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From Global to City Air - Language Arts Lessons

In the language arts class students explore multicultural literature, journal writing, literary analysis and formal writing as support while they explain their city design. Students’ work in this unit provides the necessary background students will need to complete a formal proposal for their human-healthy city.

Standards addressed by this unit include ‘Analysis of Literary Elements’, ‘Effective Communication’, ‘Writing Processes’, ‘Language Structure and Conventions’.

Threaded Big Idea
Journal writing stimulates personal growth, self reflection, and can serve as a record of personal health. Journals have also been used to record a wealth of historical information, from climate conditions to daily life.
Essential Question
What are the purposes of journal writing?
Learning Cycle
Lesson Title & Description
Objective
Students will:
Class period & week
Engage/Explore
A History of Journal Writing
Students will learn about various people from different cultures who have kept journals for scientific, historical, and creative purposes.
1. Students will articulate their prior knowledge of journal writing, explore what function journal writing has fulfilled for various cultures and peoples.

2. They will also read and analyze various journal entries by famous figures in history.

3 class periods
Week 1

Explore/Explain
Types of Journal Writing
Students will discover 3 types of journals and the various practical uses of journaling.
Students will be able to determine which style of journal writing is best suited to a particular need and explain the various types of journaling.
2 class periods
Week 1
Apply
Survival Diaries
Students will read about the famous Antarctic journey of Ernest Shackleton based on the diaries of expedition members.

Students will practice applying what they have learned about journaling to compose 3 journal entries for analysis, creativity, and personal reflection.

3 class periods
Week 2

Project
A Voyage of Endurance
Students will watch a film about the voyage of the Endurance and analyze the film’s representation of the expedition.
Students will apply their understanding of personal, dialectical, and creative journal writing skills to analyze and react to Shackleton’s voyage.
2 class periods
Week 2

 

Big Idea
Certain reading strategies are better suited to understanding scientific and historical texts as opposed to literary texts.
Essential Question
Which reading strategy is most appropriate to use in order to comprehend a given text?
Learning Cycle
Lesson Title & Description
Objective
Students will:
Class period & week
Engage
Meta-cognitive Reading
The instructor will model and help students practice techniques that will help them uncover the mental processes behind reading.
Students will be able to define the term “meta-cognitive”, and will practice articulating (both aloud and in writing) their thought processes while reading.

1 class period
Week 3

Explore

Revisiting Reading Strategies
This lesson helps students gain more practice with comprehension of scientific and historical texts.

Students will read various scientific and historical texts and test certain reading strategies to see which improve comprehension most.

2 class periods
Week 3

Explain
Identify That Strategy!
Students will be allowed to choose a text which they will read and analyze using varied reading strategies.

Students will explain and define various reading strategies and apply them in the analysis of a text of their choosing.

1 class period
Week 3
Apply
Applying Reading Strategies
This lesson asks the students to apply their reading skills to read and analyze a given article, and then will compose a timed writing in order to thoroughly explain the process of reading and comprehending the text.
Students will apply their knowledge of reading strategies to read a text concerning a current environmental health issue, and compose an essay explaining the use of reading strategies to understand the reading.
1 class period
Week 3

 

Big Idea
Reading multicultural fiction and nonfiction reveals to us that writing is influenced by cultural values and societal beliefs. Such reading encourages us to examine how society affects our own ideas and perspectives about various topics, including environmental health.
Essential Question
How does literature reflect the cultural beliefs and values of a society?
Learning Cycle
Lesson Title & Description
Objective
Students will:
Class period & week
Engage
Reading Multicultural Literature
Students will consider the ways in which literature reflects cultural and societal perspectives.
Students will identify the influence of cultural values and personal beliefs in fictional text.

2 class periods
Week 4

Explore
Looking Through Lenses
Students will consider the various societal and cultural “lenses” which color their perspectives and life experiences by reading the short story “What Means Switch” by Gish Jen.
Students will be able to distinguish between the concepts of culture and race, analyze the cultural beliefs of characters in the text affect their perspectives, and discuss how the environment where you live affects the person you become.
2 class periods
Week 4
Explain/Apply
Analyzing Perspectives
Students will analyze the ways in which their own culture has been determined, explain how these beliefs are lenses which influence the way we look at life.
Students will discuss and write a short essay about their own cultural “lenses” and reflect on the ways in which these beliefs influence their lives in positive and negative ways.
1 class period
Week 4

 

Big Idea
Literary analysis can be used to discover the techniques authors use to construct convincing fictional and nonfiction texts that deal with a variety of historical and scientific topics.
Essential Question What tools do authors use to craft engaging, vivid texts?
Learning Cycle
Lesson Title & Description
Objective
Students will:
Class period & week
Engage
Intro to Literary Analysis
Students will be introduced to the various techniques which authors use to make their writing interesting and realistic.
Students will read a variety of thought provoking texts and identify some of the tools which the author has used to make the text come to life.

