Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute Home

Visual Images as Communication

by
Heather M. Wenarsky


Contents of Curriculum Unit 11.01.05:

To Guide Entry


Introduction

My students were sitting at their desks, looking up at the "Do Now" journal assignment posted on the board that stated, "Write one page in your journal about a time you felt alone. What did you do about it?" As my students began their writing assignment, I heard them groan and make comments such as, "Writing a page is too long." "Why do we have to do this?" Their mumbling made me ask, "Do my students dislike writing because it is too difficult? If so, what makes writing so arduous for them?"

Later that afternoon, I read over my students' journal responses. One student in the class wrote, "I had a party because my parents were out." After I read that statement from her journal, I could not help wonder, "What kind of party did my student throw? Who was at her party?" There was no information that would allow the audience to understand anything about the party my student decided to throw. The student needed to understand how to think about her audience when she implemented her journal entry. It was at that instant that I realized this student may have difficulty comprehending how to use writing as form of communication.

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Rationale

Currently, I am a 9th-Grade Resource and Inclusion Teacher at James Hillhouse High School in New Haven, Connecticut. The school I teach at is in an urban setting, where the standardized test scores are in the bottom 5% of the state. Jason Fletcher's article, "Is Identification with School the Key Component in the ' Black Box' of Education Outcomes?" states that students who obtain free or reduced lunch scored lower on the mastery tests than students who do not receive free or reduced lunch. At James Hillhouse High School, 73% of its students receive free or reduced lunch. Unfortunately, a majority of the students I teach do not have the parental involvement to reinforce academic skills outside of the school setting. After analyzing my students' current informal and formal writing assessments, I noticed that writing is a difficult task for these adolescents. Secondary students are expected to compose longer documents than elementary or middle grade students, use complex text, and sentence structures to integrate and manipulate information from a variety of sources. Some written-language Learning Disabilities include difficulties with content generalization and cohesion. This means that students have difficulty organizing and retaining information that they learned. After reviewing my students current test scores, I looked back on their Connecticut Mastery Tests (CMT), Connecticut Modified Assessment System Tests (MAS), Degrees of Reading Power Educational Assessments (DRP), and English District Quarterly assessment scores. I noticed a large number of my students have scored "Below Basic" on the Writing Section. Composing/Revising was a weakness that several of my students exhibited on the CMT tests they took in 8th grade. My students have difficulty describing and organizing thoughts to produce a structured, detailed writing product.

After viewing my students' current and past assessments, I decided to do some do research on strategies that will help my students improve their writing. Dr. Lynell Burmark's article on visual literacy mentions that a human being's brain is wired for sustain visual images. According to research from 3M Corporation, we process visuals 60,000 times faster than text.1 When humans are viewing images that are filled with color or texture, they are naturally more enticed to learn about the image or the product or event that the image is referring to. However, based on my students' writing, they seem to respond well when the assignment is related to an event or situation they can make a connection to in their daily lives. It is important for an educator to captivate a student's interest on the writing topic. Donald and Christine McQuade state, "Learning for students to see more carefully will help them write more easily and successfully."2 My curriculum unit consists of two images from each time period, the 1940s and the 21st century. I believe researching and creating lessons plans that integrate visual images from these time periods on products and events my students can relate to will help them understand the importance and enjoyment of the writing process. The images I am using for my unit are from the events of Pearl Harbor and September 11th, and the pictures of inventions I am going to utilize are the ENIAC and Netbook computer. The first of my three goals for my curriculum unit is to have my students think of themselves as writers. Having my students enjoy and understand the importance of the writing process will help them use more clarity in their work. Secondly, I would like my students to understand how to write for an audience. The third goal I have for my students is to use descriptive detail in their writing. Ideally, I plan to collaborate and co-teach the unit I create with the English General Education teacher in an Inclusion setting, with differentiated and modified instruction for the special education students based on their Individualized Education Plan (IEPs). I will provide more scaffolding for those students by allowing them to have extended time to complete their graphic organizers and expository essays, and by providing step-by-step modeling on what key points to pay attention to when viewing a visual image. I will also accommodate my students by allowing them to read a shorter text that describes the visual image being represented.

