K-12 Teaching and Learning From the UNC School of Education

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Authors’ note

This lesson was piloted during the second semester ‘99-’00 at East Carteret High School with English I students enrolled in English 1111 (Honors) and English 1117 (challenged students). The results were extremely positive.

Regarding test results, causal factors vary, of course; however, English I EOC test averages in the English 1111 class were improved from 87% average from Spring ‘99 to 91% Spring ‘00. For the teacher’s English 1117 class, there was an increase from Spring’99’s 64% to 71.5% Spring ‘00.

Learn more

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Learning outcomes

“Enlightenment is infinite acceptance of all things past, infinite responsibility for all things present, and infinite service for all things future.”

—Zen definition of Nirvana

Students will:

  • demonstrate accurate analysis of audience through appropriate choices in diction, motive support, point support, and non-print textual support.
  • demonstrate knowledge of the concept of character qualities and reflect positive values. The content of the presentation must be persuasive and make connections between literary elements (plot development and dynamic characterization) and another discipline (psychology, science, vocational arts, or music).

Teacher planning

Time required for lesson

2-3 weeks

Materials/resources

NOTE: Due to copyright restrictions, not all of the print resources we use in this lesson are available in this publication. Users must rely on their own resourcefulness. Knowing how limited teachers’ time is, we deeply regret not having all items attached at the present time.

Technology resources

  • VCR
  • Monitor
  • Video tapes of Groundhog Day and School to Work
  • Computer with internet connectivity
  • Overhead Projector with transparencies and/or opaque projector and/or digital projector (computer screen display)
  • CD or tape player

Pre-activities

  • In private, view the movie Groundhog Day, first for personal enjoyment and a second time using the Groundhog Day student viewing worksheet. The movie is rich in detail, literary elements, and dialogue; multiple viewings will reveal teachable moments and highlights to you.
  • Prepare visuals and/or copies to support the Pre-Activities using the attachments found throughout this lesson plan.
  • According to the skill level of your class, select activities from the list below that will best support the Performance Task for your students.

Activities

The Hook

The Bad Guy vs. The Good Guy

  • Present lines 11-16 from the poem “Patriotism” by Sir Walter Scott. Ask the students to name characters from literature or real life who fit this description and discuss what evidence of “wretched” self-centeredness there is for each.
  • Explain that the class will examine such a “wretch” and discover what it might take to change such a person. Ask what qualities are essential for such a person to be transformed from selfishness to caring for others. Contrast and share a real life story of someone who found joy in life, particularly through service to others, but not through his/her own selfish pursuits.
    • The example we used came from a news article by Amanda Dagnino, entitled “Russell Set to Lead Habitat,” from the Carteret News-Times, March 8, 2000, which described how a successful, wealthy businessman found happiness and fulfillment in working on a Habitat for Humanity project. This article appears as an attachment below with the permission of the publisher and author. See “Happiness is Service” here with permission of the author and newspaper.)

What is Right and What is Wrong?

Use the “Opinionnaire” as a “pre-test” and “post-test” if you wish to measure any affective changes in students as a result of your unit. Also, the Opinionnaire can be used as an essential “hook” in this lesson to evoke student interest based on varying statements. (See Larry Johannessen’s “Revenge May Not Be So Sweet: Edgar Allen Poe’s ‘The Cask of Amontillado,’” Classroom Notes Plus, January 2000.)

What’s in a Word?

Use the “Pre-Viewing Worksheet” to help you introduce the vocabulary of the movie to the students. Include the connotations of the words, e.g., “prima donna,” which alludes to a self-important, arrogant performer who is dismissive of others.

The Lines

If Music be the Food of Love, Play On

Play the Rachmaninoff piece, asking the class to think of a “crush,” an infatuation, or of a present love. Discuss instances that the students offered. Ask students to consider the melody whenever the person’s name or memory arose.

Right vs Motive & Morals

Present Maslow’s and Kohlberg’s models of needs and moral development. Give or ask for a moral dilemma and what a person operating on a particular level would do and what motivations would be behind the choices. See A Summary of Lawrence Kohlberg’s Stages of Moral Development and the Kohlberg model by Dr. Judith Howell.

