activities Tyson Seburn  

A customised integrated lesson, Pt D

Section C – Writing: Bulleted Lists
Duration:  60 minutes
Goals:  Ss become able to created bulleted series using parallel structure.

Note: This section of the lesson builds on the previous three sections and is not segregated from them.

(S /S – S – S) Give Ss the Canadian Ballot handout, which has descriptions of three candidates on it and allow time for silent reading.  In groups, have Ss discuss one of the candidates.  Have Ss give and support their opinions about the different aspects, like age, career, education and platforms.  Encourage the use of relative clauses from previous activities.  When one candidate is finished, mix up groups to discuss another candidate until everyone has discussed all three.


(S) Give each Ss a ballot.  Have Ss secretly vote and put their ballots into the ballot box.  Count the ballots and determine which candidate wins.  Discuss as a class how they feel about the different candidates and what they think will happen as a result of the winning candidates’ election.

(S – S – S) Direct Ss’ attention to the platforms for each candidate.  Ask Ss to think about what’s similar between each point for that candidate, particular with regards to structure.  Put the following list on the board while Ss do this:

Steven Harper is

  • the leader of the Conservative Party
  • the current Prime Minister of Canada
  • a graduate of Economics M.A. from the University of Calgary
  • a member of the Canadian Parliament for Calgary Southwest

(Ss – T / T – Ss) Elicit from Ss what they noticed about the lists on their handouts.  When someone mentions that all points begin with a verb, agree.  Ask Ss to tell you what tense the verb is in.  Guide them to notice it is infinitive form due to being about the future (will is just deleted).  Have Ss look at the list about Steven Harper on the board.  Elicit from Ss what is different about this list (each point begins with a noun).  Ask Ss what other types of lists we make in our daily lives (eg.  grocery list, résumé work experience, things to do, etc).  Introduce the idea of bulleted lists.  Show that lists can be made of any type of points, but they should be parallel in structure.

Direct Ss attention back to the Vote Categories handout.  Show how a few of them (eg.  #2 , #4, #9) can easily be turned into a bulleted list because all of the items are of the same structure and easily have a category.  Ask Ss to look at #3 or #6 and ask Ss why it cannot be made into a bulleted list.  Ask Ss how to fix it so that it does make a parallel bulleted list (eg. change “cast a vote” into “casting a vote”).

(S – S) Give each group one of the Lists cards, cut up.  Ask Ss to create bulleted lists for the category on the card using what they feel is the most logical structure.

(S – S) Collect and redistribute the bulleted lists to other groups.  Have them check that a consistent structure was used.  Take up any problem areas.  Cut up the Structure cards and distribute them to groups.  Tell them that sometimes, making lists isn’t as easy as it seems.  There’s often some information that doesn’t follow the structure nicely.  To demonstrate this, they now need to modify the bulleted lists to use the suggested structure.

(Ss – T) Go through the bulleted lists from the different groups.  Introduce the idea of integrating bulleted lists into sentences instead of just using a category as a title.  Show how each list item is often used in more formal writing to end a sentence.  For example:

Title Integrated into sentence
My Birthday List

  • a sweater
  • the new Daughtry CD
  • a red sportscar
For my birthday, I would like to get

  • a sweater
  • the new Daughtry CD
  • a red sportscar

Have groups rewrite their bulleted lists or try new ones that end sentences.

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