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Project of Strong and Thorough Textual Evidence

Contextualization

In the realm of English language arts, textual evidence is the cornerstone of any argument, analysis, or interpretation. It serves as the backbone, providing support to the claims that we make about a text. However, not all textual evidence is created equal. There is weak evidence, which may be vague or lack direct relevance to the point being made. Then there is strong evidence, which is specific, detailed, and directly linked to the argument.

In this project, we will delve into the intricacies of strong and thorough textual evidence. We will learn how to identify it, how to analyze it, and most importantly, how to use it effectively to bolster our arguments. This skill is not only crucial for success in English class, but it is also a fundamental skill for college and career readiness.

In our world today, we are constantly bombarded with texts, whether it be in the form of news articles, social media posts, or academic papers. The ability to critically read and analyze these texts, and to provide strong and thorough textual evidence to support our own arguments, is a skill that will serve us well in any endeavor.

Importance of Strong and Thorough Textual Evidence

Using strong and thorough textual evidence is crucial in fostering a deeper understanding of a text. It allows us to uncover the author's intent, the themes and messages of the text, and the techniques used to convey these meanings. Moreover, it enables us to develop and articulate our own interpretations and arguments in a clear and convincing manner.

In the academic world, the use of strong and thorough textual evidence is essential. It is the basis of scholarly research, providing the foundation for any claims made in a paper. In the professional world, the ability to provide strong and thorough textual evidence is valued in a range of fields, from law to journalism to scientific research.

Resources for further reading

  1. Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them by Francine Prose - This book explores the craft of writing through the lens of reading. It offers a wealth of examples of strong and thorough textual evidence.

  2. The Writing Revolution: A Guide to Advancing Thinking Through Writing in All Subjects and Grades by Judith C. Hochman, Natalie Wexler, and Doug Lemov - This book provides a systematic and practical approach to teaching writing, with a focus on using textual evidence effectively.

  3. Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) - Using Evidence Effectively - This resource, from one of the most reputable writing centers in the world, offers tips and guidelines for using evidence effectively in academic writing.

  4. TED-Ed: How to Use Evidence to Make Your Point in Business - This engaging video, although aimed at a business audience, provides a clear and simple explanation of how to use evidence effectively in any context.

  5. Khan Academy: Reading: Literature—How to answer questions about evidence - This interactive tutorial from Khan Academy offers practice in identifying and analyzing textual evidence.

By delving into these resources, you will be well-equipped to understand and apply the principles of strong and thorough textual evidence. Let's embark on this journey of exploration and discovery together!

Practical Activity

Activity Title: "Unearthing the Truth: A Journey into Strong and Thorough Textual Evidence"

Objective of the Project

The ultimate objective of this project is to enable students to identify, analyze, and use strong and thorough textual evidence effectively in their writing.

Detailed Description of the Project

In this project, students will work in groups of 3 to 5 to conduct a thorough textual analysis of a short story of their choice. They will be tasked with identifying and annotating strong and thorough textual evidence, then using this evidence to develop an argument about the theme or message of the story.

The project will be divided into two main parts:

  1. Textual Analysis: Students will read the short story carefully, making note of any passages or quotes that they think are strong and thorough evidence. They will then annotate these passages, explaining why they consider them to be strong evidence.

  2. Argument Development: After completing the textual analysis, students will use the strong and thorough textual evidence they identified to develop an argument about the theme or message of the story. They will write an essay presenting their argument, using the annotated passages as evidence to support their claims.

At the end of the project, each group will present their findings to the class, explaining their process, their argument, and how they used the strong and thorough textual evidence to support their claims.

Necessary Materials

  • Short stories (one per group)
  • Writing materials (notebooks, pens, etc.)
  • Access to a library or online resources for additional research
  • Computers for typing and formatting the final essay
  • Presentation materials (poster board, markers, etc.)

Detailed Step-by-Step for Carrying Out the Activity

  1. Group Formation: Students will be divided into groups of 3 to 5 members. Each group will choose a short story for their analysis.

  2. Textual Analysis: Students will read their chosen short story, making note of any passages or quotes that they think are strong and thorough evidence. They will then annotate these passages, explaining why they consider them to be strong evidence.

