Presentation: Leading a Class Discussion with Discussion Questions

You will sign up and take responsibility for leading the class through discussion questions. Read the assigned texts closely, do any research to clarify the background, cultural history, setting, etc., narrow the topic you find most engaging and want to discuss, and locate specific passages that will allow the class to ponder possible answers to your questions. In a

· brief presentation of 2-3 minutes, explain to the class why you think this is an important and relevant question, and provide any background info necessary to explore your questions.

· Put some time into constructing appealing, interesting, and discussion-worthy questions, and think about how you will get the class involved in the discussion.

· You must have 3 examples, lines, paragraphs, etc., from the text that you will direct the class to enable the class as a group to consider your question in concrete detail. Think through possible responses from the class ahead of time so that you can respond and keep the discussion going.

· You will need to bring these texts, and our understanding and experience of them to life for the class, so be creative and original! Write a theater skit, create a game, whatever you find interesting.

· You must provide either a handout or a Powerpoint so that the class has your questions in front of them.

· You must come to my office hours before your presentation. If you cannot come, contact me well ahead of time so we can make an alternative appointment.

While online study questions might prove useful as you try to narrow and focus your questions, you are expected to write your own original questions. The questions are a means to find out what you as a cocky think about these texts, so that our discussions can be tailored to our own interests, difficulties, perspectives and reactions.

Grading Criteria for the presentation

1. Discussion Questions and Examples used to explore questions: (30 points)

2. Your explanation of question’s relevance and interest to us, any background material, presented in 2-3 minute introduction (keep to time!): (20 pts.)

3. Presentation style: innovation and creativity, way that you engage the attention of the class and make the material relevant, smooth delivery. (10 pts.)

4. Handout/Powerpoint with clear presentation of your questions and necessary background info. – put it into a visually or otherwise engaging format! (10 pts.)

Areas to get you started on

You might focus on the following to get you thinking about the texts:

1) interesting or troublesome points or issues within your text

2) the role of the audience (i.e., how would the understanding of a section of this text vary for people of different gender, social class, religion, race?, etc.). This may profitably involve comparing/contrasting the text you chose with other readings from this class, books you have read, films, life experiences, etc.

3) how you respond to this text as a modern reader. (Are there any modern parallels? How can you relate the texts etc. to your own life? What about the text grabs, shocks, bores, surprises, or confuses you? Why?)

4) what the text says about the societies that wrote and listened to or read them.(What sort of textual community can you imagine for the text? Who might the text be directed at? Does it provide any models for behavior?)

5) Assorted other questions to consider: What is the text’s tone? Why does it address this particular topic(s)? Does it react to religious/ cultural/ theological arguments you know or does it help to establish those?


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