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Awesome SSR Projects

Page history last edited by msward 10 years, 11 months ago




Reading Non-Western Memoirs



SSR stands for self-selected reading and for sustained silent reading.  Our SSR project will focus on non-western memoirs and autobiographies.  Memoirs are narrative autobiographies composed of the author’s reflections on his or her personal experiences.  You will need to choose a memoir written by a non-western author that is over 200 pages in length.  You can either choose one of the books listed below or select a memoir of your choice.  Once you have decided upon a book, complete the attached form for approval.  You will be responsible for obtaining a copy of the text.  Your teacher has a number of copies of the texts listed below as do the school and township libraries. 


You will need to bring your SSR book to class every Friday.  We will begin class each Friday by silently reading our books for the first 15 minutes.  You will receive points each Friday for bringing your selected text and for completing a reader's journal following our in class reading.   


After you finish reading your SSR novel, you will be asked to put together a 20-minute presentation of your book reflecting on the literary techniques, themes, and structure of the text.  Groups will teach their novels to the class, focusing particular attention on a cultural tradition presented in the text.  Presentations will take place in May 22-24, 2013.   We will cover what should be included in your presentations and you will have time in class to prepare for your presentations later this quarter. 


You will not have enough time in class to finish reading your text, so you will need to devote some time outside of class to complete your reading.  



Each reading group will need to work together in order to “teach” the class about their selected text. You will not be preparing book reports with visual aids; that is not the point of our project.  After reading your chosen SSR novel and researching the history and traditions of the culture you read about, you have become an expert in our class on that particular culture.  You need to teach others about that culture.  Your group will need to find the most effective way to teach your novel to the class.  You will need to capture the audience’s attention and make sure that they understand the major events of your book.  Your presentation will be organized like a lesson plan with goals and objectives for your fellow students’ learning.  To do this, you will need to use a minimum of three different types of multimedia visual aids.


You will need to put together a 20 minute presentation that utilizes various multimedia visual aids to accomplish two tasks.  First, you will need to give the class some basic background information about your text.  You will want to teach the class about the author of your book and share some of the main plot points of your story.  The second portion of your presentation will connect to a research project that you will be completing in connection with your reading.  You will need to research and present a cultural tradition represented in your book.   This will be the bulk of your presentation.  As you finish reading your SSR book and reflect upon particular passages, you will need to find a cultural tradition - a celebration, a belief, a holiday or festival, a ceremony - that is represented in your text.  You will then research this tradition and present it to the class.


As you begin to put together your presentation, think about how your teachers help you remember key ideas.  



And, check out these tools: 

Interactive Presentation Tools:
  • Prezi is a online presentation maker that is dynamic and engaging. Never used it?Here's a tutorial.
  • VoiceThread allows you to create a presentation using photos, audio, or video files but then make it dynamic by allowing your audience to respond using text, audio, and video.
  • Glogster is so much more than an online poster site. Glogster allows users to create online posters that have music and videos embedded in them.
Discussion and Collaboration Tools:
  • Nings - create your own social network and give your members a place to discuss ideas online.
  • Blogs - create a blog for your presentation. It will give you a place to link all of your resources as well as a place for your audience to interact with the ideas you present.
  • Wikis - create a wiki page! It's like a web page but much easier to use and your audience can post comments on your materials.
Video Making Tools:
  • Photostory 3 - easier than Windows Movie Maker.
  • Jing - snap a picture of your screen or create a video of what you have on your computer screen using Jing.
  • Animoto - upload your images, add a bit of text, pick your music and you're done! Animoto is a fun and easy program for creating videos.  The free version creates 30 second videos, but talk to your teacher. Teachers can get access to more!
  • Camtasia - record a video of what is on your computer screen and create a polish video to upload in just minutes. There is a free trial subscription.
  • Sketchcast - record a sketch and narrate it.
Quizzes and Polls:
  • Poll Everywhere - poll your audience with the use of their cell phones. So easy!
  • Google Forms - create a quiz that you can either have your audience access as a webpage or embed into another site.  Once they answer, show the audience the results!
  • Survey Monkey - another easy survey tool.
Finding Images, Music, and Videos:
  • Flickr: Creative Commons is a group that collects photos that users have uploaded and designated that these photos can be use royalty free as long as credit is given to the original source.
  • Free Play Music is a fabulous site for background music. There are hundreds of downloadable mp3 files to use with your video projects and as long as you give credit to the source, you will not be infringing on any copyright laws.
Creative Images:
  • Big Huge Labs is a site that allows you to create motivational posters, magazine covers, and much more!
  • Image Chef allows users to either add their own text to creative images or drop personal photos into creative frames.
  • Wordle turns text into a word cloud then picks out the most common words and gives them prominence by increasing their size.  Behind this simple concept lies many possibilities for use in the classroom.
Publishing Tools:
  • OpenZine helps you create an online (or printed) newspaper.
  • Do you like comics? Check out these comic strip creation sites for creating your own comics: PixtonToonDoo, and Comiqs.
  • Or, create your own website using Google SitesWeebly, or Wix


