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Sunday Post 11.8

han yu's picture
In this Thursday's lesson, we applied the "barometer" method that was introduced to me in Anne's class. Two signs saying "agree" and "disagree" were pasted on the walls across two sides of the room. We came up with several statements for people to stand their positions. If we feel strongly agree with the statement, we should stand by the "agree" side, and vice versa. The barometer is a scale so people can also stand in between, whether right in the middle or nearer to one side.  This barometer effectively got people involved at once. Comparing to my prior experience, if we started introducing our topic just by sitting around and discuss, many people would be in silent. However, the barometer pushed everyone to be active, avoided people listening without thinking, and forced them to have an opinion. Once the conversation had been opened, everyone started to participate and exciting outcomes therefore arose: people sharing their perspectives, correcting each others' misconceptions and being acknowledged with new things which they were ignorant of. 
In addition, I really like the order of activities we planned. Reading the article came after the barometer and this arrangement avoided people's opinion being influenced at the first place. Moreover, since they had already started to think about the topic and heard different opinions from each other from the barometer activity, they were able to read the article through critical lenses and actively find personal connections with specific arguments in the article. The afterward in-class writing prompt also put the emphasis on personal connection and experiences. Actually me and Abby came up with the writing prompt after being inspired by Madison's idea of sharing stories. We asked everyone to write about their experience of being politically involved. Personally, I could hardly think of anytime I did anything realted to politics, part of the reasons come from my family and education, so I was curious about others' stories and felt really inspired whey they shared. Observing people's level of engagement while writing is also a good way to examine the quality of our lesson planing. I felt really satisfied and relieved seeing everyone deeply engaged in writing lengthly  for about 10 minutes in their notebooks since it meant to me that they liked the discussion and had plenty of deep thoughts.