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Inspiring Persistence: Building theme-based units to engage and challenge first-year composition students handout

Item Summary

Title: Inspiring Persistence: Building theme-based units to engage and challenge first-year composition students handout
Authors: Alexander, Mary
Keywords: Reading
Information Sources
Issue Date: 08 Apr 2017
Publisher: Honolulu: 2017 UH First-Year Writing Symposium
Abstract: One of the biggest challenges I face in my ENG 100 classes is engaging students.  In the past, no matter how hard I worked to choose current, real-world, Hawaii-relevant topics, most of my efforts fell short. These problems appeared to be compounded with the advent of the UHCC acceleration mandate, as more first-year composition students would be entering our classes with weaker reading and writing skills. Last Fall, inspired by a unit from the Baltimore CC ALP program shared with me by Windward CC’s Jenny Webster, I tried teaching first-year composition by creating a theme-based unit comprised of a diverse collection of instructor-selected texts, from classic peer-reviewed articles to rap poetry, all centered around one or more guiding questions.  Not only did this method interest students, it increased students’ opportunities to write from sources from semester start, practice critical reading comprehension skills, and practice writing skills in low-stakes ways; modeled real-world research and non-genre-specific response; eliminated textbook cost; and engaged students in such a way that many --including ALP students--chose to rise to the challenge.  In this presentation, I will share my experience building a successful theme-based unit to inspire students to persist and succeed.
Description: This talk was presented as part of Breakout Session 3 | Panel 3: "Multi-literacies in the FYW Classroom." These are the handouts from the talk.
Pages/Duration: 4 pages
Appears in Collections:Breakout 03, Panel 03: Multi-literacies in the FYW Classroom

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