People Skills

Ask students what communication skills would be needed in productive work environments. The VOCATS video Part III of interpersonal skills in the work place presents real world applications of essential communication skills. Show this segment to the students to show how the concepts that emerged from discussion are applied in the work place.

Perfect Man, Perfect Society

For lower levels, the “cloze exercise” is useful for listening, writing, and comprehension. “Cloze answers” are on a separate page.

The Sinker

The Movie Viewing Worksheet

  • The “student viewing worksheet” is designed to help the student look for specific elements for terms, plot development, and theme; and asks the student to identify the Mazlow level at which the protagonist is operating at key moments in the plot.
  • Also for lower levels that have not yet passed the computer competency test, see the computer editing exercise and the edit exercise. For this exercise, print out a copy of the computer editing exercise, a copy of the edit exercise, and a copy of what the final version looks like (see synopsis below).
  • Save a copy of the Computer Editing Exercise on student computers and have students edit according to the Edit Exercise, which contains Computer Skills Curriculum Word Processing Editing marks, and the final version of the synopsis.

Synopsis of Groundhog Day

Set in contemporary Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania on February 2nd, Groundhog Day, an arrogant Pittsburgh weatherman Phil Conners goes with his producer Rita and cameraman Larry to report the prediction of Punxsutawney Phil, the groundhog. Phil Conners is a self-centered, egotistical prima donna who thinks only of fulfilling his own pleasures of life. After the news event is over, a blizzard prevents Phil and his team from leaving town, Phil wakes up the next morning to discover that the day is repeating itself. In fact, he finds he must relive February 2nd repeatedly for what seems like an eternity, at first satisfying his own desires in life, next realizing that he cannot gain acceptance from mainstream society as a phony (someone who only pretends to be “nice”), then seeing that there is an external Force in life, and finally becoming a man who puts the needs of others first. Once Phil reaches the stage of self-actualization, he is able to move on to the future.

The story of Groundhog Day presents the theme that through persistence, a person can improve his character and values to become a person of responsibility, goodness, and service to others. The rewards of such attitudes are happiness and fulfillment.

Final Product

Use the “activity sheet.”

Here are pictures of student work for some of the options:

Assessment

The student should demonstrate accurate analysis of audience through appropriate choices in diction, motive support, point support, and non-textual support. The student’s presentation should demonstrate knowledge of the concept of character qualities and reflect positive values. The content of the presentation must be persuasive and make connections between literary elements (plot development and dynamic characterization) and another discipline (psychology, science, vocational arts, or music).

Use the Assessment Rubric for the Presentation.

Support:

  • Is appropriate and explains a vital concept in the presentation.
  • Uses non-print media for resources and presentation effectively.
  • Reflects time or talent in its preparation in a creative manner.
  • Captured the attention of the audience and was appropriate.
  • Uses a creative, appropriate, and highly effective approach.
  • Has appropriate sense of the audience.
  • Has a sense of overall completeness.
  • Is a pleasure to observe and is supported with written work that is error-free in mechanics, spelling, grammar, and punctuation.

Content:

  • Shows an appropriate development of the role of parent/child.
  • Selects activities that effectively supports the ideas of the presentation.
  • Shows a responsible attitude towards the parent’s role of character-building.
  • Encourages courage, good judgment, integrity, kindness, perseverance, respect, responsibility, and self-discipline in the listener.
  • Connects logically with another course, e.g., psychology, science, vocational arts, or music.

Delivery:

  • Works cooperatively with partner(s).
  • Demonstrates proficient use of any support equipment.
  • Demonstrates effective use of voice (volume and intonation).
  • Demonstrates a sense of communicativeness and care for the audience.
  • Demonstrates effective eye contact that is consistent and focused.
  • Demonstrates poise and composure in voice and body.
  • Demonstrates appropriate timing including the use of pauses.

