No Series: When a Lesson Goes Wrong Part 2 (Uncut)


Common core State Standards

  • ELA:  English Language Arts
  • RL:  Reading Standards for Literature 6-12
  • 9-10:  9th & 10th Grades
  • 2: 
    Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its
    development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is
    shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.

Download Common Core State Standards (PDF 1.2 MB)


Common core State Standards

  • ELA:  English Language Arts
  • RL:  Reading Standards for Literature 6-12
  • 9-10:  9th & 10th Grades
  • 9: 
    Analyze how an author draws on and transforms source material in a specific work (e.g., how Shakespeare treats a theme or topic from Ovid or the Bible or how a later author draws on a play by Shakespeare).

Download Common Core State Standards (PDF 1.2 MB)

When a Lesson Goes Wrong Part 2 (Uncut)

Lesson Objective: This is 24 minutes of authentic teaching, unedited, and without teacher narration.
Grades 9-12 / ELA / Analysis
24 MIN
ELA.RL.9-10.2 | ELA.RL.9-10.9


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Discussion and Supporting Materials

Thought starters

  1. Watch both parts of this series. How does what happened in the first lesson affect how Ms. Wessling teaches this lesson?
  2. How could you use traveling concept maps in your classroom?
  3. Why does Ms. Wessling focus on leadership and civil disobedience?


  • Private message to Laura Waitulionis

The teacher took the time to get the students involved in analyzing the character through creation of a concept map within groups. She then introduced each resource, one by one, to the class, and the students evaluated the relevance of each resource. The students were able to better understand why certain resources are more relevant to their main idea and topic for the paper. The teacher then took this lesson and related it to additional outside resources and people throughout history, which guided the students in learning how to utilize multiple sources that are relevant to their research topic. She built upon each part of the lesson and related it back to the main idea. This was much more organized and effective. 

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  • Private message to Allie Harrison

The teacher does a very good job reading the classroom and assessing what she thinks caused the original problem. She introduced too much information all at one time. The traveling map was great because it kept the students attention and made them want to participate. It also let other students see things from different perspectives, as from their peers. I feel that her having the students focus on leadership and civil disobedience only helped them to understand the story more. 

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  • Private message to Joann Miller

Ms Wessling did a much better job keeping the students involved and focused.  The concept map was a great idea.  It kept the studends involved and they wanted to participant and share their thoughts.  It was great to see them put their ideas on paper.  The coloring helped add more thoughts and kept them thinking.  

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  • Private message to LYDIA VILLAMIL

In the first video, she gave too much information and the students couldn't stay focused. I liked the traveling maps concept as it allowed each group to expand upon what their peers had already written down. I think her having the students focus on just two concepts of leadership and disobedience allowed them to understand the story more.

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  • Private message to Stephanie Lacey
  1. Watch both parts of this series. How does what happened in the first lesson affect how Ms. Wessling teaches this lesson?  Ms Wessling realized that the influx of information all given at once was distracting, confusing and caused the students to get off task and not understand what was being asked.

2. How could you use traveling concept maps in your classroom? I think that this was a great use of the subject matter and the students were able to expound on thoughts that their fellow classmates had and possibly see things from a different perspective.   
This could be used to show the development of ideas and different perspectives to expand upon the thoughts shared by others.

3. Why does Ms. Wessling focus on leadership and civil disobedience?  This was introduced in order to relate the topic to the students.  At this grade level, going against the "man" or rule maker can be seen as fun or exciting.  By the introduction of leadership and civil disobedience, she is reminding them that following what everyone else is doing is not always the best option.  We need people to stand up, take charge and do the right thing.  It may not be the popular choice at the time but when we look back, we can see the innovation or good deed that was done.

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  • [00:00]

    Teacher: This is what we’re gonna do today. Today I’m gonna ask you to kind of connect some other concepts


    Teacher: This is what we’re gonna do today. Today I’m gonna ask you to kind of connect some other concepts to this idea of losing one’s reputation or preserving one’s reputation. If you could, let’s start with this. I’m gonna have—let’s see here. I’m gonna have your two groups. I’m gonna give—I’m gonna give each of you some paper here. Let’s do this. Excuse me hon. Okay. Anesh 00:49, I will let you start handing this out, all right. You’re gonna give a piece of paper to each group.

