I immediately knew that I was going to incorporate this information into my lessons for next year (I have attended a Gretchen Bernabei before, and I love everything she creates). The lessons tie together writing with cross-curricular critical reading and analysis. Tutoring this summer has given me a guinea pig. Since D. has not been in public school for four years, he is the perfect learner to experiment with.
Today we completed Lesson 17: Tour of an Unfamiliar Place. We meet at one of our public library branches, a new place for D. to frequent. I had him take a tour of the library on his own, getting a feel for the environment. When he sat back down with me, we discussed the kernel essay. Taking a page from the Brisenos, we began by discussing what a kernel is. D. did have some confusion about colonel versus kernel, providing us with an opportunity to addressed frequently confused words.We then walked through each kernel, allowing D. to write a short essay:
Our next step was to read the source document "Factory Life" from 1846:
- I am not a history teacher, but we discussed what source documents are and why they are important.
- For our first read, I had D. read to me, as I am trying to help him find some confidence in his voice as he prepares to enter high school.
- For our second read, I had D. identify words that he was unfamiliar with. Due to the age of the document, I was expecting him to identify far more words than he did. I was not expecting him to know the meaning of loom or din, but he had those down. Atrocious and retirement were a bit more of a struggle.
- We walked through the passage line by line to paraphrase to show understanding (that's pretty easy when it's one-on-one).
- Our last step was to go back to the kernel essay pieces and identify them within the passage.
If you have used these before, share your successes. If not, how can you use these in your classroom?