The Grapes of Wrath Project By Becky Meredith West Valley High School firstname.lastname@example.org my web page . Expectations: to create a project that would use technology in a way that increased student interest in subject matter
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By Becky Meredith
West Valley High School
my web page
The premise of my lesson was that students would be able to make a connection between the themes found in The Grapes of Wrath and the contemporary song lyrics they were familiar with. Unfortunately, most of the song lyrics they listen to didn’t really connect with the themes. Only a few students who have a broad knowledge of songs were able to make the connection.
I was ready to toss this lesson out completely until our mentor (Brian Swagerty) made a suggestion that WORKED! Instead of having students connect to any contemporary song lyrics, they will complete a short lesson on analyzing contemporary country lyrics. This genre of music does lend itself to the kinds of themes found in The Grapes of Wrath, and I can see the students being able to make the connections I was aiming for.
The only modification needed to my lesson plan was to change my lyric links from general contemporary song lyrics to country music lyrics.
Chart is based on student performance on a test that was given before and after watching/discussing G of W video. CD project indicates proficiency in connecting themes and creating CD cover that reflects one of those themes.
My experience with this project has been extremely frustrating at times, often because I didn’t completely understand the process. However, as I’ve worked through the various components, I have increased my technology bit by bit.
One of the most important things I learned is not to add technology to a lesson or unit unless it truly increases student engagement, learning, understanding, etc. The technology integration needs to serve a specific purpose, and sometimes you don’t know effective it will be until you experiment a little.