Tuesday, July 31, 2007

WtP: Aboard the Hearing Train

This lesson, presented by Marcia Ellis, assists in getting students started with the writing process.

Students are separated into groups. Each group receives a set of questions, one per individual, from their unit. Each individual randomly chooses one question from the group of questions and develops a 2-3 sentence response to the question. After three minutes of writing, we wrote our responses on a car of a paper train. These cars were taped t oa wall in the order they should be presented and we taped transition words/phrases between each car.

My group's question was from Unit 6: "4. How might a person go about changing a law or policy with which he or she disagrees?"

My response, below, was written very quickly as is replete with technical inaccuracies. Nonetheless, I think it's a good start:

"Citizens of the U.S. have the opportunity to change laws and policies using many methods. Ideally, citizens would be pleased with the laws and policies in place because they had the opportunity to vote for and elect officials to represent their interests. If voting for specific representatives does not prove to meet the needs of an individual citizen, s/he has the right to petition for change. If the petition still fails to meet the needs of the citizen, the citizen may choose to run for, and possibly be elected to office him/herself. If elected, however, the individuals is still responsible to address the desires of the people s/he serves. If the people disagree with the individual, as a representative or not, Americans have the opportunity to speak to their personal interests and assemble to further discuss the issues. Furthermore, they may take advantage of a free press to address the issue. Should the individual's preference still prove unacceptable to the general population, there are several possibilities. Under the ideal of classical republicanism, the individual may simply accept the law or policy, recognizing it is in the best interest of the entire community, or the individual may challenge the law. To challenge the law, the individual must begin by questioning whether the law or policy aligns with the fundamental law of the land. If it does not, the citizen is encouraged, within the Declaration of Independence and through precedence set via the 1960s Civil Rights Movement, to engage in civil disobedience."

After we completed our trains, each group read their collective statements in order.

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