The purpose of my unit is for my students to use and expand their higher-order thinking skills to demonstrate a strong understanding of how to describe visual images and apply that knowledge and skill to their written work. This unit will consist of my students' observing pictures from the 1940s to the early 21st century and write in descriptive detail about the messages that photographs are trying to convey. I believe it is imperative for a teacher to link visuals to adolescent learning across the English curriculum to promote the development of general knowledge about current and past cultural issues.

Janet Block's article "The Effects of Auditory and Visual Stimuli on Tenth Graders' Descriptive Writing" discusses a study that investigated whether 10th-grade English students would write more effectively when being presented with visual imagery. Block's article suggests that imagery is a verbal language that should be seen as an alternative coding system.3 This study suggests that the meaning of a literary work involves images and emotions evoked by the language of the written text. The pattern of images and emotions leads to a "central imagic and emotional meaning" that dominates the idiosyntic images of the reader.4 Images serve as a vault of information that is stored in the human mind. Researchers who have been studying imagery and its role in comprehension have investigated how imagery relates to prior knowledge and the thinking process.

Most of us need things physically in front of us to describe them in detailed and accurate terms. Even if we have all seen a picture of an object, event, or person, our descriptions would likely be different, depending on our backgrounds, the perspective from which we view the object, and the details we find important in it.5 Observing the ordinary is both the simplest skill to start exercising as a writer and a practical means of training yourself to think and write analytically.6 The visual images selected will contain values that allow students to think about issues that are important and relevant. My curriculum unit will also increase my students' comprehension, critical and analytical skills to make personal connections when interpreting literature. It is important for teachers to provide positive writing experiences that promote student enjoyment, as well as help students express themselves with clarity and power. I believe my unit will teach students to write in descriptive detail as a form of communication and feel more confident about their written work.

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Timing of the Unit

Each of the three lessons in this unit will take between one to two weeks to complete depending on the amount of time provided in each class period. Since James Hillhouse High School has a 90-minute block schedule four out of five days, my students take English three days a week. However, not all high schools provide ample time for each classroom period per day, so completing the unit may take more time.

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Intended Audience for This Unit

This unit was written for students who are lower-level struggling writers, whose disability impacts their ability to produce definitive transcribed work. Secondary English Education students are my target grade-level focus for creating this unit; however, it can also be modified for elementary education students. The curriculum unit I am writing can also be integrated in a History classroom. My special education students have scored either "Basic" or "Below Basic" on their state-wide Connecticut Mastery Tests, as well as on the three District Quarterly English Language Arts assessments they took at the end of each marking period during their freshmen year of high school. When my students have received a writing assignment, they appear anxious and frustrated. Desher's research from 2009 states that students with learning disabilities have difficulty processing and organizing written information.7 As a result, these students written products are often short, simple sentences, and their writing demonstrates a lack of awareness of their audience and indicate what they know in their written work, rather than what is required. Secondary students are expected to compose longer documents, to use complex text, and sentence structures to integrate information from a variety of sources.

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Importance of Learning about the Past

History is essential to individuals in society because it helps us understand how people and societies change, how the society we live in came to be, and helps us understand the influence of technological inventions, and it is useful in the world of work. It is important for human beings to understand how societies function because we would not understand how to evaluate war when our nation is at peace. We need to understand the creation of technological inventions of the past in order to advance those skills. It is imperative for us to understand beliefs about shaping a family, so we have an understanding of acceptable family dynamics in today's society. Human beings need to have a sense of how society functions appropriately within our lives. It is crucial for us to understand how the society we live in came to be because in order for us to understand the present or the future, we need to know why an event occurred. For example, we need to know about the factors that shifted in a political party in order to understand our current state and US government.

Why was the 1940s an Important Decade to American Society?

The 1940s was an important decade to American society because it was a time period of war and of great inventions that forever changed our society. Technology, such as inventions of the first computer and nuclear weapons, impacted the whole world. World War II began during this decade. When men were overseas fighting in the war, women held the labor jobs that the men previously had. Women's jobs were influential because they helped build war supplies.