    Student: How?

    Teacher: I’m gonna start by having your two groups tell me everything you know about—what am I gonna have you do?

    Student: Wait. Do I [inaudible 01:06]?

    Teacher: All right. I’ve got it. All right. We’re gonna start—this is what we’re gonna do. We’re gonna start with the big piece of paper.

    Student: Can I have some scissors?

    Teacher: I’ll just—I’ll just tear it.

    Student: All right.

    Teacher: Okay. Here we go. Jake, I need you to get the markers for me. Every table gets a package of markers. We’re gonna do traveling concept maps, all right?

    Student: No paper here.

    Teacher: Yeah. I’m getting you some. We’re gonna do some traveling concept maps. Jake is bringing around—Jake is gonna bring around—ooh, is that okay there?

    Student: Finally.

    Teacher: There you go. Jake’s gonna bring around some markers for each group. In the center, all right, in the center of this I would like you to write—there we go. I’m getting here.

    Student: [Inaudible 01:59]

    Teacher: There you go. Here you go. There you go. Sorry. Sorry. I hope I didn’t give you a paper cut.

    Student: [Inaudible 02:17]

    Teacher: Not too huge in the center. I want you to start by putting this phrase; the impact of losing or preserving a reputation. Okay? The impact of losing or preserving a reputation. All right, so that goes in the middle.

    Student: Mm-hm.

    Teacher: All right, so I have one person put this in the middle of your concept map. You got it?

    Student: All right.

    Teacher: Just one person. Go ahead.

    Student: Teal.

    Teacher: Two what?

    Student: Is this teal?

    Student: There you go.

    Student: Are you sure it’s teal?

    Student: Yeah. It’s like an [audio cuts out 03:00].

    Teacher: All right, so you know how these concept maps work, right? All right, so you’re gonna start with the circle goes right here. All right, so put your circle right there. Okay. Then the first layer that I’m going to ask you to do is as a group I want you to think about what this means in The Crucible. All right, so what does this mean in The Crucible? For example, I might say “John Proctor tears up confession.” Okay, so that’s something that happens, and part of that is part of the impact. He tears up the confession and is hanged. All right, so that’s part of the impact of John Proctor trying to either—or trying to preserve his reputation. I want you to think of at least three or four different ways in The Crucible that we see this idea, all right. You’re gonna just make one bubble for each of ‘em. Okay? You got it? Yeah? Okay. If you need to open up your plays, go ahead and do that.

    Student: [Crosstalk 04:13]

    Teacher: Yep, and I want you to think about very specifically from the play. Mm-hm.

    Student: So like when—

    Teacher: So you could think about Paris or you could think about—

    Student: I was gonna say like the first scene with Paris and—

    Teacher: Yeah, absolutely.

    Student: I’ll confess. I’ll confess—

    Teacher: Absolutely.

    Student: - and stopped getting away with it.

    Student: White or that her name was white. Something about white, meaning like pure.

    Teacher: Who was?

    Student: Paris and Avador 04:41, but I don’t know if it—

    Teacher: She said—she was saying my name is—well, he asked if her name had blush to it I think and she said, “No. My name is white. It’s pure.” Okay? That’s at the very beginning.

    Student: I think him admitting to adultery almost preserved her reputation.

    Teacher: Okay, so then write that down. Okay.


    Student: And then is the long-term impact? Is it how people in the village view him and how he’s viewed as a person?

    Teacher: What?

    Student: Would—I know we’re writing examples right now, but when we’re at the actual impact, would the impact be how people in the town see him, how he’s viewed as a person?

    Teacher: Yeah. Mm-hm. Absolutely. Absolutely.

    Student: I don’t say falsely ‘cuz he didn’t actually conjure with the devil, so falsely admitting to witchcraft or falsely admitting to—

    Teacher: Yeah.

    Student: - conjuring with the devil.

    Student: Well, I think Kim [Audio cuts out 05:36]

    Teacher: All right. How are we doin’?

    Student: When Mary Warren turns on crafting—

    Teacher: Mm-hm.

    Student: - right there in court.