Got some time on your hands? Check out this HUGE list.




Tibetan Buddhist Ctr

134 Heather Rd.

Upper Darby, PA
(610) 352-3430 



Buddhist Congregational Church

131 Nyack Ave
Lansdowne, PA
(610) 626-8499 


Philadelphia Buddhist Association

6 Old Lancaster Rd

Merion Station, PA 19066

(610) 660-9269



Sunrise In Tibet (Retail Store)

4253 Main St

Philadelphia, PA 19127 (Manayunk)

(215) 509-7336

Vision Of Tibet (Retail Store)

4225 Main St

Philadelphia, PA 19127 (Manayunk)

(215) 930-0388 


Hindu/South Asian

Samarpan Hindu Temple
6515 Bustleton Ave
Philadelphia, PA

(215) 537-9537 

Council of Indian Organizations (CIO)

Box 725

Frazer, PA 19355

(215) 938-0604



Taste Of India (Restaurant)

36 W Lancaster Ave.

Ardmore, PA 15705

(610) 642-6587

New Tajmahal Grocer

6770 Market St

Upper Darby, PA 19082

(610) 352-2200



Muhammad's Temple Of Islam
2723 W Jefferson St
Philadelphia, PA

(215) 232-9940 

Muhammad's Mosque Of Islam

2508 N Broad St
Philadelphia, PA
(215) 228-6044 



Chinese Culture & Arts Inc
126 N 10th St
Philadelphia, PA

(215) 928-1616 


Chinatown Culture Center
125 N 10th St
Philadelphia, PA

(215) 923-6767 


Dai Quang Grocery

6752 Market St

Upper Darby, PA 19082

(610) 352-3477



African Cultural Alliance of N. America

5521-23 Chester Ave.

Philadelphia, PA

(215) 729-5373




Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico Federal Affairs

 (215) 851-9930


2 Penn Center

Philadelphia, PA 19102


Puerto Rican & Latino Cultural Center

(856) 966-1880


542 Cooper St

Camden, NJ 08102


Council of Spanish Speaking Organizations, Inc.

(215) 627-3100



705-09 N. Franklin Street  

Philadelphia, Pa.  19123





Since your group will be teaching your text and culture to the class, you need to start thinking and planning like a teacher.  Use the basic format below to help you begin planning the elements you will include in your presentation.



  • Learning Objectives:  What is it that you hope the class will learn, remember, and do?





  • Instructional Delivery:


    • Anticipatory Set:  How will you capture the attention of your audience?
    • Concepts Taught:  What ideas will you present?  Keep in mind the content requirements of the project. 
    • Instructional Strategies: How will you teach the concepts?  Think about how you will you visual aids to help you present the concepts. 
    • Resources: What information will you use to put together this presentation?  Remember, you will need to use more than just your SSR book to put together your presentation.  
    • Assessment/Evaluation: How will you know that the class accomplished your objectives?