During World War II, African Americans migrated from the South to Northern cities for the job opportunities that were available because of the war. In 1947, the Brooklyn Dodgers baseball team signed their first African American baseball player, Jackie Robinson. The first computer, ENIAC, was invented by John Mauchy and John Presper Eckert. Another reason that the 1940s are a crucial decade to study is because the history behind it helps Americans understand their heritage and gives them a better sense to appreciate the power and freedom people have in the twenty-first century. This decade produced different changes in the political, technological, and social aspects of American life.

Attack on Pearl Harbor

The Japanese attacked the U.S. Naval base at Pearl Harbor in Oahu Island, Hawaii on December 7, 1941. When Japan invaded China in 1937, their subsequent alliance with the axis powers (Germany and Italy) and occupation of the French Indochine in July 1941, resulted in the US freezing Japanese assets. Also, the US put an embargo on oil to Japan. Those two factors led the Prime Minister, Tojo Hideki, to declare war. Tojo Hideki collaborated with Admiral Yamanoto Isoroki, the commander in chief of the Japan's common fleet, to attack the U.S. Pacific Fleet in Pearl Harbor. The day after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor; President Roosevelt came onto the radio the next morning and announced the U.S. was going to war.8 Congress declared war on Japan, which resulted in the United States officially being part of World War II.

When my students view the image below, I plan on helping them become aware of and think about who created the image. What was the PRODUCTION of? Why was the "Japs Execute of Tokyo Air Raiders" article important on the poster? What information is it trying to be portrayed? Who are the people on the poster and what are they doing? Why are they significant? Questions similar to the ones I listed are what teachers should be knowledgeable about before beginning to teach this unit, so they will be able to educate students on what to look for when viewing a visual image.

The reason I chose this poster was because I feel it represents how people in the United States felt about the Japanese. This poster is a picture of two Japanese soldiers who have blindfolded and captured an American pilot during the Doolittle Raid. It was created by the U.S. government printing office in 1943. When students view this image, they need to think about the colors on the poster. In Japan, the color yellow symbolizes courage; however, in America it is a color of cowardice. The words "Cold Blooded Murder" and the outline of the "Japs Execute Group of Tokyo Air Raiders" article are red because in Japan red symbolizes blood and strength, and at the time the Japanese had a goal to defeat the United States. The image states, "We will make them pay if you keep up PRODUCTION," and it represents the oil embargo of Japan. Another aspect of the image I would like my students pay attention to is how the word "PRODUCTION" is written in all capital letters. I want my students to understand that when a word is written in all capital letters, it means that the word states an important point that will help the audience understand the meaning behind the poster.

Image 1: Pearl Harbor

Source: University of Minnesota: UMedia Achieve: http://umedia.lib.umn.edu/node/47208

September 11th

On September 11, 2001, the Islamic extremist group Al-Qaeda was responsible for a series of airline hijackings and suicide attacks on the United States. At 8:46 the terrorists flew the first plane, which originated from Boston, into the North Tower of the World Trade Center. Fifteen minutes later, a second plane coming from Newark, New Jersey hit the World Trade Center's South Tower. Due to the impact of the damage caused by the planes, both towers collapsed. One of the main reasons behind the attack is that the US and Iraq were fighting for oil.

I decided to include this photograph below because I feel this visual image strongly portrays the tragic event that had a monumental impact on our country. When my students look at this photograph, I want them to think about the scene that is being captured. I would like them to think about what the Statue of Liberty represents with what is occurring in this image. The Statue of Liberty was a gift given from France that represents freedom throughout the world. When students are viewing this image, I would like them to ask if the Statue of Liberty is being portrayed as a symbol of freedom in this photograph. When the audience views this image, I want them to feel the pain and hardships of the citizens in the World Trade Center. When discussing this image with my students in whole group, I would like them to think about how they would feel if they saw the attack on the World Trade Center firsthand.

Image 2: September 11, 2001 Attack on the World Trade Center

Source: The Advertising Achieves website: http://www.advertisingarchives.co.uk/index.php?service=search&action=do_quick_search&language=en&q=september+11

The First Computer

John Mauchly and John Presper Eckert invented the first computer, the ENIAC, Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer. The ENIAC weighed 30 tons, took up 1,500 square feet of floor space, and filled a room. It also contained 18,000 vacuum tubes, with 70,000 resisters, 10,000 capacitors, 6,000 switches, and 1,500 relays.9 It was faster than any other machine in that day. John Mauchly was the chief consultant, and John Presper Eckert was the chief engineer. Eckert was a graduate student studying at the Moore School when he met John Mauchly in 1943. The ENIAC was originally designed for calculating ballistics trajectories in World War II and weather prediction. However, it was ready to work during the fall of 1945, just as the war had ended.

