Module 5

April 24th, 2017

Part One: Learner Centered Methods

Since I will be working with high school students in English classrooms, most of the motivation will come from:

  • ¬†Intrinsically wanting to do well in the class; being able to achieve goals and expectations set by me as their teacher
  • Extrinsically wanting to get good grades on class-work and for an overall course grade

Learner centered methods I could employ may include the use of literature circles. This not only allows the students to have a hand in choosing their own course material and how they intend on spending class time, but they are also working in groups to complete text based questions while also discussing the content– gaining multiple relevant view points in the process.

In this situation, classroom design would also aid in the student centered context. As we discussed in class, desks can be arranged in a way that students are seated close together or in groups separated by the book they are working on in class.

A useful assessment for literature circles are group presentations at the end of the unit, discussing main points of each group’s book and how their interactions with the text may have have given insight, changed opinions on subjects, or broadened understandings about topics or ideas introduced.

In this case, backwards design is the most effective method of creating lesson plans, as I can focus on what needs to be understood and how different standards can be introduced before assigning books that may or may not be effective in doing so.

Part Two

Lesson Plan at this link

For this activity, I used backwards design to create a lesson plan that focuses on the standard, “Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain.” Backwards design focuses on what standards and goals the educator has for the student and incorporates methods into the curriculum that achieves those goals.


In my lesson plan, rather than starting with a unit then moving into the concepts it encompasses, I started with a standard that I wanted to incorporate into my curriculum then created an assignment to do so. The assessments include the written document created by students discussing two different quotes that discuss verbal and nonverbal information effecting the story and its characters. A non-formal assessment is the discussion of thesis statements in class and how the students decide they should move forward with the prompt I have provided.

In section three, I take into account learner development by setting clear expectations and allowing class discussion. Having the students discuss the assignment allows those who are confident to share their ideas while those who are unsure have backup from their peers to either reassure their own ideas or introduce new ones that can spark further development. I chose this method because it allows so much room for student choice and involvement in the process of their learning. This also can create an inherent sense of engagement or responsibility for learning. Being able to share ideas among peers can also create engagement and interest due to the pressure to meet group expectations.

By focusing on the desired outcomes, it will help me as an educator choose which books will be most effective in facilitating successful understanding of the standards I am trying to incorporate into my lessons. In this situation, I think that backwards design would be much more helpful than hindering.



Aguilar, E. (2010, November 30). The Power of Literature Circles in the Classroom. Retrieved April, 2017, from

Teaching Multicultural Literature . Workshop 5 . Teaching Strategies . Literature Circles. (n.d.). Retrieved April, 2017, from   (Annenberg Learner Organization)

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Mikayla Jones  |  May 5th, 2017 at 9:29 am

    I really like your backward design lesson plan! I love how you have several papers assigned for the students, but that they’re all pretty short so that they don’t feel too overwhelmed about it. I think that would be a really great way to check for progress throughout the course and be able to see what all they’ve achieved in your class through their papers.

  • 2. Alyssa Latz  |  May 6th, 2017 at 3:20 pm

    I really enjoyed reading your blog about backward design. I have realized as a future educator that it is important that we find the best way for our students to not only learn, but also retain the information they are given. I loved that you discussed the intrinsic and extrinsic motivation of the student. We as teachers can try to help a student succeed, but they really have to WANT to as well. Your idea of lit circles is great. I remember using that method in high school and it really helped when we read books as a class to split up into groups and discuss. For this type of classroom it would be really awesome to see rolling desks! I have seen them in some schools and they’re awesome. Great post, I loved the read.

  • 3. Sarah Klinger  |  May 8th, 2017 at 10:13 pm

    I really liked your lesson using backward design! I thought it was very useful for your content area especially. You did a really good job of creating clear expectations for the students and made sure they knew what was expected of them. Also, I agree that it is incredibly important to motivate our students and to help them succeed in their en devours. Using different learning methods helps with this!

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