Is this cheating?


Students are returning from vacation, and I have imagined a “real-world” writing assignment.  Although this outline represents my draft thoughts, I am leaning towards using it as a welcome-back exercise–in an attempt to  have the departing seniors (a) write with meaningful purpose and (b) play a significant role in designing our experimental “biography unit.”  Is it cheating to have them spend time writing such an essay?  I don’t think so, but thought it would be fun to ask colleagues and other readers.

Incidentally–don’t tell the students–the “list” they will pick up comes from Tony Wagner’s recent writings.  I won’t name which ones, in case some students are closely following this personal blog.  (A number of them subscribe to our course blog.)



List seven basic skills you will take away from your high school experience.

Pick up list of seven skills identified by recent book on the issue.

Reflect on similarities and differences between these two lists.  For example, what do these patterns mean about your past and future formal schooling?

Use these reflections to write an essay that follows this format:

intro to main idea

most exercised skill in this class

least exercised skill in this class

implications for design of upcoming “biography unit”

concluding thought, which offers insight gained from preceding analysis

(due to TURNITIN by end of this week’s block class; include amended pledge, which acknowledges, for example, conversations with classmates)

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Filed under challenge, creative solutions, discovery, reasons for writing

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