In this current day, computers are very popular and are used across the world. The reason I chose to include the ENIAC computer to use in my curriculum unit is because my students enjoy going to the computer, whether it is for research or entertainment. Since the ENIAC is the first computer that was ever invented, I feel it would be interesting for my students to see how the computer realm of technology started out.

Image 3: The ENIAC

Source: UPenn Library, http://www.library.upenn.edu/exhibits/rbm/mauchly/img/8contren.jpg, Accessed on July 16, 2011.

The Netbook Computer

Netbook inventor Mary Lou Jepsen wanted to create a cheap laptop for citizens to access in developing countries. Jepson's main idea behind her creation was that third-world countries could buy millions of these computers and hand them out in rural villages. Jepsen anticipated that the cost of the netbook would be $100 for each computer. These small computers have Wi-Fi, a color screen, and a full keyboard. They are also created using Linux, flash memory, with a tiny seven-inch screen. This type of computer weighs less than two pounds and features a display screen that is about 10 centimeters diagonally.10 The computer screens on the Netbook computer are about 20% smaller than on a standard laptop computer. After Austrek Quanta launched the Netbook in Taiwan, millions of middle-class citizens from the United States and Western Europe bought this laptop to check e-mail and other additional popular websites such as Facebook.com.11

The reason I chose to incorporate the Netbook computer with my ENIAC is because I think it will be interesting for my students to compare and contrast the smallest computer that was ever invented to the largest computer that was invented. When my students view this image, I want them to pay attention to the size of the computer features and the programs that are implemented on the Netbook. I think it will be significant for my High School students to compare this modern piece of technology to the enormous, heavy-weight ENIAC.

Image 4: The Netbook Computer

Source: Thompson, Olive. "The Netbook Effect," Wired, March 2009, http://find.galegroup.com/gtx/retrieve.do?contentSet=IAC-Documents&resultListType=RESULT_LIST&qrySerId=Locale%28en%2C%2C%29%3AFQE%3D%28KE%2CNone%2C18%29The+Netbook+Effect%24&sgHitCountType=None&inPS=true&sort=Relevance&searchType=BasicSearchForm&tabID=T003&prodId=ITOF&searchId=R2¤tPosition=1&userGroupName=21200&docId=A195640420&docType=IAC

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Objectives

I believe that when my students complete this unit, they will learn to think of themselves as writers and recognize details in visual images by writing expository essays. By familiarizing students with productive ways to approach and analyze images and by giving them opportunities to practice expository writing strategies, I hope to give my students a new attitude to the writing process. I presume that by observing pictures and using repetitive strategies to go over the process of writing and seeing, my students will be able to link their visualization and writing skills together to compose strong written work.

The following student objectives that will be met for this unit are:

Students will be able to notice and identify details in visual images in writing.

Students will consider and analyze details in images in order to make inferences about photographs being displayed.

Students will be able to use descriptive detail by writing expository essays that consist of at least 2 pages.

Students will evaluate the relevancy of details as support for a specific claim about the visual images.

Students will be able to gain an understanding of historical events based on class discussions, reading articles, and observing visual images.

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Students' Background Knowledge

Before the unit, my students will have a general understanding about the 1940s decade, the attack on Pearl Harbor, and the ENIAC computer. Also, the students will have previous knowledge about September 11, 2001 and the Netbook computer. Furthermore, the students have background understanding about the definition of an expository essay and its writing process. However, during this curriculum unit the expository essay writing process will be modeled and reinforced by the teacher to assist students when writing strong, descriptive expository essays.

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Strategies

In this unit, students will demonstrate an understanding of using visual text to help them with writing expository essays. These lessons will teach students the strategies to use when looking at visual texts, in order to pay attention to detail and use descriptive language. By actively seeking the details of the ordinary, we will hone our skills of observation, which is the first step toward my students becoming confident writer.12 By having students observe common, everyday objects that they are familiar with, they will have the confidence to become strong writers.