  3. Argument Development: After completing the textual analysis, students will use the strong and thorough textual evidence they identified to develop an argument about the theme or message of the story. They will write an essay presenting their argument, using the annotated passages as evidence to support their claims.

  4. Preparation of Presentation: Each group will prepare a presentation on their findings, explaining their process, their argument, and how they used the strong and thorough textual evidence to support their claims.

  5. Presentation: Each group will present their findings to the class.

  6. Report Writing: After the presentation, each group will write a detailed report on their project, following the structure of Introduction, Development, Conclusion, and Used Bibliography.

    • Introduction: Contextualize the chosen short story, the objective of the project, its relevance, and real-world application. Also, state the methodology used in the textual analysis and argument development.

    • Development: Detail the theory behind strong and thorough textual evidence, explain the activities carried out, and present the results obtained. Discuss the identified strong evidence and how it was used to develop the argument.

    • Conclusion: Revisit the main points of the project, explicitly state the learnings obtained, and the conclusions drawn about the project.

    • Bibliography: Indicate the sources relied on to work on the project such as books, web pages, videos, etc.

  7. Submission of the Report: Each group will submit their written report to the teacher.

Project Deliverables

  1. Annotated short story: Each group will submit a copy of the short story with their annotations.

  2. Presentation: Each group will present their findings to the class.

  3. Written Report: Each group will submit a written report detailing their project.

  4. Reflection: Each student will write a personal reflection on the project and what they have learned.

The written report and personal reflection should provide a comprehensive overview of the project, including the theory behind strong and thorough textual evidence, the activities carried out, the results obtained, and the conclusions drawn. The report should also explicitly state the contributions of each group member to the project.

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English

Precise Language

Contextualization

Introduction to Precise Language

Language is a powerful tool we use every day to communicate with others, express our thoughts, and understand the world around us. However, not all words carry the same weight or convey the same meaning. Some words are more specific, exact, and detailed in their meaning, and these are what we call precise language.

In the realm of English Language Arts, precise language is a fundamental aspect of effective communication and clear expression of ideas. Using precise language is like using a fine-tipped pen to draw a detailed picture, as opposed to a broad brush that creates a vague image.

Importance of Precise Language

The use of precise language is crucial not just in academic settings but in all aspects of life. It helps us to accurately convey our thoughts and ideas, reducing the risk of misunderstandings and misinterpretations. In school, using precise language is key to understanding complex concepts, answering test questions correctly, and writing clear, concise essays.

Moreover, in professional settings, the use of precise language can often be the difference between success and failure. In fields like law, medicine, engineering, and even business, where precision and accuracy are paramount, the misuse or misunderstanding of language can lead to disastrous consequences.

Resources

To gain a deeper understanding of the topic and to enhance your learning journey, you can use the following resources:

  1. Using Precise Language - A detailed article about the importance of precise language and how to use it effectively.

  2. The Power of Words: How we use language to express ourselves - A TED Talk that discusses the power and nuances of language.

  3. Book: "The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century" by Steven Pinker - This book explores various aspects of language use, including the use of precise language.

  4. Quizlet: Precise Language - A collection of interactive flashcards and quizzes to test your understanding of precise language.

  5. Grammarly Blog: The Power of Precise Language - This blog post delves into the role of precise language in effective communication.

Practical Activity

Activity Title: "The Power of Words: A Precise Language Exploration"

Objective of the Project:

The objective of this project is to understand the concept of precise language, its importance, and its application in real-world scenarios. Through group discussions, individual reflections, and creative presentations, students will showcase their understanding of the topic.

Detailed Description of the Project:

In this project, each group will select a real-world scenario (e.g., a courtroom trial, a medical diagnosis, a scientific experiment, an advertisement) and analyze how precise language is used within it. This analysis should highlight the impact of precise language on the outcome, whether it is ensuring clarity, avoiding misunderstandings, or influencing opinions.

The project will be conducted in four main phases:

  1. Research Phase: Students will conduct research on precise language, its definition, importance, and examples. They will also select a real-world scenario for their analysis.

  2. Analysis Phase: Students will analyze their chosen real-world scenario, identifying instances where precise language is used and discussing its impact on the situation.

