Activity: Press Conference (Differentiated Group Work)
Paper and pen
Markers of assorted colors
White construction paper or tagboard
What to do:
- Divide the class into three groups. One group should be composed of the writers in your class; another, of the class actors, and the third group, of the visual artists. If there are students who do not fall under any of the three skills group, place them in the skill nearest to what they currently possess (example: a singer may be a writer or an actor; a dancer may be an actor)
2. Give each of the three groups fifteen to twenty minutes to prepare for these tasks:
a. Interview with Sal (class actors)
Materials: paper and ballpen
- The group is tasked to present a talk show featuring Sal as the episode guest. Members of this group shall prepare three to five questions for Sal under each of these five categories: (1) Sal and Phoebe (2) Sal and her grandparents (3) Sal and Mrs. Cadaver (4) Sal and her father (5) Sal and her mom.
- These questions shall be asked by the talk show host in a ten-minute interview.
b. Letter to Mom (class writers)
Materials: white paper, markers or pens
- Taking on the character of Sal, the group is tasked to write a letter to Sal’s mom. In the letter, the group writers are allowed to express what, to them, Sal would freely tell her mom.
- The letter should be three to five paragraphs long, with at least five sentences per paragraph.
- The output shall be written on a whole sheet of white paper.
c. Book Cover (class visual artists)
Materials: White paper, markers
- The group is tasked to come up with their original illustration of the novel cover. Members of the group shall initially deliberate on what images they would include on the cover and support their choices with meaningful explanation.
- The group shall then proceed to illustrate the cover on a half sheet of white paper using the colorful markers.
3. After the allotted time for preparation, the students shall gather in a big circle with the teacher in the center. The teacher will then explain the “Press Conference." In the activity, the teacher shall act as the facilitator of a gathering of experts and personalities who all “witnessed" the unfolding of the story of Salamanca Tree Hiddle. In the conference, the experts shall now share their reactions and opinions of the story.
4. The conference facilitator (teacher) shall first acknowledge the presence of Sal among them, and will proceed to allow the talk show host to ask Sal questions regarding the important people surrounding her.
5. After the host interviews Sal, the facilitator shall open the floor for the audience to ask their own questions for Sal.
6. After the interview, the facilitator shall announce to the crowd that Sal actually wrote a letter for her mother which she wishes the writers in the gathering to read aloud.
7. After the reading of the letter, the facilitator shall open to the floor for the audience to air out their opinions about the content of the letter.
8. Finally, the facilitator will announce that Sal’s life is so interesting that offers have been pouring in for her life story to be made into a novel. In fact (to cue the illustration group), the book cover design has already been done.
9. The book cover group shall then be invited to talk about how they chose the illustrations on the cover and the reason behind each choice of object present on the design.
10. The facilitator shall open the floor to the audience for their own questions about the design.
11. The facilitator will end the press conference by summarizing all the group presentations and promoting the novel of Sal’s life to the audience.