    Teacher: Yeah. That’s a wonderful example. Good. And then can you maybe say what the impact is real quickly? Just so that he confesses, so what’s the, what the impact? Oh, you have that he loses it. Okay. You’re good. You actually have it in there. Very good. Yeah, it’s okay. You can use that one. Yeah, you can put that one up at the top. Okay. Can you get one more? Wonderful. Everybody rotate their concept map one group to the left, right? Oh, no. No. I’m sorry. Go, go clockwise. Go clockwise. That’s actually the better way to say it. Go clockwise.

    Student: I didn’t have time to draw the body.

    Student: Smiley faces.

    Teacher: All right, so you have—all right, so what you’ve just done is you’ve rotated the concept map. I want you to, first of all, take about 30 seconds to look and see what they wrote. Okay? Then, I want you to take a look at this packet that I’ve given you. Okay? What I really want—okay, so what I really wanted to do. Last hour I did this and totally bombed. It was a disaster, so I’m trying something different. Okay? What—what I want to do is I really need you to be thinking about getting ready to write this paper.

    One of the things that we all do this semester in ILA is we write a literary analysis paper. A literary analysis paper is one in which we’ve kind of analyzed the text. You’ve been doing this a lot. You’ve been practicing and you’re really ready to do that, but there’s another component of it that we do, especially as we get to high school, which is that we bring in some other sources. We don’t just rely on one source, on the source of The Crucible. Instead we rely on a lot of sources. I’ve pulled together some sources for you, and the first thing that we’re gonna do is we’re gonna try to figure out which of these sources would be helpful to us if we are writing a paper about what’s in the center of your circle and which ones wouldn’t be helpful, all right?

    If you can start with the first one, all right. We’re gonna go through and decide which ones are gonna be helpful. The first one is about something called civil disobedience, which means that somebody is knowingly not following the rules. Okay, knowingly not following the rules. The second one—so I’m gonna tell you about each of them first and then you’re gonna tell me which ones you think are not gonna be helpful to us. The second one is from Wikipedia and it is information about The Crucible, kind of about when it was produced. The third one is from—it’s a biography on Arthur Miller, so this is a biography.

    If I asked you to do this research, a lot of you would probably put in The Crucible. You just would go to Google and you would put in The Crucible and this is one of the first things that would pop up, all right? The fourth one is something that Arthur Miller wrote about writing The Crucible, so it was years later and he was thinking about having written it. Then the fifth one, the last one, is an excerpt from a speech that somebody wrote and he was talking about what it means to be a leader; the qualities that we really need in leaders today. Okay? I’ve given you a brief introduction to these five sources. Are there any that you think would not be helpful in—

    Student: Two.

    Teacher: - being able to answer this question right here?

    Student: Two.

    Teacher: Okay. Addie, why do you think two would not be helpful?

    Student: It’s about the movie and characters.

    Teacher: Absolutely. Okay, so we’re gonna cross that out. All right, so just cross out number two and we’re—or tear it out, whatever you want to do, but we’re not going to use number two because it doesn’t help us make sense of what’s in the center of our concept map. Okay? Any others that don’t, that you don’t think would be very helpful? Jake?


    Student: The biography.

    Teacher: Okay. Why do you think the biography wouldn’t be helpful?

    Student: It’s not part of the play.

    Teacher: What?

    Student: It’s not part of the play.

    Teacher: All right, so the biography is not part of the play, so we’re—number three is not gonna be helpful to us either, all right, because it doesn’t help answer this question. It doesn’t help us make sense of this question. Okay?

    Student: [Rattling paper 10:19]

    Teacher: What?

    Student: Why do you give us two or three if they’re not useful? Is it to be—

    Teacher: That’s a great question.

    Student: - so we can—

    Student: What a waste of paper.

    Student: [Crosstalk 10:26]

    Teacher: Because I want—because one of the biggest mistakes—one of the biggest mistakes that students make when they add research to papers, is that they choose the first sources, not the best sources.

    Student: Understandable.

    Teacher: Okay? So I kind of want you to think about the purpose and why you would actually need a source.

    Student: Okay.

    Teacher: Okay? All right, so this is what I’m gonna do. I’m gonna start with the first one. Okay? Can you go to page one? I’m gonna start with the first one and I’m gonna read just a couple of paragraphs. I’m not gonna read the whole thing, but I’m gonna read a couple of paragraphs. As I’m reading, I want you to underline anything that you think might be helpful in order to make sense of the impact of preserving reputation. Okay? We’ll see if we can do this.

