Read this New York Times article about a controversial college essay and answer the following prompts:
Essay Tune Prep
Ashley will pass out and go over the protocol for Peer Critiques
Share your essay with a trusted friend or two, and have them give you feedback. Then revise, and sign up for a writing conference with me.
Starter: This activity is adapted from page 7 of “Escape Essay Hell” guide book
Support Group Check In
Spend 7 minutes in your support group, checking in.
College Essay Work Time
Today, your goal should be to get a complete draft written, and if possible, do some initial refinements. Try to run right up against the word limit of your essay!
You could tackle any of the following:
Please note that you should NOT be using your time for any of the following:
Starter- In Support Groups
My arms flail and my legs convulse. My pulse skyrockets as sweat drips down my forehead. Rather than dial search and rescue or even get out his first aid kit, my brother rolls the camera and begins narrating in an Australian accent: “We’re coming up on a wild creature,” he begins as he slowly pedals closer. “I’ve got to be very, very careful about how I approach this beast. Hers is one of the rarest. This is, folks, what 30 days of bikepacking through the desert can do to an otherwise sane homo sapien.”
I am not in fact suffering from some deadly snake bite. Rather, I had reached the top of a monster climb and, overcome with joy at seeing the San Juan Mountains again after nearly a month in the desert, I pumped some Anderson Paak through my iPhone and had a solo dance party.
Before you judge, consider this: Who hasn’t danced euphorically at the sight of alpenglow on mountain peaks or felt a calming sense of clarity and focus while sitting on a canyon rim? Each of us has a certain landscape or particular place that fills our soul, fulfills our hopes, restores us to our true nature. It reminds us of our connection to nature – that we are a part of it, not separate from it. And it unites us with others who share that same connection. Connection to a place heals us.
This I learned from bikepacking with my big brother.
I know some of you worked with Jess at the beginning of the summer so I don’t want my lessons to be redundant for you. I am going to be using many of the same brainstorming exercises she used with you for others. If you find this useful, participate. If you’re ready to start writing, you can just start writing today. But please participate at least through the sample essay read-alouds as you can provide helpful tips for your support group.
Types of College Essays- A quick guide (page 6)
Let’s spend some time really looking at these types of essays.
Sample Essay Read-aloud:
First: We'll read "Breaking up with Mom- Type C" together
Then, you'll read ONE more with your group
Choose one of the sample essays linked above in blue (beginning on page 7) to read. As you read, look for the following four things mentioned above and then when the reading is done, we'll discuss them.
The Best Two Brainstorming Exercises Ever (according to the College Essay Guy)
(these each take about 10 minutes. We'll do them as a whole class, but if you've already done them and are ready to write, see below)
Ready to write?
More Brainstorming Techniques
Read some more Animas student examples
Ashley's Bears Ears Bikepacking trip article published in the Gulch for some examples of a personal narrative with descpriptive language
Mission/Vision Workshop Peer Critique: Get in groups of 2-3 and take turns sharing your problem/why/mission/vision statements. Here are questions for the critiquers:
Refinement time! (10 minutes)
TRANSITION: Welcome to College Essay Boot Camp
1 minute: Close your eyes, take 5 deep breaths-- get settled and anchored into this new phase of the day, and class. Now, think about how you feel about the college application process. Scan your body. Notice how your body feels. Perhaps there is tension in your chest, etc…. Just notice those for now. Take three more deep breaths and when ready, open your eyes
College Essay Reflection Prompts (answer these questions on a notecard for Ashley)
Whole Class Debrief: Can I have at least 5 people share their purpose?
College Essay Bootcamp Overview-- Read this document closely: College Essay Boot Camp
Let’s look at the list of resources on my Documents page
Where Are You?
The corners of the classroom have been labeled with numbers 1-4. Go to the corner that best represents your current status in regards to college essays. Use the following criterion:
Which phrase best describes your current situation in regards to college essay writing?
We'll form groups of 4, with students from each corner so there is a mix. You will be working in/with your support group at different points throughout the College Essay Boot Camp to help answer questions, provide suggestions for each other, serve as sounding boards, etc. After your group is formed, go to the link for Support Group Scheduling. MAKE A COPY of this document, and work with your group to fill it out. You'll run through the following tasks:
Wrap up my Syllabus Overview (15 minutes)- starting on slide #20
ABCDEG's Gallery Walk (10 minutes)
5 minutes: In your small group, try to come up with as much as you can to answer these two questions about your portfolio category:
- What does each category mean?