My unit is composed of three compare-and-contrast expository essay writing lessons. The first lesson is to introduce students to writing about visual images. The other two lessons consist of students incorporating two photographs from each period, the 1940s and the 21st century. The first lesson is an introductory lesson to writing about visual images and to refresh students' previous knowledge on how to write an expository essay by comparing and contrasting the first cell phone and the blackberry. For the second lesson in the unit, my students will read two articles from the Britannica for Kids Encyclopedia on Pearl Harbor and September 11th, and compare and contrast two posters pertaining to those articles.

For the third lesson, my students read an article about the ENIAC computer from the Britannica for Kids Encyclopedia and another article about the Netbook Computer from the New York Times. Afterwards, they will compare and contrast pictures of the ENIAC computer and the Netbook computer. Each of the lessons in my unit will consist of the teacher scaffolding and getting background information about what the students know about the major events/ inventions have had an impact on current society. Then the students will view the two images from both times, the 1940s and the 21st century. Afterwards, the teacher and the students will discuss the images in whole group. The teacher and the students will read two articles related to both of those images in whole group within a two-day period. After the class reads the two articles that are about the events/inventions, the teacher and the students will discuss the articles and displayed images and how they relate to one another. Then the students will brainstorm in graphic organizer about ideas to help them write their descriptive essay. The students will write their descriptive essays and then score their writing on a rubric. After the students check their written work and score their rubric, the teacher will then score a teacher copy of a rubric.

To introduce the unit, the teacher is going to model how to compare and contrast the two cell phone pictures on the Smartboard. The cell phone pictures that are being compared and contrasted are a picture of the first cell phone that was invented in 1973 and the blackberry cell phone. The teacher will discuss with the students in whole group important details of the visual image to include when they are writing their expository essay. With the help of the students in the class, the teacher will brainstorm the similarities and the differences of the two cell phones in whole group. For the expository essay assignment, the students are allowed to compare and contrast their personal cell phone with the first phone invented. The reason behind letting the students use their cell phones for this lesson is because the students like to text and play games on the internet using their phones. In order to engage the students in writing, I decided to let them use an object that pertains to their interests. When my students are brainstorming about the two cell phones, I want them to keep focusing on the phones' overall appearance and features. The first cell phone was much larger than today's modern-day cell phone. It did not consist of data plans that included touch screens, internet, or other additional applications.

After the teacher compares and contrasts the cell phone images in whole group, he or she will then model how to fill out the graphic organizer that is shaped into an image of a cell phone so the students can use it as a guide to organize their thoughts so that they will be able to write a descriptive five-paragraph expository essay. Brad W. Baxendell's article "Graphic Organizers" states that having students visually display main key points in a lesson can benefit learners who have difficulty organizing information. They are known to be a strong representation of acquired knowledge because they help students organize their ideas and be able to understand relationships between complex ideas and recall. Baxendell also mentions that students who are Learning Disabled are more likely to generalize skills they previously learning when given graphic organizers.13

After the students are finished brainstorming their ideas in their cell phone graphic organizer, the teacher will display a five-slide PowerPoint to reinforce what pieces of information should be included in each of the five paragraphs for the expository essay. The power point slides will go as follows: 1st Slide--Introduction; 2nd Slide--1st Supporting Detail Paragraph; 3rd Slide--2nd Supporting Detail Paragraph; 4th Slide--3rd Supporting Detail Paragraph, 5th Slide--Conclusion Paragraph. Once the teacher reinforces students' previous knowledge on how to write an

expository essay, he or she will go over the scoring rubric with the class. The scoring rubric for both teacher and student is listed as Image 5 below. After the students are finished with their expository essays, they will score themselves on the clarity and descriptive detail of each essay they wrote using a teacher-made rubric. When the students are finished scoring themselves, the teacher will look over the students' essays and give them a score based on how well they performed this writing task.

After the teacher reinforces students' previous knowledge on how to write an expository essay, she will go over the scoring rubric with the class. The scoring rubric for both teacher and student is listed as Image 5 below. After the students are finished with their expository essay, they will score themselves on the clarity and descriptive detail of each essay they wrote using a teacher made rubric. When the students are finished scoring themselves using the teacher made rubric, the teacher will then look over the students essay and give them a score based on how well they performed this writing task.

