Guest post by Ben explaining the use of pun and oxymoron
Did you hear about the man who had his whole left side cut off? he’s all right now.
The two presentations below define and give examples of Puns and Oxymorons. If you are a teacher, author or student, then this is the post for you. These two literary terms can be useful when writing an essay or short story to provide humor and contradictions to traditional writing styles. If you’re an author, this is a bit of a refresher course if you’ve forgotten how to use these literary terms. If you’re a teacher, these prezis would be very useful as teaching examples. In case you’re a student, they can be useful for taking your writing to the next level. I found making these presentations really fun to make and research.
How do you use these terms to enrich your writing?
I think that most of us are clear on the fact that Alanis Morissette’s song “Ironic” got it wrong. But I have always found irony to be a difficult literary device to teach and most students have a hard time understanding it. The video below is a great place to start to show what irony is.
It’s really clear about what irony is and there are a few other videos on different types of irony at TED Ed’s The Writer’s Workshop.
QUESTION: What do you do to help your students understand irony?
I wanted to find a simple, fun, and hands-on way to help my student practice and develop her understanding of the different types of sentences and improve her sentence variety in her writing. So rather than putting a pencil in her hand, I chose to use simple cue cards and sticky notes so that she could physically build different combinations to create different sentences and see how conjunctions “stick” sentence parts together.
First we started by reviewing the concepts we would need.
She needed to know what a dependent and independent clause was and give me an example. She also needed to be able to tell me the difference between conjunctions and subordinating conjunctions. As we reviewed these concepts I made cards and sticky notes to visually represent the ideas.
Once I knew she was confident enough to identify and give me examples of each, then we started to put it together with the different types of sentences. I put a card in front of her that said “simple sentence“, “compound sentence“, or “complex sentence” and she needed to use the clauses and conjunctions to build them.
The next step was to point to each element as she said a sentence that fit the model she had built. For example, for compound sentence, she pointed at the independent clause and said “My cat loves to eat goldfish”. The she pointed to the conjunction and said “but”. Lastly she pointed to the second independent clause card and said “she hates the taste of guppies”.
In this way she was connecting the framework she had built in front of her to the sentence she was saying.
The last step up from this was to combine the different clauses and conjunctions in different ways and make sentences based on the different models. She built complex/compound sentences, complex/complex sentences and even a few complex/compound/complex sentences. She followed the same process for each and used the frame she built to say a sentence out loud that matched it.
It was a great way to practice but it led to a lot of good questions and discussions about what works, what doesn’t, and why variety is important.
We will continue to build and practice this a few times before moving on to applying the skills to her writing but I think the next time we will work on connecting the different sentences to a topic or image so they relate to each other.
Visual: Cue cards and sticky notes with each building block on a different color
Auditory: Saying the sentences out loud as she built
Kinesthetic: Physically moving the pieces around to build the framework of each sentence
I love finding simple, new and engaging ways to assess students’ learning!
Instead of a formal pencil to paper assessment of my students’ ability to convert fractions, I asked them to create a video tutorial for next year’s students. They needed to do an example of each conversion, from mixed to improper and improper to mixed. It had to include a visual step by step along with clear mathematical explanations of what they were doing and the thinking/reasons behind it. We also talked about the use of lines, shapes, and colors in highlighting the most important information. Then students were on their own.
For some students this was an incredibly difficult thing to do, especially when they were asked to verbalize their thinking or reasoning behind a step. However, I think this makes it an even more valuable experience and one that I will repeat often.
Here are a few samples:
I asked my students to write a post on their blogs about what Genius Hour was for them. Here are a few genius gems from their posts:
- “What is Genius Hour? Have you heard of it? Well, Genius Hour is a new thing that is inspiring kids across North America and their teachers to take an hour out of there day, at school, or at home to improve in an area they are interested in.” ~ Anna
- “Now your probably wondering what genius hour is. Genius hour is an hour where the students get to choose what project they get to work on.” ~ Graham
- “…Genius hour works on the idea implied in it’s name, that everyone is genius and has a good idea within them. It supplies us one hour (45mins) to work on anything of our choice (anything that we can show as a finished project as an end result). Personally I love the concept of genius hour and it has allowed me to finalize and finish a board game concept I have been working on for months. Genius hour I believe is the best project a teacher has ever assigned ( actually more a project a teacher never assigned) and I strongly believe other teacher out there should assign it.” ~ Maceo
- “Our class has been doing Genius Hour, which is when the teacher gives us an hour to learn about what ever we want.” ~ Paytyn
Go to “Student Blogs” list on the side bar to visit each blog and read their full responses.