    I’m just gonna read the first—the first two paragraphs, and you’re looking for sentences that you think might have ideas in them that would help you address this topic. The Crucible is about the right to act upon one’s individual conscience. In Puritan New England, Roger Williams, the founder of Rhode Island, demanded his right to act according to his personal conscience. In the 19th Century, Henry David Thoreau considered the exercising of his right a moral obligation even if exercising it resulted in breaking the law. The individual’s right to follow his conscience is part of the American heritage.

    In The Crucible, Miller shows how an ordinary individual living in a repressive community gains tragic stature by sacrificing his life rather than betraying his conscience. Now there’s a lot of big ideas going on in there, all right. The first thing I want you to do is I want you to turn to somebody and I want you to summarize what you think that’s all about, all right. A lot of big ideas, all right, so summarize that paragraph.

    Student: How you have to do what’s right no matter if it’s against the law or not.

    Teacher: Okay. You have to do what’s right no matter if it’s against the law or not. Great. Okay. All right, how are we doin’? Did you summarize? All right, let me hear some of these summaries. All right, let me hear a few of these summaries. Hannah, what was yours?

    Student: You have to do what’s right no matter if it’s against the law or not.

    Teacher: All right. Anybody else? Can we add to this? You have to do what’s right no matter if it’s against the law.

    Student: You have a right to—I lost what I was gonna say.

    Teacher: It’s all right.

    Student: Never mind.

    Teacher: Okay. Are there any words in this paragraph that you think might be helpful in explaining this concept? Are there any words?

    Student: Conscience.

    Student: Individual conscience.

    Teacher: Individual. All right. Conscience. All right, any others?

    Student: Elliott 13:15 the same phrase.

    Teacher: What?

    Student: It’s like the same phrase.

    Teacher: All right, but, and sometimes they’re a phrase and sometimes they can be separate. Anything else? Any other words?

    Student: Moral obligation.

    Teacher: Obligation. Okay.

    Student: Rather than betraying.

    Student: Oh, not good.

    Student: Just betraying.

    Students: I got haters in this classroom.

    Teacher: All right. This is what I’d like you to do in your groups. You have your concept maps, right? Now you have your concept maps. This is what I would like you to do. I would like you in a different color, okay, in a different color than the bubble that’s out there right now, I want each of you to add something to one of the bubbles that’s already there and in—and I want you to explain it. For example, if I need to explain John Proctor tears up the confession and is hanged, I want you to explain that using at least one of these words. Okay? I want you to explain. All right, I want you to explain this bubble using at least one of those words. Okay? Go ahead and give it a try. Let’s give it a try. So for each of the bubbles, you’re gonna, you’re gonna go and you’re gonna make a new bubble and you’re gonna explain it using at least one of those words.

    Student: Cuz we wrote everything on that one.

    Teacher: Yeah. That’s fine, so you’re gonna—all right, so you’re gonna make a bubble, all right. You can turn it around so you can see it. There we go. Turn it around so you can—

    Student: We can say—‘cuz it says John Proctor rips up the document. We can say rather than betraying who he really is—rather than betraying who he is as an individual.

    Teacher: There you go. Great.


    Student: [Inaudible 15:01]

    Student: Yeah, ‘cuz he’d be lying if he signed the document and stuff ‘cuz he’s just not really [inaudible 15:08]—

    Teacher: Good.

    Student: - so rather than betraying who he is—

    Student: We do this for all three?

    Teacher: Yep, so I want you to do the same thing for all three of ‘em, okay? Do the same thing for all three of them. All right, so before you pass this, I want you to think about—will you just write down here at the bottom or on the side or somewhere—let’s see here. How does civil disobedience have an impact on reputation?

    Student: The way that civil disobedience—

    Teacher: Okay, so answer that question for me and then we’re gonna rotate one more time. All right, so civil disobedience, okay, so it’s where you—

    Student: The movie’s horrible.

    Teacher: - disobey the rules on purpose.

    Student: Oh that.

    Teacher: You don’t follow the rules on purpose. Okay?

