In-class Activities

    Understanding Skeletal Structure


    1. Reflect on the impact your elementary school teachers had on you. Did they have a positive or negative impact on your motivation or your interest in some subject area? Did they influence your attitude about a school or your beliefs in your abilities?
    2. Consider the family meals you had growing up. Do you think they had the same impact that Gibbs writes about?
    3. Research the current state of DNRs in the state of California.  Do you agree with the current law, or do you think it should be modified in some way?


    Take a position on one of the above topics and write a skeletal structure with at least three topic sentences.


    Selecting and Effectively Using Source Material 

    1)   What is the difference between a summary, a paraphrase, and a quotation?

    2)   Identify a situation in which summary is the best method to bring your source into your essay, a situation in which paraphrase is the best method, and a situation in which quotation is the best method.

    3)   What is a signal phrase?

    4)   What is the difference between an announced quotation and an unannounced quotation?

    5)   Which is preferable and why?

    6)  What is plagiarism?

    7)   Identify the types of information that require citation and those that do not require citation.


    Thesis Statement Practice

    1) With a partner:  write an open and closed form thesis.

    Topic: ______________________

    Audience: ___________________


    Open Form Thesis:

    Closed Form Thesis:

    When finished, write your thesis on the board.

    2) Individually:  choose one open and one closed form thesis from those written on the board and revise it, considering the following concepts.

    a). critical thinking

    b). diction (word choice)

    c). sentence structure


    Revised Open Form



    Revised Closed Form




    Understanding Pathos

    Reread Rachel Carson's essay "A Fable for Tomorrow."

    Instead of writing an explicit, conventional argument, Carson creates an implicit persuasive tale carefully crafted to encourage readers to reconsider widespread use of pesticides.  She engages readers' imaginations with her fable, rousing readers with sensory description and careful organization.

    Identify a problem you see that others don't seem to recognize as problematic. Write an implicit persuasive piece (one or more paragraphs) in which you encourage readers to see the problem by using careful description, illustration, narration, or other techniques intended to connect to the reader's values, beliefs, and assumptions.