  3. Presentation Phase: Each group will prepare a visual presentation (poster, PowerPoint, etc.) to showcase their findings. The presentation should be creative, engaging, and informative.

  4. Reflection and Report Writing Phase: After the presentation, each student will write an individual report reflecting on their learnings and experience during the project.

Necessary Materials:

  • Access to the internet for research
  • Books or any other resources on language and communication
  • Art supplies for creating the visual presentation
  • Writing materials for report writing

Detailed Step-by-Step for Carrying Out the Activity:

  1. Form Groups and Select Scenarios (30 minutes): Form groups of 3 to 5 students. Each group should select a real-world scenario for their analysis.

  2. Research Precise Language (1 hour): Conduct research on precise language, its definition, and examples. Discuss your findings within the group.

  3. Analyze Chosen Scenario (1 hour): Analyze your chosen scenario. Identify instances where precise language is used and discuss the impact of this usage.

  4. Prepare Presentation (1 hour): Prepare a visual presentation to showcase your findings. Be creative in your presentation.

  5. Present and Discuss (30 minutes per group): Present your findings to the class. Engage in a discussion with your classmates.

  6. Write Individual Reports (1 hour): Reflect on your learnings and experience in the project. Write a report using the following structure: Introduction, Development, Conclusion, and Used Bibliography.

    • Introduction: Contextualize the theme, its relevance, and real-world application. State the objective of the report.

    • Development: Explain the theory behind the theme, detail the activities performed, the methodology used, and present and discuss the obtained results.

    • Conclusion: Revisit the main points of the report, explicitly stating your learnings and the conclusions drawn about the project.

    • Bibliography: Indicate the sources you relied on to work on the project such as books, web pages, videos, etc.

  7. Submit Final Report: Each group will submit their individual reports.

The project is expected to be completed within a week, with an estimated workload of 4 to 6 hours per student. The written report should be between 1000-1500 words, and each group will submit a single report. The report should be a synthesis of the entire project, including the research, analysis, presentation, and individual reflections.

Project Deliverables:

  1. Visual Presentation: Each group will prepare a visual presentation (poster, PowerPoint, etc.) to showcase their findings. This will be presented to the class.

  2. Written Report: Each student will submit an individual report. This report should be a synthesis of the entire project, including the research, analysis, presentation, and individual reflections.

    • Introduction: Contextualize the theme, its relevance, and real-world application. State the objective of the report.

    • Development: Explain the theory behind the theme, detail the activities performed, the methodology used, and present and discuss the obtained results.

    • Conclusion: Revisit the main points of the report, explicitly stating your learnings and the conclusions drawn about the project.

    • Bibliography: Indicate the sources you relied on to work on the project such as books, web pages, videos, etc.

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English

Traditional Stories

Contextualization

Traditional stories are cultural artifacts, a mirror reflecting a society's values, concerns, and aspirations. They include myths, legends, folktales, and fables passed down orally from generation to generation before being written down. Key theoretical concepts that govern traditional stories include themes, patterns of events, character types, and symbolism.

Themes in traditional stories often revolve around core human experiences, such as love, bravery, friendship, and the quest for identity. Through repeated patterns of events such as quests, ordeals, and triumphs, these stories create narratives that resonate on a deep psychological level. Character types, such as the hero, villain, mentor, and trickster, are recognizable across different cultures, implying universal human archetypes. Symbolism is used to convey deeper meanings, with objects, characters, or events representing abstract ideas.

Understanding traditional stories can give us a fresh perspective on modern works of fiction that draw on these elements. These can be seen in many of today's books, films, and even videogames, that use these ancient story-telling techniques to engage audiences and deliver impactful messages.

The relevance of traditional stories lies in their ability to provide a window into the collective psyche of different cultures. They give us insight into societal norms and values, helping us understand others and ourselves better. For example, Greco-Roman myths speak to societal power dynamics and human morality, while Native American folktales focus more on man's relationship with nature. They help us bridge gaps between cultures, fostering a better understanding and appreciation of the human experience across time and space.