A huge thank you goes out to Tracy Taylor, the grade 2/3 teacher, for being willing to jump on board and help make this happen.
I am so inspired by the thinking and learning that went on for my grade 7′s when they were faced with having to explain something to a younger student. Mrs. Taylor and I found spots in science, math, and language arts where the curriculum in grade 7 and grade 2/3 connected and set up opportunities once a week for cooperative learning and collaboration between the grade 7 and grade 2/3 students.
The “Big Buddies” (grade 7) were expected to take on a leadership role in these scenarios and their instructions were simple: “empower these younger students to think deep and encourage them so they feel amazingly proud of themselves”.
We learned that empowering does not mean doing it for them, nor does it mean leaving them on their own. The Delvers had to find a balance between the two and they noticed that this balance was different depending on who they were working with. In the midst of all this amazing learning, I noticed that in setting out to empower deep thinking in others, they became deep thinkers themselves and in setting out to build up the confidence of another, they became more confident and proud of themselves.
Don’t you just love it when things like this happen!
We’ve been LOVING the freedom and ownership involved in Genius Hour. As a teacher I really appreciate the opportunity it provides students in directing their own learning. Some of them are struggling with this and I think it will be awhile before they trust that there is no teacher agenda or final picture of what it should look like. It has really got me thinking about all the ways I could offer room for different expressions of learning in other curriculum areas.
Some of our GENIUS projects on the go this week:
- designing a video game inspired board game for the whole class to play
- exploring online drawing tools to decide which would be the best to use
- researching techniques and strategies for becoming a master of Minecraft
- learning complicated hair braiding techniques
- practicing the rainbow kick for the upcoming soccer season
- producing a video on Parkour
Question for all you educators using Genius Hour:
How do you hold students accountable to the use of their time?
Other GENIUS projects happening around the web:
Today’s #geniushour projects iMovie, Garage Band, building a pyramid, website design, painting backdrop, creating instruction for new game.
— Matthew Mikhaila (@MatthewMikhaila) April 27, 2013
— Mrs. Jessome (@MrsJessome) April 27, 2013
April 25th was International Pay It Forward Day. The term “pay it forward” is well known from a movie in which a young boy tries to change the world as part of a class assignment. He did 3 great things for 3 people in need and then they in turn were supposed to go on and pay it forward to 3 more people each.
While we did not have the time to plan anything huge to change a life, we decided to fill the day with tons of little things that might make others smile. So we hit the streets of Maple Ridge armed with balloons and high fives.
Check out this amazing list of all we accomplished:
- we wrote encouraging positive messages on the sidewalks and streets
- we left little toys and a card on the doorsteps of houses
- we greeted everyone we met with a smile and a willingness to chat
- we handed out stickers and pencils to kids we met
- we visited local businesses and complimented them
- we handed out balloons with positive messages on them
- we organized a bottle drive as a fundraiser and are planning to donate the money to a local shelter or rehab center
- we planned on picking up litter at the local park but we ran out of time (another time for sure!)
I’m so proud of the courage that my class displayed in talking to strangers for an entire day. They embraced this day of action with enthusiasm and pushed themselves to go outside their comfort zones to reach out to others.
After we returned to the school we debriefed about the day. One student said “It was awkward but it was also fun. A lot of the people responded with a smile but they were also kind of confused.” Many of the students commented on how open the kids were but how many of the adults refused the gifts or ignored them. One student responded saying, “It was harder than I thought to try to make people happy. I was enthusiastic at first but some people are kind of scary. I hope we made a difference.”
I hope so too, even if that difference is only in our class. It made me wonder, at what point do we as adults become so closed off to the joy around us? I want to always live life with the openness to embrace the world around me.
Have you ever given or received a random act of kindness?
Tayden found this video and shared it with the class. What do you think?
I would like you to follow the link below to a collection of the world’s ugliest animals as published by the Mother Nature Network. Once you are there, please follow these steps:
- Explore the 13 different animals in the list.
- Choose 1 that is most interesting to you.
- Read the information in the article carefully. Take notes in WORD and cite your source.
- Follow any links provided. Take notes in WORD and cite your source.
- Write a blog post with 1 long paragraph or 2 shorter paragraphs about this animal. Make sure this is done in your own words.
- Add images and links back to your sources.
- Have a peer review your post.
- Publish your post.