Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Show me the Evidence: Close Reading of the Gospel

Show me the evidence. Go back to the text. Support your claims and cite the examples. These are some of my stock teacher phrases these days. One of the best things about the new common core standards is that there is an emphasis on students supporting statements by citing relevant text evidence. I consider it good because if done well, we help students study text more closely and to analyze the author's techniques. If we have selected good text, we want our students to read, reread, and embed the pieces of knowledge in their own arguments or essays. It has been a little awkward to teach but in spite of my novice stabs in the dark, the students are coming along nicely.

 Before giving a test last week, I told my students I needed all complete sentences and appropriate punctuation as well as the required three pieces of text evidence.  The txting gen often totally forgets capital letters and punctuation marks and I for one don't LMAO when i c that kind of writing in their wrk. So, the thoughtful young author of the essay below was sure to include circles around his periods so I wouldn't miss them. In the margins of his paper he also included arrows pointing to the first piece of evidence, second piece of evidence, and finally the required third. Just in case I wouldn't  recognize them.

Sunday's gospel (3rd Sunday of Advent) was essentially about evidence. When asked if he was really the one who is to come, Jesus pointed to the evidence, "Go and tell John what you hear and see; the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised and the poor have good news proclaimed to them."

This is the best news of Christmas. I love the excitement and the sharing, the music and the lights but I'm so over the frenzy and the gift lists and the overindulgence. I want my life to show evidence that I know the Prince of Peace and the one who came to fill the hungry with good things. I want to trust that he will lift up the lowly and remember his promise of mercy. As should we, followers of this baby King.

My hope is that my life will reflect evidence of the good news of the gospel.

Advent Blessings,


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