In our modern, connected world, traditional stories can serve as a powerful tool for cross-cultural understanding and empathy. By teaching us about others, they also teach us about ourselves. Even within our own culture, reflecting on these old stories can remind us of shared values and ideals.

Resources

  1. "Folk and Fairy Tales – A Guide to Printed Resources". University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Link
  2. "Folktales and Fairy Tales: Traditions and Texts from around the World". Greenwood Press. Link
  3. "The Power of Myth" by Joseph Campbell. Link
  4. BBC’s collection of myths and legends. Link
  5. The Library of Congress’s list of folk tales from around the world. Link
  6. "The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales" by Bruno Bettelheim. Link
  7. "Greek Mythology" by Hourly History. Link

Practical Activity

Activity Title: "Traditional Tales in Modern Fiction"

Objective of the Project:

The goal of this engaging project is for students to identify the influence of traditional stories in modern works of fiction, understand its significance and develop an appreciation for the depth and richness these traditional stories add. This will be done through extensive research, critical analysis, and collaborative storytelling.

Detailed Description of the Project:

Each group of students (3 to 5 in each) will choose a modern work of fiction such as a novel, movie, or videogame. The selected work should be heavily influenced by traditional stories. This could be through its themes, patterns of events, character types, or symbolism drawn from myths, legends, folktales, fables, or religious works.

Students will conduct in-depth research on the traditional stories that influenced their chosen modern work of fiction, focusing on the key theoretical concepts. Drawing on their research, they will create an engaging multimedia presentation that will explore the connections between the traditional stories and their modern counterpart, analyzing the purpose and effect of these influences.

Finally, the groups will create their own short story that incorporates these same traditional elements into a modern setting.

Necessary Materials:

  • Selected modern work of fiction (book, movie, videogame, etc.)
  • Research materials (Internet access, library access, etc.)
  • Multimedia presentation tools (PowerPoint, Canva, etc.)
  • Creative writing tools (Pen and paper, word processing software, etc.)

Detailed step-by-step for carrying out the activity:

  1. Selection: Each group will choose a modern work of fiction that is known to be influenced by traditional stories.
  2. Research: Team members will carry out extensive research on the traditional stories influencing their chosen work. They'll focus on themes, patterns of events, character types, and symbolism.
  3. Analysis: The group will collectively analyze the modern work, identifying and discussing where influences from traditional stories are evident.
  4. Presentation: Using multimedia tools, the group will create an engaging presentation outlining their research and analysis. The presentation should highlight the connections between the traditional stories and the modern work, explaining how and why these influences are used.
  5. Story Creation: The team will collaboratively write their own short story, incorporating themes, patterns of events, character types, or symbolism from traditional stories.
  6. Reflection: Each group will reflect on what they learned from the project, and how it has influenced their understanding and appreciation of modern fiction.

Project Duration: This project is expected to take more than twelve hours per student to complete.

Project Deliverables:

The main deliverable of this project is the multimedia presentation, which should detail the theoretical concepts, the process followed, and the analysis of the chosen work. This presentation will be given to the class, encouraging discussion and further understanding.

Additionally, the short story created by the students will be shared and read in class. It should demonstrate a creative and accurate use of traditional story elements in a modern context.

Lastly, a detailed written report should be submitted, structured in the following manner:

  1. Introduction: It should contextualize the chosen modern work of fiction, the traditional stories influencing it, and the objective of this project. It should also reflect on the real-world application and relevance of traditional stories in modern fiction.
  2. Development: This section should detail how traditional stories were identified in the modern work. It should explain the methodology used for the research and analysis, and discuss the results and findings.
  3. Conclusion: Revisiting the main points, this section should articulate what was learned from the project and the conclusions drawn about the influences of traditional stories on modern fiction.
  4. Bibliography: This last section should list the sources utilized for the research and completion of the project.

This project encourages both the acquisition of technical skills, like critical analysis and creative thinking, and the development of socio-emotional skills, such as time management, collaboration, and communication.

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English

Maintain a Formal Style

Contextualization

Formal writing is an essential skill, not just in the academic world but in various professional settings as well. It is a style of writing that is characterized by its structure, objectivity, and precision. Unlike informal writing, which is more relaxed and conversational, formal writing tends to be more serious and focused on conveying information in a clear and concise manner.