1 class period
Week 5

Explore

Plot Structure
Students will learn how to outline and summarize fiction be creating plot line diagrams.

Students will be able to identify the six components of the plot line in a text and create a simple diagram showing these elements.

1 class period
Week 5


Figurative Language
Students will learn about eight types of figurative language and how authors use these devices.
Students will be able to identify figurative language in a text and use it in their writing.
1 class period
Week 5
Stylistic Devices
In this lesson Longfellow’s poem “The Wreck of the Hesperus” will be examined for the author’s use of stylistic devices and figurative language
Students will be able to define and identify various literary elements, such as alliteration, rhyme, assonance, consonance, and onomatopoeia.
2 class periods
Week 5
Explain/Apply

Practicing Literary Analysis
Students will practice literary analysis on their own by reading Coleridge’s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”.

Students will apply what they have learned about literary elements to analyze a poem and explain how the author’s use of these techniques serves to enhance the work.

2 class periods
Week 6

 

Big Idea
Formal documents such as resumes, business letters, and essays require a specific format and tone.
Essential Question
How does the writing of a formal document differ from other types of writing?
Learning Cycle
Lesson Title & Description
Objective
Students will:
Class period & week
Engage
Language Registers
In this lesson students will become familiar with the ways in which we change our speaking styles depending on the audience.
Students will be able to distinguish among and identify the five different language registers. They will also discuss the situations in which each register is used.

1 class periods
week 6

Explore

Formal Letter Writing
In this lesson students will learn how to write a formal letter by writing to a local politician on an environmental health issue.

Students will learn the proper block format used in business letter writing, and write a formal letter in the proper language register which is appropriately tailored to the intended audience.

2 class periods
week 6

 

Formal Essay Process
During this lesson students will learn about how to begin essay writing through the steps of brainstorming and selecting an attention grabber.
Students will be able to identify and demonstrate how to use four different types of prewriting to generate essay ideas, as well as select an attention getting statements from varied sources.
1 class period
week 7
Thesis Statements
Students will explore the writing of thesis statements in preparation for their final project essay.
Students should be able to successfully write a thesis statement which contains their main idea and position on this topic.
1 class period
week 7
Intros and Conclusions
Students will learn techniques for writing successful introductions and conclusions concerning air quality issues.
Students will able to write an essay introduction which outlines the purposes of the paper, as well as a conclusion which reiterates the main arguments of the essay presented in a new way.
1 class period
week 7
Topic Sentences and Transitions
Students will learn about the purposes and components of topic sentences and transitions.
Students will be able to write paragraphs that begin with topic sentences and end with transitional statements that link the ideas of one paragraph to another.
1 class period
week 7
Sentence Variety and Fluency
In this lesson students will review the various sentence types.
Students will be able to incorporate simple, compound, and complex sentences into their final essays in a smooth, natural way.
1 class period
week 7
Conventions and Proofreading
Students will edit their final project essays for spelling and grammatical errors.
Students will be able to locate and correct errors in the text of their essays in order to create a more polished document.
1 class period
week 8
Explain

Revision and Peer Editing
Students will work together to revise and edit each others final project essays before final drafting.

 

Students will share their writing with peers and offer constructive suggestions on how their essays may be improved. Students will then make necessary revisions.
1 class period
week 8
Apply
Final Drafting
Students will compose the final draft of their final project essays.
Students will apply the essay writing skills they have acquired in order to create a final essay with a thesis, an introduction, conclusion, supporting details, topic sentences and transitions, etc.
1 class period
week 8
Project
Final Project
Students will create a model of an environmentally friendly city which takes into account geographic, geologic, and climatic concerns.
Students will be able to explain in a polished essay the reasoning behind the design of their model city, accommodations made for future growth, as well as address transportation and air pollution issues.
3 class periods
weeks 8/9

 


PULSE is a project of the Community Outreach and Education Program of the Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center and is funded by:


an
NIH/NCRR award #16260-01A1
The Community Outreach and Education Program is part of the Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center: an NIEHS Award

LOGO - SWEHSC
LOGO - NIEHS Center LOGO - NIEHS

Supported by NIEHS grant # ES06694


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Last update: November 10, 2009
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