Image 5: Scoring Rubric

Source: Custom Essays Lab, http://www.custom-essays-lab.co.uk/essay_writing/9th_grade_essay_rubrics.htm, Accessed on July 16, 2011.

Differentiation for Teachers: If teachers do not have access to a Smartboard or an overhead projector, they will need to print out a copy of the images for each student in the class.

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Lesson Plan 1: Visual Images and Expository Writing Introductory Lesson

This lesson is an introductory lesson to teach students about how to observe visual images and to reinforce their previous knowledge of how to write expository essays. First, the teacher will scaffold students' knowledge about visual images, following background knowledge of the expository-essay writing steps. When educating students about observing visual images, the teacher needs to emphasize important facts students need to be aware of when observing a picture: the time period and creator of the image, design, setting, the lines and colors on an image, and words, as well as word font on an image. The students will use these strategies when observing the visual images in each of their lessons.

Methods

Teacher will scaffold students' knowledge about visual images, following background knowledge of the expository-essay writing steps.

Teacher will model for the class and display power point on how to write a five paragraph essay.

Teacher and students will discuss cell phone images and how they relate to one another.

Students will take out cell phones and compare and contrast their phone to the first invented cell phone.

Students will brainstorm their thoughts and ideas on both cell phones.

Students will write their expository essay based on the two images.

Student will evaluate their individual essays writing by scoring a student rubric.

Teacher will evaluate students' essays writing by scoring the teacher rubric for each student.

Additional Information

Before students take out their phones, teacher will briefly go over the school rules and appropriate cell phone use for this writing assignment.

Assessment

Students will write a two-page expository essay comparing and contrasting the first invented cell phone and the blackberry (additional option: use their own cell phone instead of the blackberry image) based on the visual images they viewed and the two articles they read.

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Lesson Plan 2: Compare and Contrast Pearl Harbor and September 11th

Methods

Teacher will discuss with class and reinforce strategies when observing visual images.

Teacher and students will discuss images of Pearl Harbor and September 11th in whole group.

Students will read and annotate two short articles called "Pearl Harbor" and "September 11" and when finished discuss articles with a partner sitting next to them.

Students will brainstorm on a building-shaped graphic organizer, using the pictures of Pearl Harbor and the World Trade Center attack that are displayed on the Smartboard and the two articles they read as guides.

Students will write a five-paragraph expository essay.

Students will evaluate their individual essay by scoring a student rubric.

Teacher will evaluate students' essay by scoring the teacher rubric for each student.

Assessment

Students will write a two-page expository essay comparing and contrasting the attack on Pearl Harbor and the attack on the World Trade Center based on the images displayed on the Smartboard and the articles they read in class to demonstrate their knowledge of both the two world events and the features of a strong expository essay.

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Lesson Plan 3: Compare and Contrast the ENIAC and the Netbook Computer

Methods

Teacher will discuss with class and reinforce strategies when observing visual images.

Teacher and students will discuss images of the ENIAC and the Netbook computer in whole group.

Students will read and annotate two short articles called "Electronic Digital Computers" and "The Netbook Effect" and when finished discuss articles with a partner sitting next to them.

Students will brainstorm on a computer-shaped graphic organizer, using the pictures of the two computers that are displayed on the Smartboard and the two articles they read as guides.

Students will write a five-paragraph expository essay.

Students will evaluate their individual essay by scoring a student rubric.

Teacher will evaluate students' essay by scoring the teacher rubric for each student

Assessment

Students will write a two-page expository essay comparing and contrasting the ENIAC and the Netbook Computer based on the images displayed on the Smartboard and the articles they read in class to demonstrate their knowledge of these two inventions and the features of a strong, expository essay.

Enrichment Lesson

An additional lesson that can be developed based on this unit asks students to read an article and cut out a photograph from a magazine or newspaper that pertains to their interest. Some of the magazines that the students may use are Sports Illustrated, Seventeen, etc. Afterwards, the students will pair-share the article and image with a partner in the class. Next, the students will write their expository essays and evaluate themselves by filling out a student rubric.

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Appendix A: Implementing New Haven School District Standards

Students will be able to demonstrate successful writing behaviors.

Students will be able to demonstrate strategic writing skills before, during and after writing.

