Performance Task

Leaving a Legacy
Performance Task
200 points
As we have read, Hester Prynn from Nathanial Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter creates a legacy through her service to the community. Although her scarlet A once stood for “adultery,” the other women insist that it really means “able.” Individuals each have high and low points in their lives, and their legacies are often left by the events they were involved in that had the most impact on others. Through this on-going project, we will be using our literacy skills to help compose tangible evidence of legacy for individuals in a local nursing home. As teacher Jim Burke states, “What good are the skills of writing and reading if we do not know how to live with each other or find no meaning through our lives as we live them?” (370).

For this assignment, we will be using several skills we have learned in the language arts classroom in a specific, real-life setting.
· As a class, we will be visiting a local nursing home to interact within the community that the patients live in on a daily basis. While we journal about our observations of a specialized community that most of us are unfamiliar with, we will also be working on a long term project.
Each student will be paired with a particular patient, and that student will interview his or her partner about a significant life event that the patient has experienced.

· After we have conducted the inquiry, we will write narratives about the experience of the patients. Although these stories are meant to be personalized, there will also be a research component in addition to the interview. Each student will research about the time period in which the story takes place (What was going on politically? What was the economic state of the nation? How do elements in American history- even if they are relatively recent events- contextualize the personal story?). Students will write a SEPARATE 3 page research essay to go along with the legacy narrative that includes at least two research sources.

· After the final drafts have been completed, the class will combine the narratives into a book that will be presented to the nursing home. Each student will read his or her narrative to the patients.

Specific Components:
1) Our first step in this process will be to bring our minds into the context of the community we will be entering. Just as we had to place ourselves into the Puritan mindset as we read The Scarlet Letter, we will begin our project with a few journal prompts about the nursing home and the community within it. This work will be done in class on Monday, September 13th.

2) Secondly, we will begin to generate interview questions. Since we are focusing on a particular event, we will want our questions to encourage our partner patients to elaborate on one significant event that took place in their lives. This event could have occurred at any age and does not have to be a positive or negative event (though we will inform our participants that the information will be published, so they may choose their events around information they are most willing to share). Students will be expected to come up with fifteen questions to turn in for workshop by Friday, September 16th.
3) During workshop, each student will be prepared with a partner. You will turn your interview questions in to me for approval.
4) Our visit to the nursing home will be Monday, September 19th. This is the date when we will conduct the interview. Upon returning to class, we will once again journal about our experiences within a new community.

5) We will begin the prewriting and research for the actual composition of the research paper and narrative on October 19th.

6) September 21st will be used as a research day. We will meet in the library at the computers and spend the class utilizing the media center resources. You should acquire at least 3 sources, and one should be a print source.

7) A draft of the research paper will be due Monday, September 26th. This should include a Works Cited page and should be 3 pages in length. We will workshop on this day.
8) A draft of the narrative will be due on Friday, September 30th. This draft should include:
- At least 2-3 pages of the story. Although it must not be fully detailed, the draft must have a beginning, middle, and end
- A copy of your interview questions and answers
9) Final drafts of BOTH papers are due Thursday, October 6th. This will consist of:
- A copy of both journal entries (they should be combined into one printed document- though they may be 2-3 pages)
- Your marked rough drafts
- A copy of your interview questions
- A copy of the notes you took from the interview
- Your final draft of the paper (3 pages)
- Your final draft of the narrative (4-5 pages)
- A works cited page in MLA format
- Each component should be typed and should be arranged in a folder in the above order.
- I will combine all of the narratives into a scrapbook to be given to the nursing home.

10) We will invite the nursing home patients to visit our community on Friday, October 7th to hear us read the narratives aloud. I advise practicing your reading in front of a friend or family member so that your fluency, eye contact, and volume will help enunciate the work you have already completed.
11) After the presentations, you should begin working on a short (2-3 page) reflection about your experiences in the nursing home community. Use your journal entries for help! You should address the following in your reflection:
- How you processed the differences between the nursing home community and our classroom community
- The importance of legacy in a social community and whether or not you think you helped establish a tangible form of a legacy for your patient partner (why/why not?).
- How you think this project relates to ANY events from The Scarlet Letter. You are not required to use direct quotations, but you must reference specific events from the text.
- This reflection will be due on Thursday, October 13th
I know this is a lot of information to process. The following calendar should help you stay organized as you make your way though each component:
Monday, September 13th: In-class journaling
Friday, September 16th: Fifteen interview questions due for workshop.
Monday, September 19th: Visit to nursing home. Students should bring polished interview questions and a notebook to record the answers.
Wednesday, September 21th: Research day. Meet in the library!
Monday, September 26th: Rough draft of research paper due for workshop
Friday, September 30h: Rough draft of narrative due
Thursday, October 6th: ALL FINAL PRODUCTS DUE
Friday, October 7th: Presentation to nursing home patients
Thursday, October 13th: Reflection paper due

Scoring Guide:
Journal Entries/Reflective Component
1-2 pages of journal entries /10
2-3 page reflection addresses all questions and includes specific examples
from the experience to support the reflective elements /20
Reflection addresses ALL THREE required questions. /5
Reflection displays correct grammar, spelling, and mechanics /5
Total points for reflection component /40

Interview Component
Student displays professional demeanor during interview (does not
speak rudely to the patients, does not pry for information that the
patient is not willing to share, does not use interview questions
that have not been pre-approved). /5
Student turns 15 interview questions in for workshop by October
15th /5
Student participates in interview question workshop and turns in
workshop form at the end of class /5
Typed interview questions and answers are turned in by October
29th and are organized in a clear format /5
Total points for interview component /20

Research Paper
Research paper relates specifically to the time period of the event
students are writing the story about /10
Information is accurate and taken from sources the class has agreed
are reliable. /10
Research paper is 3 pages in length and is turned in on time (including
the draft, the final, and the works cited page) /10
Borrowed information in documented within the text in proper
MLA format. Works Cited page is written in proper MLA format /10
Total points for Introduction/Research /40

Narrative Component
Narrative is 4-5 pages in length. All drafts are turned in on
time. /10
Narrative is organized effectively and matches the information
gathered from the interview component. /30
Narrative is written effectively for the audience (the nursing
home patient). /20
Narrative is reflective of proper MLA format and grammar/
mechanics /10
Total points for Expository Story Component /70

Presentation/Final Product
All components are turned in on the final due date (November 4th) and
are organized according to the assignment sheet /10
Student maintains eye contact and voice inflection throughout
presentation /10
Student speaks clearly and loudly throughout presentation (consideration
of audience) /10
Total points for Presentation/Final Product /30

Total points for the entire project /200

Resources that you may want to use:
Diana Hacker Online (MLA formatting)
Writing Effective Interview Questions
Writing Research Papers
Works Cited:
Humanities Department and Arthur C. Banks Jr. Library. A Guide for Writing Research Papers Based on Modern Language Association (MLA) Documentation. Capital Community College, n.d. Web. 14 Sept. 2010.
Brizee, Allen and Driscoll, Dana Lynn. “Creating Good Interview and Survey Questions.” Purdue Online Writing Lab. Purdue University, 17 Apr. 2010. Web. 14 Sept. 2010.
Burke, Jim. The English Teacher’s Companion. Portsmouth: Heinemann, 2008. Print.
Hacker, Diana and Fister, Barbara. Research and Documentation Online. Bedford/St. Martin’s, n.d. Web. 14 Sept. 2010.
Hawthorne, Nathaniel. The Scarlet Letter. New York: Penguin Group, 2009. Print.