Ms. G’s Calendar: www.surfturk.com
Writing for the 21st Century:
Making Our Future Better
What is Writing for the 21st Century?
What will the 21st bring? What things are we as individuals, communities, nations doing to promote a better future? What are doing that might cause problems for our collective future? These are some of the core questions this course will ask you to consider, through literature, current events, and research.
The course is broken into three parts:
PART I. Literature: Defining Our Own Philosophy. We will read Albert Camus’ The Stranger and “The Misunderstanding” to start us thinking about philosophy and read some good literature.
PART II. This part of the course will examine issues that trouble our world today. You will open your eyes to personal, local, and national or worldwide issues that concern you. You will choose a long work of writing to read outside of class that focuses on your interest.
PART III. Once you have thought about the issues, you will rethink the problems and come up with solutions using various techniques to be heard. This will include: writing a play, creating a website, delivering a speech using PowerPoint, putting together a research paper, writing a children’s book, and various Public Relations writing such as pamphlets, newsletters, and flyers.
So, the goal of the course is small. The purpose of this course is to make the world a better place! All in 20 weeks!
A Cause Based Class.
Some of the issues to be discussed might include: tolerance, terrorism, peace, women’s rights, bullying, stress, cheating, health issues, abuse, gay rights, gun control, and keeping the earth safe and clean for our future.
What is the purpose of this course?
You will have the opportunity to experience a little dash of everything: literature, current events, and personal reflection. There should be something in this course for everyone.
As a writing course, our “English Class” goal is to become a better writer; however, this class also strives to get you to understand your voice is effective, you do matter, and you can make other people listen. The world can only get better if you as an individual take part in it.
Some Course Basics. We will structure the course around as many of the following that tine permits.
Albert Camus’ The Stranger
o What is Meursault’s problem?
o What flaws do people have?
o Introduction to Causes and Conflicts
o Keeping a Clip File
o Keeping a Social Issues Journal
Identifying Model Activist: Regular People
o Child Activists
o Erin Brockavitch excerpts
o Writing a Project Proposal
o Background Research Paper
Getting Heard Using Empathy in the Arts
o Play Unit (“Hey Little Walter”)
o Writing a Children’s Book
o Writing a song or poem
Mass Communications: Executing a Solution
o Creating and Conducting Surveys
o Writing an Op-Ed
o Power Point Presentation
o Creating a Web Site
o PR Writing (letters to editors/politicians/organizations, creating flyers, pamphlets, etc.)
Figuring Out Where to Go From Here
o Reflective Essay
20%=class behavior: participation, discussion, punctuality, preparedness, attentiveness to tasks
**There may be opportunities for extra credit. Extra Credit will be given to any student who does something out of class towards their cause. This could add a substantial amount to your grade!
PROJECTS (35%). A bulk of your grade comes from your projects/writing. Projects are generally long-term writing and/or research assignments, which require continuous work. Your notebook will also be collected once a term for a project grade. You will also create a website that will serve as an online portfolio for your work. Portfolios will be assessed at the end of the semester.
Late projects will lose five points a day. Projects handed in two weeks beyond the due date will not receive more than 50 points. Be sure to prioritize maintaining deadlines! Please be aware that pieces of your project will be collected and will count towards the homework and class work grade, as well as preparedness grade. Final draft essays receive a project grade; papers receiving less than 90% may be revised. This revision is optional. Deadlines for revisions are one week from the date the essay was returned.
HOMEWORK & CLASS WORK (25%). Because is this a “work in progress class,” there are times that class work and homework blur into one another. Class work not completed in class becomes homework, but a genuine effort is expected during class (and will receive a grade fro work completed during class time).Homework will be due the class session after it was assigned unless otherwise noted. Late homework will either not be accepted or will lose points. [Please see policy on HW for absences.] Homework and class work will be graded on a "point" system; each assignment will be worth 5, 10, 20 or more points. Class work, also graded on a number system, constitutes a number of things. Every day, you are expected to be working on certain tasks (discussion, writing, group work, etc.) during class time. You will receive a class work grade daily. This is based on effort and completion.
CLASS BEHAVIOR (20%). Your class behavior covers a lot of ground. It includes discussion and questioning, listening attentively, punctuality, enthusiasm, attitudes towards others, focus on task, adding to the learning community, and note taking.
You will receive a discussion grade within this category. Because this is a learning place, your ideas, questions, and overall input are necessary to the health of the class. You will be given a discussion grade (1-4 points) for selected class sessions. This grade is non-negotiable and is based on the Discussion Rubric.
QUIZZES (20%). You will receive reading quizzes whenever there was a reading assignment. This usually in lieu of a written homework assignment.
This course will be what you make it; it is only dull if you are. This course is really about you. You will write about your passion, your conviction, and you will pursue your own interests for the research. You are the main subject because it’s true, one person can make a difference. Really.
A final thought: let’s make this a fun and productive semester! Don’t wait until it’s too late to get help. I am available for extra help, so please make an appointment.