Category Archives: Lab Activities

In-Class Project Review Essay

Now that you have completed the group portion of your research I ask that you give me your personal review of the project process.

In a 5 paragraph essay (to be completed in class today… you have 50 minutes) I want you to address the following areas:


How you felt about your topic

  • your personal interest
  • your interest in your solution
  • how “heard” you felt when your group was discussing decision on topic and solution

How you felt about the research process

  • what kind of information was available
  • was there enough information available and how accessible was the information

How you felt about your group

  • how you worked together
  • how organized you were
  • how you divided the workload
  • did everyone pull their weight

How you felt about the project in general

  • is this a useful project
  • was it fun
  • what did you learn from working in a group
  • how could I change the project in the future to make it better and more useful


This Review Essay is worth 50 points and contributes to your overall project grade. Please keep in mind all the standards of essay composition that I set for all your assignments.


Lab Activity for Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

In class, on Monday, we discussed “Web Credibility.” We talked about what makes us trust a source, and what are some red flags that tell us a source might not be reliable.

Today, I want you (and a partner if you choose) to put your evaluation skills into practice.

I ask that you:

  • Choose a topic (It can be related to your group project, your personal blog, or anything you’re really interested in)
  • Find FIVE Websites and use the checklist I showed you in class to evaluate whether or not they’re good sources.

Credibility Checklist

After you’ve calculated its credibility number


For Each Site Include:

  • The Website name and Address
  • The Credibility Number

Write a description of each site’s:

  • Appearance
  • Tone
  • Usefulness
  • and at least FOUR signs that indicates its credibility–or lack thereof.


When you have finished this put your name(s) on the doc. print it, and turn it in.

Group Scenario: Are Words Just Words?

An Accusation of Sexual Harassment at John Adams High School


Andrew and Jennifer are both members of the John Adams High School Student Council. Andrew (a senior) is the Student Body President and Jennifer (a sophomore) is his Vice President. Throughout the school year Andrew has been struggling to keep his many commitments; he runs track, is president of the National Honors Society, and has a part time job, as well as working several hours a week as an after school volunteer with an extended care program at the local elementary school. Jennifer has been covering many of Andrew’s Student Council responsibilities, and getting no recognition- but she continues because she is hoping to be President next year, and Andrew’s recommendation would be very helpful.

Word of Andrew’s failure to complete several tasks has reached the desk of the Student Council faculty advisor, and he plans to bring up the issue with Andrew at the next meeting.  Unfortunately, Andrew has an away meet and misses the meeting. The advisor calls for an emergency vote to remove Andrew and replace him with Jennifer (temporarily), the vote comes down as 5-6 (with Jennifer abstaining) in favor of removal. Jennifer is then sworn in as the new Student Body President.

Upon finding out what has happened at the meeting, via text message, Andrew is furious. Angrily he uses red “Window Print,” a removable spray paint, to write the word SLUT on the front and rear window of Jennifer’s mother’s car. A third party student witnesses the event and reports the act to the authorities.

The next morning Andrew (who is 18 and a legal adult) is called into the principal’s office, where Jennifer, her mother, the principal and a guidance counselor are waiting. Jennifer’s mother is filing a complaint of sexual harassment against Andrew on her daughter’s behalf. John Adams High School is a zero tolerance school, if Andrew is found to be guilty of harassment, he will be expelled.

Andrew contests that not only was there no permanent damage to vehicle, but that he has heard Jennifer and her friend calling each other “Bitch” “Slut” and “Whore” all the time, and that Jennifer even made her best friend a shirt that read “Bitch” in glitter. He says that it was meant to be funny and not hurtful. Yet, Jennifer is hurt and her mother is clearly upset over the event and wants Andrew punished.

After promising to make a public apology on the announcements at school and officially resign from all offices he holds in school clubs (including captain of the track team) Andrew is allowed to stay in school and graduate with his class. Jennifer gets to keep her new position of Student Body President until the elections in the fall of the following year.



Do you think the school took the proper actions against Andrew?

Do you believe Andrew was exercising his right to free speech? Or did her cross a line?

Do you believe what Andrew did counts as sexual harassment?

Did Jennifer’s mother have a legitimate claim of harassment against Andrew, not knowing how Jennifer and her friends speak to each other?

Imagine you are the principal. You have to make a decision regarding this case, would you stay with the original punishment from the scenario, or would you level a different judgment? What would you do in this case?


Mock Mediation

After giving you each time individually to read through and answer the questions on your own, I will be breaking you into THREE groups for Friday’s Mock Mediation.

Complication: Jennifer’s mother takes the case to court seeking damages against the school and Andrews. Each group must represent their interest regarding this case.

Group 1: This group will represent the interests of Jennifer and her Mother (think the argumentation strategy of theGlee episode)

Group 2: This group will represent the interests of Andrew (think the position the South Park episode presented)

Group 3: Will represent the interests of the John Adams High School. You will have to defend your punishment as being adequate, and your actions as fair. (you are the middle ground)

You will use whatever lab time you have left today and 15 minutes on Friday to research and prepare your statements.


A strong and clear statement of argument (your thesis)

At least THREE points of support (evidence)

At least THREE sources

An opening and closing argument


Lab Activity 2/8/12

I ask that you use today as a workshop day. I asked that you re-read your article on Monday and you will use this lab to begin prewriting

your essay. You may work with ONE other person who is writing on your article–if you wish.

In a new Word Document do the following:

Step One:

Identify your author’s argument (What is he/she trying to do, what is he/she trying to convince people of?)

Step Two:

Make two lists, 1)Evidence you find effective 2)Evidence you find ineffective

Step Three:

Make two more lists, 1)Points you agree with, 2)Points you disagree with

Step Four:

Formulate an argument (I feel [Author X] presents an effective/ineffective argument) and choose three elements supporting your  argument (these will become your body paragraphs and the cornerstones of your essay).