Students will be able to participate in a variety of writing activities.

Students will be able to demonstrate strategic viewing skills before, during and after viewing.

Students will be able to participate in a variety of viewing experiences.

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Appendix B: Common Core State Standards

In May 2010, the Connecticut State Board of Education adapted new national academic standards in English Language Arts for students in grades K-12. The purpose of these new standards is to establish what Connecticut public school students know and be able to do throughout their primary and secondary school experience. The hope the Connecticut State Board of Education has for these new standards is to increase student proficiency levels and regulate consistency in school instruction among the states. The English Language Arts Core State Standards that apply to my unit are:

Engage and orient the reader by setting out a problem, situation, or observation, establishing one of multiple points of view, and introducing a narrator of characters; create a smooth progression of experience or events.

Use a variety of techniques to sequence events that they build on one another to create a coherent whole.

Produce clear and coherent writing in which development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

Write routinely over an extended period of time frames and shorter time frames for a range of tasks, purposes, and audience.

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Bibliography

Baxendell, B. W. "Consistent, Coherent, Creative: The 3C's of Graphic Organizers." Teaching Exceptional Children, 35.3 (2003):46–53. http://search.ebscohost.com. This article discusses the benefits of using graphic organizers with inclusive instruction.

Burmark, Lynell. "Why Visual Literacy?" School Media, 2004. Accessed on July 20, 2011. http://mat-tech.net/COTF%20CD/WhyVisualLiteracy.pdf. This excerpt provides valuable information about how students process and retain information through visual images.

Block, Janet. "The Effects of Auditory and Visual Stimuli on Tenth Graders' Descriptive Writing," Research/Technical 1, (1993). http://eric.ed.gov/PDFS/ED364887.pdf.This study provides evidence about how visual images, combined with auditory stimuli, have a positive impact on improving students' descriptive writing.

Desher, Donald, and Jean B. Schumaker. "Adolescents with Learning Disabilities as Writers: Are We Selling Them Short?" Learning Disabilities Research and Practice 24.2 (2009): 81-92. This research based article describes specific writing skills learning disabled students need in order to be successful in their least restrictive environment.

"ENIAC".Encyclopedia Britannica, 2009. http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/183842/ENIAC. Accessed July 20, 2011. This article provides cohesive detail about the ENIAC and its inventors.

Farley, Tom. "Mobile Telephone History." Teletronikk, July 13, 2004. http://manishmandal.weebly.com/uploads/6/3/7/1/6371234/mobile_phone_history.pdf. This engaging article provides useful information about the history of mobile telephones.

Fletcher, Jason. "Is Identification with School the Key Component in the 'Black Box' of Education Outcomes?" Economics of Education Review 28, (2009): 662-671. The article explains factors that affect students' standardized test scores.

Freiberger, Paul A. and Swaine, Michael. "ENIAC," Encyclopedia Britannica Online, April 2011. Accessed on July 16, 2011. This fascinating article provides descriptive information about the invention of the first computer ever built.

Mariconda, Barbara. Step-by –Step Strategies for Teaching Expository Writing. Easton, CT: Scholastic Professional Books, 2001. This book outlines writing skills that are needed for expository essays. Included in this text are examples of lessons that can be used in a classroom.

McQuade, Donald, and Christine McQuade. Seeing and Writing 4. Boston. MA: Bedford/ St. Martin's, 2010. This book was one of the textbooks used in our Writing about Words and Images seminar. It is a captivating collection of pictures and texts that generate discussion, writing, and interpretation.

"Pearl Harbor Attack." Encyclopedia Britannica, last modified April 27, 2011. http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/448010/Pearl-Harbor-attack . This fascinating article provides a detailed description of how and why the attack on Pearl Harbor occurred. Included in this article are photographs that display the post-attack damage.

"September 11 Attacks, "Encyclopedia Britannica. Last accessed August 26, 2010. http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/762320/September-11-attacks. This article provides a summary about the tragic event about the World Trade Center Attacks, which occurred on September 11, 2001.

"Symbolism Colors."Accessed July 20, 2011. http://www.three-musketeers.net/mike/colors.html. This quick, easy _to_ read website provides intriguing information about how the Japanese view colors on a horizontal plane, with positive and/or negative feelings associated with them.

