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Remixing TED with Popcorn Maker

I’ve written about how we’ve use  Mozilla Popcorn Maker to add life (pop-ups, maps, images, text, Wikipedia articles) to our German textbooks and to annotate Cold War propaganda films.

This past week, we’ve explored its use in close reading of  TED talks, with an eye toward deconstructing what makes a good speaker and a good speech.

We divided the classes into groups and had them search the Ted Talk Play Lists in a kind of scavenger hunt focused on criteria relating to these look-fors:

  • voice
  • body language
  • storytelling strategies
  • rhetorical devices
Here’s an example.
Danny, Jen, Marie and Khalil annotated rhetorical devices in Malcolm London’s powerful poem about school culture.

Even more powerful.  When we asked students to model what they learned (about rhetoric, etc.) from their close reading in their presentations, we could see the learning.

They used rhetorical devices.  They played with metaphor and alliteration. They asked provocative opening questions. They remembered the importance of clinchers.  They stood up straight; they used their hands for emphasis. They told stories.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.11-12.3 Evaluate a speaker’s point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric, assessing the stance, premises, links among ideas, word choice, points of emphasis, and tone used.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.11-12.6 Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating a command of formal English when indicated or appropriate. (See grades 11–12 Language standards 1 and 3 here for specific expectations.)

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Joyce Valenza About Joyce Valenza

Joyce is the teacher-librarian at Springfield Township High School, a technology writer, and a blogger. Follow her on Twitter: @joycevalenza

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