are students thinking about what they wrote, but they have the opportunity to think about what their classmates wrote as well. I printed each essay without any names, and made sure any identifying statements were revised.
Because not every student turned in a final copy, I printed additional copies of some completed essays to ensure every student had something to read during our gallery walk, instead of drawing attention to the two or three students who did not finish the assignment.
I placed the essays on different tables throughout the room and allowed students to move around as needed; some chose to stand and read an essay, others opted to sit, while others sprawled out on the floor to read. I played soft music and asked that the room volume stay quiet enough to be able to hear the music at all times.
Did you read this one yet? I wanted students to think about what they were reading, and understand that feedback is a crucial part of the writing process After about 40 minutes, each essay had received multiple written comments, looking similar to the picture below: Overall, the feedback was uplifting and actually created a sense of belonging in each class.
A few said they wished they had written this essay sooner. Sample Student Work I was floored by some of the essays I received. Some made me laugh, some made me gasp, some made me cry.
Compared to the typical papers I usually assign, this essay allowed my students to not just think about what they were writing but to care about their writing and to be intentional in the language they were using, both in word choice and rhetorical strategies, because it was about what they believe.
It is some of the strongest student writing I have ever received as an English teacher. From a student who by all outward appearances, comes from a traditional family. From a student battling depression and anxiety.
Although this essay helped end the year with a strong sense of community, I think teachers could easily have students write it at the beginning of the school year or even in January at the start of a new year.“This I Believe Essays” as broadcast on National Public Radio I believe in what America is built on: all different religions, races and beliefs.
Different (text and audio) What I believe is that I am right and beautiful — now, in this moment, in this body, I am. Friendship Writes & Shares This I Believe Essays Summer This I Believe is a public dialogue about belief that was started in the ’s by journalist Edward R.
Murrow. It was created following the Second World War to help America move from superficial sound . Within the mode of audio essay and genre of personal essay, you have two options for approaches: a “This I Believe” essay or a “Digital Literacy Narrative.” You may choose whatever topic most interests you, as long as it’s appropriate to the approach you select.
This I Believe is an international organization engaging people in writing and sharing essays describing the core values that guide their daily lives. Over , of these essays, written by people from all walks of life, have been archived here on our website, heard on public radio, chronicled through our books, and featured in weekly podcasts.
Why Believe: Essays on Religion, Rationality and Belief [Bernard Wills] on kaja-net.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Why Believe: Essays on Religion, Rationality and Belief is a collection of essays on the role of interpretive reasoning in the formation and expression of religious beliefs.
This second collection of This I Believe essays gathers 75 essayists - ranging from famous to previously unknown This I Believe Inc., Audio Renaissance, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishers LLC. Critic Reviews. Winner of Audio Publishers Association Audie Award, Short Stories/Collections.