Will a three-week project on Romantic poetry appeal to Advanced English students?

Here’s a project that might make it possible. There are a range of questions to consider when setting a project like this, including:

– individual or team work?

– how much time should be devoted to ‘explicit instruction’ vs independent inquiry?

– should the teacher ‘model’ poetic analysis BEFORE setting the project?

– will students work hard at the project if they know the only part that is formally ‘assessed’ is the listening task at the end?

What are your thoughts? Would your students take the challenge or demand solely teacher-centred instruction?

RomanticismProjectYear11-2

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9 thoughts on “Will a three-week project on Romantic poetry appeal to Advanced English students?

  1. If you have the right kids, the final test could be the only assessment, but I tend to have required elements collected throughout a unit. i.e. Things that are out of 1. Does it meet criteria completely? If so, full marks. If not, they get it back to work on some more. All elements are required. The unit is incomplete unless all the ‘process elements’ are complete. A listening test would be good for aural learners. What about the visual and kinetic learners? Is there another way for them to show you their learning?

    • Thanks for you comment! I actually always favour process over product with feedback (I don’t do grades in 7-10) but unfortunately with Year 11 the assessment schedule is predetermined. That means the only way students will be assessed on their knowledge of Romantic poetry is through a listening test – which is just listening to a poem being read & answering questions.
      I just created the project to inform my pedagogy – giving students a direction for their learning.
      πŸ™‚

  2. Hi Bianca
    My kids would probably be very anxious without some teacher direction in the process. Researching the context and content seems appropriate for independent aspect. Regular reporting back in a plenary could support this activity and enable teacher intervention as necessary.

    For me the crux of the task is connecting the new knowledge gained from the research on the poetry to the DQ. The task of applying the research to an evaluation of influence of romanticism in 21st century could be daunting and invites explicit instruction to build on the new knowledge.

    Would the listening task be a 21st century text that reflects romantic elements? If so, the independent investigation and explicit instruction dovetail and could keep the kids on track.

    Cheers
    Greg Bugden

    • Hi Peter,
      You’re right about kids being anxious – I always have that affect on mine πŸ˜‰
      If you see my comment below to Shawn, you’ll understand my reasoning for going with this project. It’s more a learning process thing rather than assessment. It’s cool if the final products are a bit crap, lol. It’s more about giving them a direction with their learning.
      I’m probably complicating things for them, lol. I just hate working towards boring assessment tasks like listening tasks. I want their learning to have an audience beyond our classroom.
      I agree re: helping apply poetry to our context … I’ll help a bit with that πŸ™‚

  3. Hi Bianca,
    I think this looks interesting – it should stretch them at Advanced level anyway; and I imagine that your kids would be used to doing such independent work around a DQ. I think I’d have them doing it in pairs or small group, so they can support each other in their learning. Maybe you could have a bit of discussion / brainstorming on the concept of Romanticism in the 21st century.
    I always find it difficult to do the listening assessment in an interesting way too!!
    This should set them up nicely for yr 12. I look forward to hearing how it goes – good luck πŸ™‚

  4. It’s hard to comment on instruction without knowing the standards by which the final assessment will be assessed. What questions/ideas do you want students to focus on throughout the unit? Are there rubrics with which students can self-assess and peer-assess their progress formatively?

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