  • Closure/Reflection: How will you bring all the main ideas of your presentation together?





  10=Exceptional     9=Well Done     8=Average     7=Basic     6=Needs Improvement


Grading Criteria and Explanation

Rating/ Comment

CONTENT: the information included in the presentation and key concepts covered.

  • original/unique presentation style; materials capture the audience's attention 
  • includes information on the author’s background 
  • includes a summary of the main points of the novel 
  • significant and up-to-date information is presented 
  • contains at least two main themes of the text 
  • focuses on the history and practices of a particular cultural tradition 
  • information on the culture and its traditions are presented in a respectful manner 
  • evidence of a variety of sources used in the preparation of the presentation 
  • credit is given to the original sources (works cited) 
  • obvious time and effort went into planning, creating, and practicing the presentation 


ORGANIZATION: the way the parts of the presentation fit together.

  • clear and interesting introduction that captures the audience’s attention 
  •  information is presented using the lesson plan format 
  • the information is easy to follow because it is logically presented; obvious structure 
  • smooth transitions between ideas 
  • the presentation has obviously been practiced
  • the group helps the class remember important ideas and concepts through reinforcement activities
  • effective conclusion 
  • asks the audience for questions at the end  


VISUAL AIDS: how the group enhances and reinforces their presentation with visual aids.

  • visuals are appropriate and reinforce the content being presented 
  • makes use of at least 3 different types of visual aids 
  • technology enhances the presentation 
  • the presentation is adapted for the specific audience; awareness of audience’s interest
  • if professionally prepared media is used, it does not exceed 3 minutes
  • obvious time was spent preparing the visuals; they are not hurriedly assembled
  • do not contain spelling or grammar errors
  • visual aids, especially those that are technology dependant, are prepared and tested before the day of the presentation


AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION: the connection between the speakers and the audience.

  • the presenters are aware of the audience’s interest level throughout the presentation
  • the presenters directly engage the audience by having the class complete a specific task, utilize volunteers from the class, or request full class participation in an activity
  • asks the audience for questions at the end


PUBLIC SPEAKING–ELOQUTION: the presenter’s use of language and his or her voice.

  • clear and precise word choice, suited to subject
  • rich vocabulary
  • avoids clichés and redundancies    
  • appropriate rate (not rushed)
  • understandable, audible, articulate
  • appropriate, varied pitch (avoid a monotone speaking style)
  • stress and volume appropriate


PUBLIC SPEAKING–NON-VERBAL: the presenter’s use eye contact and gestures.

EYE CONTACT:                                                                            BODY MOVEMENTS/GESTURES:

  • maintained throughout most of presentation             §     appears relaxed, confident, poised
  • did not rely heavily of reading from note cards          §     did not lean or slouch on podium, desk, or wall
  • or reading directly from visual aids                               §     hands and body used to appropriately  
  • spread throughout the audience                                        emphasize statements (no hands in pockets)


PREPARATION PROCESS: the individual’s contribution to the group’s project.

  • used class time effectively and efficiently
  • contributed to the success of the group by completing his or her share of the preparation process
  • the student was clearly ready to present on the assigned day
  • shared presentation responsibilities and spoke equal to other group members during the presentation



  • Score of 10= a presentation that does not                  §     Score of 7 = a presentation that does not exceed

          exceed 20 minutes by +/- 1 minute                                     20 minutes by +/- 4 minutes

  • Score of 9 = a presentation that does not                   §     Score of 6 = a presentation that does not exceed

          exceed 20 minutes by +/- 2 minutes                                   20 minutes by more than 5 minutes

  • Score of 8 = a presentation that does not

exceed 20 minutes by +/- 3 minutes




TOTAL:        /80


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