"1942-The Doolittle Air Raid." USS Enterprise CV-6. Accessed July 20, 2011. http://www.cv6.org/1942/doolittle/doolittle.htm. This easy _to_ read article discusses the America's invasion in Japan, after Pearl Harbor was attacked.

Thompson, Olive. "The Netbook Effect," Wired. March 2009, http://find.galegroup.com/gtx/retrieve.do?contentSet=IAC-Documents&resultListType=RESULT_LIST&qrySerId=Locale%28en%2C%2C%29%3AFQE%3D%28KE%2CNone%2C18%29The+Netbook+Effect%24&sgHitCountType=None&inPS=true&sort=Relevance&searchType=BasicSearchForm&tabID=T003&prodId=ITOF&searchId=R2¤tPosition=1&userGroupName=21200&docId=A195640420&docType=IAC. This article comprehensive article provides detailed information about the creator of the Netbook computer, and how it became so popular in today's day in age.

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Readings for Students

"Electrical Digital Computers." Encyclopedia Britannica for Kids, 2011. http://kids.britannica.com/comptons/article-199043/computer. Accessed on July 19, 2011. This article provides a summary about the first invented computer.

"Pearl Harbor," Encyclopedia Britannica for Kids, 2011.http://kids.britannica.com/comptons/article-9276327/Pearl-Harbor. Accessed on July 20, 2011. This concise article outlines the events that occurred during the tragic day of December 7, 1941.

Thompson, Olive. "The Netbook Effect," Wired, March 2009. http://find.galegroup.com/gtx/retrieve.do?contentSet=IAC-Documents&resultListType=RESULT_LIST&qrySerId=Locale%28en%2C%2C%29%3AFQE%3D%28KE%2CNone%2C18%29The+Netbook+Effect%24&sgHitCountType=None&inPS=true&sort=Relevance&searchType=BasicSearchForm&tabID=T003&prodId=ITOF&searchId=R2¤tPosition=1&userGroupName=21200&docId=A195640420&docType=IAC. This article comprehensive article provides easy_ to_ read detailed information about the creator of the Netbook computer, and how it became so popular in today's day in age. Included in this piece of writing is a visual image of the Netbook computer. Both, teachers and students will benefit from reading this article.

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Endnotes

1 Burmark, Lynell, "Why Visual Literacy?" SchoolMedia, (2004), http://mat-tech.net/COTF%20CD/WhyVisualLiteracy.pdf.
2 Donald McQuade and Christine McQuade, Seeing and Writing 4, 27.
3 Block, Janet, "The Effects of Auditory and Visual Stimuli on Tenth Graders' Descriptive Writing," Research/Technical 1, (1993), http://eric.ed.gov/PDFS/ED364887.pdf.
4 Block, Janet, "The Effects of Auditory and Visual Stimuli on Tenth Graders' Descriptive Writing," Research/Technical 1,(1993), http://eric.ed.gov/PDFS/ED364887.pdf.
5 Donald McQuade and Christine McQuade, Seeing and Writing 4, 27.
6 Donald McQuade and Christine McQuade, Seeing and Writing 4, 27.
7 Desher, Donald and Schumaker, Jean B, "Adolescents with Learning Disabilities as Writers: Are We Selling Them Short? Learning Disabilities Research and Practice 24, no.2 (2009): 81, doi:10.1111/j.1540-5826.2009.00282.
8 "Pearl Harbor Attack," Encyclopedia Britannica, last modified April 27, 2011. http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/448010/Pearl-Harbor-attack .
9 "ENIAC," Encyclopedia Britannica, last modified on April 9, 2009, http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/183842/ENIAC.
10 Thompson, Olive, "The Netbook Effect, "Wired, March 2009, http://find.galegroup.com.
11 Thompson, Olive, "The Netbook Effect," Wired, March 2009.
http://find.galegroup.com.
12 Donald McQuade and Christine McQuade, Seeing and Writing 4, 28.
13 Baxendell, B. W., "Consistent, Coherent, Creative: The 3C's of Graphic Organizers." Teaching Exceptional Children, 35.3 (2003):47-48, accessed on July 20, 2011. Academic Search Premier. http://search.ebscohost.com.

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