Practices in Pedagogy

"To Teach is to Learn Twice Over"

Possible Public Writing Assignment (with rubric)

Utilizing the elements I have read about in Harvey Daniels, Steven Zemelman, and Nancy Steineke’s “Content-Area Writing: Every Teacher’s Guide,” I created this public writing assignment. Below you will find an example of a prompt and rubric that offers students opportunities for personal reflection, literary expression, critical thinking, and public speaking work. The assignment is short, yet pertinent. With an emphasis on creativity and originality, students will learn that the classroom is not just a place to learn, but also an environment to express themselves in new and exciting ways. The assignment includes both independent thinking time, writing time, and public speaking. Here is the assignment:

Introducing Ourselves: What do you Value?

Write a brief (500 words or less) essay expressing what you value most in life. Please explore values pertaining to you and you alone. Examples may include writing about your culture, family, friends, hobbies, skills, struggles, successes, and so much more. Proper grammar and punctuation is always required and therefore must be used. Upon completion of this essay, you will be asked to present your writing to the class as an opportunity to introduce yourself. Therefore, keep in mind that this essay must be appropriate (Please do not include any vulgarity, inappropriate language, etc) and that it most definitely should be original. The last thing we want to hear are 30 responses all talking about the same thing. Truly explore yourself and go beyond the first “value” that comes to mind, so that you can better introduce who you really are to the class. Think hard, be creative, and have fun!

 

 

 

 

*This is the rubric you will be assessed on. So please pay attention to the requirements below, and construct your essay with them in mind.

 

  A (5 points) B (3 points) C (2 points) D (1 point)
Response to Prompt Clearly and effectively responds to prompt. Stays focused on task throughout the whole essay Response to prompt is generally adequate and thorough. A few diversions may exist. Minimally responds to the prompt. Many diversions from task exist. Purpose of the essay may be hard to find. Does not respond well to prompt. The essay fails to address the task at hand, or provide any sort of clarity to its purpose.
Main Idea Main idea (What you value most in life) is clearly stated and topic is effectively limited (Concise and to the point). Main idea is pretty clear and topic is somewhat concise. Main idea difficult to observe. It may be partially too broad or general. Main idea is completely unclear and topic is not concise and straight to the point.
Evidence/Support Main topic of essay is supported by a variety of relevant reasoning. Specific examples from personal experience are used throughout. Main topic of essay is supported pretty well. Only some personal examples/stories are used. Main topic is supported, but not very well. Examples from personal experience do not exist or are irrelevant. Main topic is not supported.
Originality Response is creative, original, and honest. Writer uses personal voice and tone. Response is pretty creative and original. Mostly new, honest ideas are employed. Response is rarely original. Some creative, honest ideas are used. But response is mostly general and impersonal. No creative or personal thought has been used in this essay. Writer has no met the originality requirement.
Mechanics 1 or less minor errors in sentence construction, punctuation, usage, grammar, or mechanics. 2-4 errors. There may be a few minor or major errors in sentence construction, usage, grammar, or mechanics. 3-6 errors. There are some common errors (major and minor) in sentence construction and mechanics but the writer generally demonstrates a correct sense of syntax. 6 or more errors. There are numerous minor errors and some major errors. Sentence construction is below mastery and may display a pattern of errors in usage and mechanics.
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2 thoughts on “Possible Public Writing Assignment (with rubric)

  1. Kris Gritter on said:

    This assignment would be a good culminating activity for a thematic unit on values. I do think students would need to see several examples of A,B,C, and D work if this was a first writing assignment. You really could get to know students and their communities with this assignment, and that’s a hugely important part of teaching.

    Why might you assign such a prompt? (Think about the adolescent literacy crisis and formulate your bloggaries in a problem and solution text structure). You also want to prove you read the text with more select quotations. I did not spot erros.

  2. Kris Gritter on said:

    Full points for this. My suggestion is to include in your prompt some related and relevant passages from literature you are doing in class that are appropriate to theme of values. This prompt is also a bit too open-ended for optimal student use, not surpising as you are creating this assignment in a vacuum without the context of a unit. It is, however, a good start.

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