Many of these elements come from the Scoring Guide: English II Essay, 1998-1999 End of Course Testing by the Public Schools of North Carolina.

Supplemental information

You can make this unit as long or as short as you wish based on the number or supporting activities you require from the students. Please note that not all students need to do all of the activities from other disciplines. Because the audience for the student performance is the entire class, all students will observe the final products and experience. You may wish to assign particular tasks to certain students.

Network with teachers from other the disciplines to coordinate or to enlist support in common competency goals.

Works Cited and Acknowledgments

Anderson, Robert, et. al. Elements of Literature: Third Course. Austin: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc., 1993. Has comprehensive and useful literary terms glossary.

Barker, Barney. Music Instructor at East Carteret High School, Beaufort, NC. Consultation, advice, and materials on Music Component.

Benet, William Rose, The Reader’s Encyclopedia, Second Edition. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Company, 1965. Has quick, brief descriptions for reference, e.g., Anton Chekhov.

Braus, Judy, Ed. Ranger Rick’s Nature Scope: Wild About the Weather. Washington, D.C.: National Wildlife Federation, 1989. Has an appealing cartoon exercise about weather myths which includes the groundhog.

Brown, Laurie, Social Studies Instructor at West Carteret High School, Morehead City, NC. Consultation, advice, and materials on Psychology.

Carver, Patsy, Home Economics Instructor at East Carteret High School, Beaufort, NC. Consultation, advice, and materials on Interpersonal Skills.

Clark, Mary and David Vaughan, Ed. The Encyclopedia of Dance and Ballet. New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1977. Has photos of prima donnas with expressive images.

Coble, Charles R., et. al. Earth Science Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall: 1991. Has unit on weather predictions.

Dagnino, Amanda, “Russell Set to Lead Habitat,” Carteret News-Times, March 8, 2000, p 1B. This is an inspiring article of a wealthy man who found happiness through charitable works.

Dornbush, Sanford. “Families, Schools, and Adolescent Deviance,” Lecture October 14, 1999, Stanford University. His writings describe causal factors in affective development.

Gardner, Helen, Ed. The New Oxford Book of English Verse: 1250-1950. New York: Oxford University Press, 1972. “Patriotism” by Sir Walter Scott.

Gladwell, Malcolm. “Annals of Behavior: Do Parents Matter?” The New Yorker, August 17, 1998: 54-64.

Groundhog Day. Dir. Harold Ramis. With Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell, Chris Elliot, Steve Tobolowski, and Rick Overton. Columbia Tristar, 1993.

Howell, Dr. Judith. “Curriculum Differentiation for the Academically Gifted,” Seminar, May 1998.

Hudnall, Patricia. Vice-Principal at East Carteret High School with sharp wit and a keen memory for lines from poetry. Consultation, advice, detective work, and materials on the poetry from Groundhog Day.

Johannessen, Larry. “Revenge May Not Be So Sweet: Edgar Allen Poe’s ‘The Cask of Amontillado,’” Classroom Notes Plus, January 2000: 11-14.

Kasschau, Richard A. Understanding Psychology. See pp 143-4 and pp 281-283. New York: Glencoe, 1995.

LaPointe, Ross, Instructor at East Carteret High School, Beaufort, NC. Consultation, advice, and materials on Psychology.

Maslow, Abraham. Religions, Values, and Peak Experiences. Menlo Park: The Viking Press, 1970.

“Maslow’s List of B(eing)-Values.” Beyond Dichotomies. http://wynja.com/personality/bvalues.html

Plotnik, Rod, et.al. Introduction to Psychology, Fourth Edition. San Diego: Brooks/Cole Publishing Company ITP, 1996.

Robbins, Paul. Understanding Psychology. Portland: J. Weston Walch. 1995. See Chapter 5 ”Motivation.“

School to Work: Workplace Basics. Pleasantville: Sunburst Communications, 1999. Part 3 has a comprehensive description of work ethics in communications.

Scoring Guide: English II Essay 1998-1999, End of Course Testing. Public Schools of North Carolina, Division of Accountability. Has guidelines to help you align rubrics with English II standards.

