Overview

In this activity, students work in groups to understand a term used in literary analysis and then explain it to others in the class.

After the instructor presents each term, in their groups students read over a presentation (prepared by the instructor - see additional materials folder) which explains a several rhetorical devices (i.e. example, analogy, pathetic arguments) and look for examples of its use in with a reading they did before class (see additional materials folder). Once they all have a grasp of a term, the instructor divides the students in ...

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In this activity, students work in groups to understand a term used in literary analysis and then explain it to others in the class.

After the instructor presents each term, in their groups students read over a presentation (prepared by the instructor - see additional materials folder) which explains a several rhetorical devices (i.e. example, analogy, pathetic arguments) and look for examples of its use in with a reading they did before class (see additional materials folder). Once they all have a grasp of a term, the instructor divides the students in new groups, so that each group has a member who is an expert on one of the terms, and who then explains it to the rest of the group. Finally, students get back in their initial groups and, as a group, explain a new rhetorical device to the rest of the class.

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Objectives

  • Get students to quickly go over and familiarise themselves with a large amount of rhetorical strategies before learning to implement these tools in their literary analysis.

Context and requirements

Level CEGEP
Discipline English
Course Non-Fiction Writing
Activity Content Non-fiction writing; rhetorical strategies.
Technological Requirements Computers and/or interactive whiteboards

Author’s Notes

Benefits

  • This activity is an efficient way to cover a large amount of information and start familiarizing students with the terms they will be encountering for the rest of the semester;
  • Interacting with others and having to explain what they know helps students absorb information better than listening to a presentation by the instructor.

Challenges

  • Some terms were more complex or newer than others, thus took more times for groups to understand;
  • Making sure that all students actually understood each concept.

Tips

  • In this activity, in the third part students go back in their groups and, as a group, they explain to the class a theme other than the one they originally had. This part might not be necessary, and time may be better used by employing a consolidating activity instead;
  • Useful to create all powerpoints so that they take approximately the same amount of time to complete;
  • Give a short before-class reading so that students can do it in class if need be.

Activity Pedagogical Components

Jigsaw

Students become experts on a topic and then teach each other.

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