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What Does the Future Hold?

What Does the Future Hold?

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What Does the Future Hold?

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  1. What Does the Future Hold? Imagining our lives through obituaries and epitaphs

  2. Definitions o·bit·u·ar·y (ōˈbiCHo͞oˌerē) noun: obituary; plural noun: obituaries • a notice of a death, esp. in a newspaper, typically including a brief biography of the deceased person. ep·i·taph (ˈepiˌtaf) noun: epitaph; plural noun: epitaphs • a phrase or statement written in memory of a person who has died, esp. as an inscription on a tombstone.

  3. Objectives • For students to consider where they are now • To look at the community you’re growing up in • To consider what your family has instilled in you • To clarify what you believe about yourself • To contemplate goals for your possible future

  4. Objections Why would some people object to a lesson like this? What might be difficult for you in a lesson like this?

  5. Huh? “Every man dies. Not every man really lives.” William Wallace, Scottish Revolutionary Born 1270 Died 1305 Aside from the sexism inherent in the wording what idea is Wallace trying to get people to understand?

  6. Contemplating the Future Brainstorming (five minutes) What hopes do you have for your future? What do you want to accomplish? What kind of life do you want to have? What do you want to learn, study, create, and bring into the world? When you consider possible jobs ask yourself what is interesting and worthwhile enough to keep you away from family and loved ones for more than half of your time every week.

  7. Sharing! • Share some specifics (and prompt for more specificity). • Take 2 minutes to add more specifics!

  8. Narrow Your Focus From your initial brainstorming determine what are the most important things you would like people to remember about you. Circle / Underline / Highlight / Diagram / Annotate . . . Whatever works for you.

  9. Sample Micro-Obituaries and Epitaphs

  10. Studs Terkel: Born 1912 Died 2008 "Curiosity did not kill this cat.” Curiosity certainly didn't kill Studs Terkel. In fact, it defined the career of this Pulitzer-prize winning author and radio host. Terkel, who was born Louis (he took his nickname from the fictional character Studs Lonigan), spent much of his life interviewing average Americans. Using a technique he called "guerilla journalism," he gathered hours and hours of conversations, weaving together a vibrant oral history of America. Terkel announced his own epitaph years before his 2008 death at age 96. In the postscript to his memoir, "Touch and Go," he called curiosity the attribute that "has kept me going."

  11. Hank Williams: Born 1923 Died 1953"I'll never get out of this world alive." Country music legend Hank Williams recorded 66 songs during his brief career -- and a whopping 37 of them topped the music charts. Tunes like "Your Cheatin' Heart," "I'm so Lonesome I Could Cry," and "Honky Tonk Blues" have remained alive long after their singer, recorded and re-recorded by new generations of country musicians. Williams died in the back seat of his blue Cadillac convertible on New Year's Eve, 1953 while on the way to a performance. The cause of death remains unclear to this day. He was just 29 years old. Williams' gravestone in Montgomery, Ala.'s Oakwood Cemetery Annex is inscribed with several of his song titles, including this one, which shot straight to number one after his death.

  12. Which Traits will I be graded on? • Idea Development • Word Choice • Sentence Fluency

  13. Idea Development • The main message or story is clear and compelling. It grabs the audience’s attention. • The writing shows in-depth understanding. • The piece overflows with interesting details an audience will notice and remember. • The topic is focused with the main points clearly defined.

  14. Word Choice • Words are striking, original, and precise – often memorable. • Powerful verbs create energy, movement, and vivid imagery. • Sensory details enhance meaning and enrich the reading experience. • The writing is concise – every word counts.

  15. Sentence Fluency • The writing is smooth, natural, and easy to read on the first try. • Almost every sentence begins differently – unless repetition is used for effect. • The piece invites expressive read-alouds that brings out voice. • The writing has an effective, appealing cadence or rhythm.

  16. Beginning Your First Draft • Your micro-obituary will be 100 – 150 words • What were the facts of your imagined life? Create something full of life, and interest. • What was unique about your life? Your passions? Your accomplishments? What was important to you? How did you make the world around you better?

  17. Beginning Your First Draft • Remember, this is about your life, not your death. • In this assignment you will all live until at least 85 years old 

  18. Day Three: Workshopword choice and sentence fluency

  19. Word Choice • Words are striking, original, and precise – often memorable. • Powerful verbs create energy, movement, and vivid imagery. • Sensory details enhance meaning and enrich the reading experience. • The writing is concise – every word counts.

  20. Sentence Fluency • The writing is smooth, natural, and easy to read on the first try. • Almost every sentence begins differently – unless repetition is used for effect. • The piece invites expressive read-alouds that brings out voice. • The writing has an effective, appealing cadence or rhythm.

  21. Day Four: Epitaphs

  22. Definition ep·i·taph (ˈepiˌtaf) noun: epitaph; plural noun: epitaphs • a phrase or statement written in memory of a person who has died, esp. as an inscription on a tombstone.

  23. “I was somebody. Who, is no business of yours.” Someone determined to be anonymous in Stowe, Vermont • "A tomb now suffices him for whom the world was not enough” Alexander the Great • "Against you I will fling myself unvanquished and unyielding, O Death!” Virginia Woolf

  24. "Free at last. Free at last. Thank God Almighty I'm Free At Last.” Martin Luther King, Jr. • "Nothing's So Sacred As Honor And Nothing's So Loyal As Love” Wyatt Earp • "Workers of all lands unite. The philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it.” Karl Marx

  25. Bill Burch 1944 – 2007 Here lies Bill Burchwho never missed a day of church.He loved his family - friends and funand on his ankle was always a gun.

  26. Douglas Butlar Bullard, Jr. 1937 – 2005 Home is the sailorFar and wide were his travels,Full and rich his lifeRestless as the sea,Alive as the Earth.

  27. Epitaph Requirements • Your Epitaph will be 5 – 20 words • In it you will attempt to encapsulate what was most important not only in your micro-obituary, but your life. • You will be graded for Idea Development, Word Choice, and Sentence Fluency

  28. Idea Development • The main message or story is clear and compelling. It grabs the audience’s attention. • The writing shows in-depth understanding. • The piece overflows with interesting details an audience will notice and remember. • The topic is focused with the main points clearly defined.

  29. Word Choice • Words are striking, original, and precise – often memorable. • Powerful verbs create energy, movement, and vivid imagery. • Sensory details enhance meaning and enrich the reading experience. • The writing is concise – every word counts.

  30. Sentence Fluency • The writing is smooth, natural, and easy to read on the first try. • Almost every sentence begins differently – unless repetition is used for effect. • The piece invites expressive read-alouds that brings out voice. • The writing has an effective, appealing cadence or rhythm.

  31. Presentation Prep • You will need two typed copies of your work: Name and mod #, micro-obituary, and finally your epitaph. • Each student will present their work to the class, and receive feedback.

  32. Day Five: Presentations

  33. Presentations • Give the instructor one copy of your work, and keep a copy for yourself. • Present your epitaph. • Present your micro-obituary. • Time for notes from peer groups. • Proving the grade. • Atomic Clap!

  34. How will you help? • Group One: Specifics on how ideas are developed – how do their specific ideas fit together? What specifics could they add or change? Score and explanation. • Group Two: Good specific words, strong verbs, or are there words that could be eliminated? Score and explanation. • Group Three: What is good about their sentence fluency? What specific things could be changed to improve sentence fluency? Score and explanation. • Group Four: In what ways does the epitaph tie to the obituaries.

  35. Post Presentation

  36. Post Presentation Following presentations revise your work, and post it to the classroom blog at www.AndreeInstitute.com