How do Authors use Rhetoric to Advance their Work’s Purpose? (English 10 Unit Instruction)

Below, I detail my experience teaching a unit on rhetoric to four sections of a PreAP English course located in the suburbs south of the Twin Cities. To learn more about how I planned this unit to align with the learning goals of the school, course, and students, visit the unit planning page. In part one of my instructional narrative, I reflect on my experience teaching the first two days of the unit I planned and describe how I used direct and indirect feedback from students and my cooperating teacher to adjust my instructional materials and prompt better student learning. The instructional materials and reflections I include demonstrate how I communicated to students throughout the period of in-person instruction. In part two of my narrative, I discuss the process of adapting my unit for distance learning during the COVID-19 outbreak and provide artifacts and reflections from my time leading distance learning. As with the in-person instructional materials, these artifacts demonstrate how I communicate to students as a large group. Visit the linked communication pages to explore how I communicated with individual students and their families.

Part One: In-Person Instruction

Part Two: Teaching During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Two lessons into teaching my mini-unit, my university notified me that I would not be going back to my student teaching site due to the COVID-19 crisis. Using the unit lesson plans and the instructional materials above, my cooperating teacher led the instruction of the third and fourth lessons within the unit. By the next Monday, Governor Tim Walz had ordered all schools closed and notified all districts to spend the next two weeks planning for distance instruction. My cooperating teacher and I used Google Meet to determine how to teach our rhetoric unit in a way that complied with the school’s directives to give students only two hours of work (per subject) each week, to keep all learning asynchronous, and not to introduce new learning applications (limiting us to Schoology and the Google Suite). We decided to expand the rhetoric unit, giving students more time to complete their Atlantic essays and providing them with an opportunity to work together to hold team debate. Each Monday during distance learning, we posted a weekly learning plan (examples below), which students could complete at their own pace. We also held office hours every Tuesday, which students utilized to ask questions or to say “hello.”  Below, I have included the large-group posts that I sent to students during the COVID-19 crisis. Click on the links within each post to view the instructional materials. Visit the linked communication pages to explore how I communicated with individual students and their families during this time,