Advisor: Jessica Davis
23rd November 2011
My senior thesis project is creating a writing workshop. It will be called Sage Workshop and will be sponsored by Street Poets. This workshop will be located in FTA. It will be a workshop for ninth grade students during the school day. People that are interested in this workshop but are not in the ninth grade will be able to attend the workshop. I will ask their advisors for their permission. This workshop will be focused on improving their writing skills for their autobiographies. When I was in ninth grade I had a difficult time in using my sensory details. I think this workshop will help them write better and more descriptive autobiographies. I want to help them improve their skills through poetry. I think poetry and autobiographies can work well together. They both work with sensory details and descriptive language. It will start on January 9th and end on March 12th for a total of six workshops. On March 19th my thesis will end with the FTA open mic. I am going to use the same lesson plans for both the Yadira's and Denise's ninth grade class. I will do the workshops on different days and rotate back and forth. I will use three lesson plans for each of the 6 workshops. I will use the knowledge I learned in Street Poets and Michel's Pen in the Classroom Workshop and apply them to my workshop. This will include poetry (letting people do free writing without the traditional poetry rules in the style of Seeking Peace). My products will include the workshop itself, the lesson plans that will eventually be turned into a guide (which I will leave behind for another student to use for another Sage workshop), the documentation of the workshop, a culmination of my student's work which will turn into a booklet, and written editorials regarding to the workshop. My investigation will include different free writing activities and learning how to teach students how to improve their writing and how to become outspoken.
My project is real because it deals with professional writers helping me improve student's writing skills. While the students do free writing they will learn how to add literary elements into their writing. That will help them improve their creative writing skills and enable them to be more creative with their words. I chose this project because Street Poets really helped me see a different side of poetry. I want them to have the same experience I had. Adding the seeking peace experience into the workshop will help students by relaxing and hopefully letting them like writing. In addition having the Sage Workshop will also attract more people to Seeking Peace which will benefit Street Poets.
My project is hands on because I will be teaching students in both the 9th grade classes. I have seen Jessica teach us things a bunch of times and it looks difficult and frustrating. I think that I would do a good job since I would be doing something I like. The work that would take place outside of school would be getting students to go to different open mics and having them go to seeking peace. I will also help Street Poets create and plan a march towards the Eco Logical Art Gallery. I will help them in addition to the workshop. Probably promotion I think that would be up my alley. The technologies I would use will be a camera for documentation, some audio for some writing exercises, and maybe some recordings of people's poems.
My resources would be Street Poets and books on literary elements, different writing styles, teaching methods, and psychology. My mentor would be Chirag and Andres for this project. They can both help me plan and organize the workshop. Andres, Chirag, Chris and Jessica can help me write and organize my lesson plans. I will ask Jessica if she could teach me different teaching methods that she has used on us.
My project is challenging because I have never taught a workshop, but I do feel that this would be a good learning opportunity. This work can teach me how to be a leader in my community. I could also learn a lot about myself, about the students, and about different teaching strategies which I could use in the future. The workshop will start on January 9th and end on March 12th. It will end with the FTA open mic on March 19th. Everyone would be able to participate in this open mic. Jessica and my mentors at Street Poets will give me feedback on how my workshop is turning out every Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. For empirical reasoning I will pass out surveys at school and see who would attend the workshop. I will see their improvement by analyzing their autobiographies. For social reasoning I will reach out to students in the FTA community and let them find their voice. For QR I will analyze how many people would attend the workshop and I will create schedules for the workshop. I will have a writing assessment for the students before and after the class to see how much they know and learned. I might also incorporate feng-shui the workshops. For Personal Qualities I will improve my leadership skills and my public speaking skills. For communication I will use different teaching tools that can help me give examples of what I am teaching. My research questions would be:
1. How do I make and organize my lessons plans?
- I will ask Jessica and my mentor to help me organize and plan what lessons I will be doing each time we have the workshop.
2. How can Seeking Peace and Pen in the Classroom be used at the workshop?
- I will look back at some past seeking peace workshops and try to figure out how I can add it into the workshop.
3. How can students use poetry as a way to improve their autobiographical skills?
- I can analyze different poetry and identify different literary tools that can be used on other papers. I can also tell people to turn in writing samples before we start the workshop and we could compare their writing sample and the work they do after the workshop.
4. Are there ways I can let people do free writing but still have some sort of structural base?
- I can ask Michelle from street poets and Chris about having a loose structural base to some poems. I can also research some methods of teaching them figurative language.
5. How can I plan and execute the workshop?
- I will ask Jessica and Steve about creating an afterschool workshop. I will also follow my timeline and meet the deadlines.
My Work should be evaluated by the actual workshop. I think the best way to grade my senior thesis would be by how much the students learn. I will use Street Poets as my model. The Street Poet's workshops on Tuesdays and Fridays will be a main model for this workshop. My advisor and my mentors will critique my work. At my exhibition I will show how the students improved their writing and public speaking. I will show the before and after writing samples, the culminated lesson plans which are going to be turned into a guide, the documentation of the students learning, and the writing related to the workshop. I think once the workshop has ended then my work will be done. I will reflect on my project by seeing if the students and I learned something from this experience. I will also write a reflection every time we have the workshop.
-Talk to Steve about the Street Poets workshop and get him to approve it
-Figure out when I will start and end the workshop
- Come up with a name for the workshop
- Figure out how to incorporate QR into the project
-Get Leno to work on a banner for promotion
- Start researching: different writing methods, different poets, literary elements, teaching techniques, and seeking peace
- Plan the workshop curriculum
- look at lesson plans
-Research different open mic opportunities for field trips
- start writing lesson plans
- get more sources from other workshops
- Get familiar with lots of different poetry forms and writers
- Figure out who will be the guest speakers and when they will show up
-Work on Literary elements and improving writing skills
-get the lesson plan and curriculum done
-decide where the open mic will be held and prepare for the event
-Have all preparation done
-January 3rd promotion for the 9th graders (both classes)
-First workshop January 9th (Yadira)
-Second workshop January 23rd (Denise)
-February 13th third workshop (Yadira)
- February 27th fourth workshop (Denise)
- Fifth workshop March 5th (Yadira)
-Sixth workshop March 12th (Denise)
- Have the FTA open mic on March 19th (open to all)
-Polish all products
-The senior thesis is finished
- The poetry March
- Reflect on work