- Why would that be important, especially given the class mission statement?
5 minutes: Spend the next five minutes scoping out what the other groups wrote on the other posters. If you have something to add, add it. If something resonates with you, put a star next to it.
*********************TRANSITION TO MISSION/VISION STATEMENT WORKSHOP*******************
NOTE: Resources for this workshop can be found on the DOCUMENTS page of my DP as well as linked below!
Watch the first 8 minutes of Simon Sinek's TED Talk, How Great Leaders Inspire Action,
About the TED Talk
Sinek, author of Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, shares a simple model on how to become an inspirational leader: Start with a circle, and start with "Why?" Sinek uses examples like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Apple to illustrate why this is effective.
Mission/Vision Real-Life Examples
Discuss the questions listed below with regards to your assigned organization. Be ready to share out: What is the mission? What is the vision? What is their “why”? How could it be clearer?
Complete the Mission/Vision Workshop Handout
ACADEMIC MINDSETS Seminar Prep
WHY ARE WE DOING THIS?
The purpose of this is multi-fold: 1. To help each other better understand and make more meaning out of an academic journal article 2. To help you reflect on your own identity, 3. To give me more insight into who you are and how you see yourself, especially as a learner. 4. Lastly, to help you develop more metacognition and self-awareness as you reflect on areas of growth and strengths
SEMINAR-- fishbowl style
YEEEEOOOOOP! I'm super excited to have you all in my class this year. It is going to be a challenging, rewarding and FUN year so put your big girl/boy boots on and let's get started.
Starter: Create Name Tents (5 minutes)
While I take attendance, please make a name tent like the one I've created for y'all and put it in front of you on your desk.
NO DOZE Leadership Styles Activity (45 minutes)
Let's head outside!
Bring a pen/pencil and comp book
No Doze Individual Reflection (15 minutes)
In your comp books, please reflect on the following questions:
Whole Class Debrief (10 minutes)
Welcome to Humanities powerpoint (30 minutes)
Assign homework on Academic Mindsets (5 minutes)
Please see the "Homework" page on my DP
Schedule for our 1st day back together
6:45 Seniors will meet Janae at the base the ABC trail (coffee and donuts at the top!)
7:45 At the top of the hill we will eat a light breakfast. This will consist of what we all bring potluck style. We will have 30 minutes to eat, reconnect, and share stories from the summer.
8:15 Walk to Noble Hall by way of the Concert Hall
8:20: Soak it in kids, this is where you’ll be at the end of this year! Envision how you want to feel on this day! #jungleboss
8:30-9:15am Overview of the day and Mindfulness
9:55-10:05 am Get into 6 groups (Nisty)
10:05-10:35 am Debrief journal activity in small groups
10:40-11:10am Return as whole class in Noble Hall classroom
11:45 Head back down to Animas for Lunch & Mash Up
12:00 - 12:30 “Find yourself a Freshman” Lunch Mash Up
12:30 - 1:00 Lunch time to mingle with all AHS students
1:00-1:30 Check-In with your advisory + student contracts in your Advisor’s room
1:30-2:30 College Prep check-ins- In each Advisor’s Room
2:30 Student Led Nest Meeting @ AHS in Commons
Student Journal Questions (Round 1)
Journal time (you can choose how to capture these ideas, either in written form, or via voice recording on your phone)
(Again, you can choose how to capture these ideas, either in written form, or via voice recording on your phone)
WHY ARE WE DOING THIS? The goal of this time is for you to reflect more deeply on This is Water, the relevance of David Foster Wallace’s message to your own life and way of thinking AND to begin brainstorming your Senior Year Mission Statement. Please capture these ideas and bring them to Humanities class tomorrow as Sara/Ashley will guide you in creating a refined Mission Statement that answers the question: “What is my authentic vision for my senior year experience and my contribution to community”. Here are a few questions to help you further reflect on This is Water. Feel free to answer as many of them as you’d like, but make sure you jot down some ideas for your mission statement.
Humanities teacher at Animas High School