In the professional world, formal writing is crucial for reports, business letters, and emails, grant proposals, and academic research papers. Mastering this style of writing will not only contribute to your success in school but also in your future career.

In this project, we will delve into the intricacies of formal writing. We will discuss its key features, understand its importance, and lastly, learn how to maintain a formal style consistently throughout a piece of writing.

By the end of this project, you will not only have a deep understanding of formal writing, but you will also have developed the essential skills needed to write effectively and professionally.

Resources

  1. Purdue Online Writing Lab: This is a comprehensive resource for all things writing. It provides detailed information on formal writing, including style, tone, and structure.

  2. Grammarly Handbook: This is an excellent resource for understanding the mechanics of formal writing, such as grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure.

  3. The Balance Careers: This website offers a wealth of information on professional writing, including business letters and emails.

  4. Book: "Elements of Style" by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White. This is a classic resource for improving your writing style. It is a short, easy-to-understand guide on the principles of English usage and composition.

  5. TED-Ed: This platform offers engaging educational videos on various topics, including writing and communication skills.

  6. YouTube: There are numerous educational channels on YouTube that provide tutorials and tips on formal writing.

Practical Activity

Activity Title: "Formal Writing: Mastering the Art of Communication"

Objective of the Project:

The project aims to develop students' understanding and practical application of formal writing. It will focus on writing a formal letter, report, and email. Students will learn to maintain a formal style consistently and understand the importance of clear and concise communication in professional settings.

Detailed Description of the Project:

The project will be carried out in groups of 3 to 5 students. Each group will be assigned a scenario, and their task will be to create a formal letter, a report, and an email based on that scenario. The scenarios will be designed to align with real-world situations, such as a business proposal, a complaint letter, and a job application.

Students will have to use the resources provided to research and understand the characteristics of formal writing, including style, tone, structure, and language. They will then apply this knowledge to create their written documents.

Necessary Materials:

  • Internet access for research
  • Word processing software for drafting documents
  • Printer for printing the final documents
  • Stationery for presentation (if desired)

Detailed Step-by-Step for Carrying Out the Activity:

  1. Group Formation and Scenario Assignment (1 hour): Students will be divided into groups and assigned a scenario. Each group will receive a different scenario.

  2. Research (3 hours): Students will use the provided resources to research the characteristics of formal writing and understand how to apply them in different types of documents (letter, report, email).

  3. Document Creation (5 hours): Using the knowledge gained from their research, each group will create a formal letter, a report, and an email based on their assigned scenario.

  4. Group Review and Editing (2 hours): Once the initial drafts are completed, each group will review and edit their documents to ensure they are clear, concise, and maintain a formal style throughout.

  5. Final Document Preparation (1 hour): After making the necessary edits, each group will prepare the final versions of their documents for submission.

  6. Presentation Preparation (2 hours, optional): If desired, groups can prepare a brief presentation to explain their scenario, the documents they created, and the reasons behind their choices.

  7. Project Submission: Each group will submit their final documents and, if applicable, their presentation to the teacher.

Project Deliveries:

  1. Written Documents: The formal letter, report, and email created by each group. These should be neatly presented, well-structured, and written in a clear, concise, and consistently formal style.

  2. Project Report: This should be a detailed account of the project, including the background research, the steps followed, the challenges faced, and the solutions found. It should also include a reflection on the learning outcomes and the group's experiences working on the project.

  3. Presentation (Optional): If the group decides to prepare a presentation, it should be a concise summary of their project report, highlighting the key points and the process they followed.

Project Report Structure:

The written document (project report) should have the following structure:

  1. Introduction: Contextualize the theme of formal writing, its relevance, real-world application, and the objective of the project.

  2. Development: Detail the theory behind formal writing, including its key features and why it is important. Describe the assigned scenario and the steps taken to create the formal documents. Include the methodology used and the results obtained.

  3. Conclusions: Revisit the main points of the project, explicitly stating the learnings obtained and the conclusions drawn about the project.

  4. Bibliography: Indicate all the sources used to research and carry out the project.

Remember, the report should be written in formal language, use proper grammar and punctuation, and be structured in a logical and organized manner.

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