Shelton, Cecil. Earth Science Instructor at East Carteret High School, Beaufort, NC. Consultation, advice, and materials on Weather Systems.

Simon, Sidney B., Values and Teaching. Columbus: Charles E. Merrill Publishing Company, 1965. Appendices A, B, C, D, and E have extremely useful values questions and feedback suggestions.

Stainback, Lynda. Special Education Instructor at East Carteret High School, Beaufort, NC. Consultation, advice, and materials on Values Education.

Yaros, Ron. Channel 12 WXII’s Weatherschool. St. Louis: Yaros Communications, Inc., 1990. Has direct, clear explanations about weather predictions.

  • Common Core State Standards
    • English Language Arts (2010)
      • History/Social Studies

        • Grades 11-12
          • 11-12.LH.7 Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, as well as in words) in order to address a question or solve a problem.
        • Grades 9-10
          • 9-10.LH.7 Integrate quantitative or technical analysis (e.g., charts, research data) with qualitative analysis in print or digital text.
          • 9-10.LH.7 Integrate quantitative or technical analysis (e.g., charts, research data) with qualitative analysis in print or digital text.
      • Speaking & Listening

        • Grade 11-12
          • 11-12.SL.2 Integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) in order to make informed decisions and solve problems, evaluating the credibility and accuracy of each source and noting any...
          • 11-12.SL.4 Present information, findings, and supporting evidence, conveying a clear and distinct perspective, such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning, alternative or opposing perspectives are addressed, and the organization, development, substance,...
        • Grade 9-10
          • 9-10.SL.2 Integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) evaluating the credibility and accuracy of each source.
          • 9-10.SL.4 Present information, findings, and supporting evidence clearly, concisely, and logically such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and task.
          • 9-10.SL.4 Present information, findings, and supporting evidence clearly, concisely, and logically such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and task.

  • North Carolina Essential Standards
    • Social Studies (2010)
      • Psychology

        • 12.DE.1 Analyze human development throughout the lifespan. 12.DE.1.1 Analyze cognitive development throughout the lifespan. 12.DE.1.2 Analyze the lifespan using psychodynamic theories. 12.DE.1.3 Analyze moral development throughout the lifespan. 12.DE.1.4...
        • 12.R.1 Understand the discipline of psychology using various perspectives and research methods. 12.R.1.1 Compare various perspectives in the field of psychology. 12.R.1.2 Compare various psychological research methods (survey, naturalistic observation, case...
        • 12.S.1 Understand how interaction with others influences thoughts, feelings, perceptions, and behaviors. 12.S.1.1 Analyze the theoretical development of the sociocultural perspective in psychology. 12.S.1.2 Compare diverse cultural norms in terms of their...

North Carolina curriculum alignment

English Language Arts (2004)

Grade 9

  • Goal 1: The learner will express reflections and reactions to print and non-print text and personal experiences.
    • Objective 1.02: Respond reflectively (individually and in groups) to a variety of expressive texts (e.g., memoirs, vignettes, narratives, diaries, monologues, personal responses) in a way that offers an audience:
      • an understanding of the student's personal reaction to the text.
      • a sense of how the reaction results from a careful consideration of the text.
      • an awareness of how personal and cultural influences affect the response.
  • Goal 2: The learner will explain meaning, describe processes, and answer research questions to inform an audience.
    • Objective 2.02: Explain commonly used terms and concepts that:
      • clearly state the subject to be defined.
      • classify the terms and identify distinguishing characteristics.
      • organize ideas and details effectively.
      • use description, comparison, figurative language, and other appropriate strategies purposefully to elaborate ideas.
      • demonstrate a clear sense of audience and purpose.

Social Studies (2003)

Grade 11–12 — Psychology

  • Goal 3: The learner will examine lifespan development.
    • Objective 3.01: Explain development as a lifelong process.
  • Goal 5: The learner will analyze basic concepts of motivation and emotion.
    • Objective 5.04: Discuss the effects of motivation and emotion on perception, cognition, and behavior.