    Student: I get it. Civil dis—it negatively impacts their reputation.

    Student: ‘Cuz if you go against the law people normally would think bad about you. They wouldn’t ever think it’s good to go against the norm.

    Teacher: Unless you’re Martin Luther King, Jr.

    Student: Yeah.

    Teacher: All right.

    Student: Well, it depends ‘cuz at the time a lot of people see things as bad, but then later on they realize, “Oh, they were doing the right thing.”

    Teacher: Okay. Okay.

    Student: It depends on what time period and stuff.

    Teacher: Okay. Okay.

    Student: And it depends who it is ‘cuz with the witchcraft trials, some people—the girls who are denying it, some people view them as liars and they’re just—

    Teacher: Right.

    Student: - denying that they’re witches because they’re being accused, but other people are like, “This is crazy. They’re really not witches.”

    Teacher: Okay. Okay. I think you’re good. You’re on the right track. You’re on the right track. All right, we’re gonna rotate one more time. All right, so once you answer the question—it looks like most—I’m walking around and seeing—so I’m gonna ask you this, as you’re rotating I want you to—I want to tell you two of the most—two of the people most famous for civil disobedience. Two people that are most famous for civil disobedience; Martin Luther King, Jr. and Gandhi.

    Student: Several Gandhi.

    Teacher: Yeah. How would they react to what you just wrote? If you think about—if you think about those two people, in reaction to what you have just written—no, I just want you to just, yeah, answer it by talking to me. What do you think about that?

    Student: [Crosstalk 17:35]

    Teacher: No, no. I’m just saying that a lot of you wrote that civil disobedience negatively impacts your reputation. Okay?

    Student: I think it negatively impacts [inaudible 17:45].

    Teacher: Okay, but what about these two people like Martin Luther King, Jr. and Gandhi?

    Student: It did in some ways, but it also made them more noticeable and people listen to them more.

    Teacher: Okay. That’s really important. Hannah? Over here. Hang on just a second hon. Let—okay.

    Student: As long as there’s the civil part included, if you’re being disobedient, but it’s civil, then it’s fine ‘cuz if you’re protesting or—I know that’s not really—

    Teacher: Yeah.

    Student: - illegal, but if you’re doing it in a civil way, then it’d be more accepted.

    Teacher: Great. Wonderful. Okay. I’m gonna read a paragraph from one of the—from the speech, the speech on leadership, so if you could please go to towards the back of your packet. As I’m reading this, this time I’m gonna ask you to think about leadership. We started with the impact of reputation. We kind of expanded that a little bit to civil disobedience. Okay. Now I want you to think about what it means to be a leader because the two names that I just gave you, right, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Gandhi; would you consider them to be leaders?

    Student: Yes.

    Student: Yeah.

    Teacher: Okay, so on this last ring here, what I’m gonna ask you to think about is what leadership has to do with reputation and civil disobedience, all right. We’re working with three ideas here. Okay? Let’s read this paragraph together. He says we have a crisis of leadership in America because our overwhelming power and wealth earned under early generations of leaders made us complacent, and for too long we have been training leaders who only know how to keep the routine going. Who can answer questions, but don’t know how to ask them? Who can fulfill goals, but don’t know how to set them? Who’d think about how to get things done, but not whether they’re worth doing in the first place?

    What we have now are the greatest technocrats the world has ever seen; people who have been trained to be incredibly good at one specific thing, but who have no interest in anything beyond their area of expertise. What we don’t have are leaders. What we don’t have, in other words, are thinkers; people who can
    [20:00] think for themselves; people who can formulate a new direction for the country for a cooperation or for a college; for the Army, a new way of doing things, a new way of looking at things; people, in other words, with vision. Okay.

    So I want you to think about that, and if you need to read it again real quickly, you can. I’m gonna start by asking you to summarize this paragraph by talking to somebody next to you. What’s this paragraph about? What’s this paragraph about?

    Student: People aren’t thinking outside the box, so we’re not getting anywhere.

    Student: Just kind of we’re staying in the same place and people who we think are leaders aren’t really leaders because they’re not—

    Student: They’re just experts in—

    Student: Yeah. They’re not pushing the limits. They’re not expanding things.

    Teacher: What?

    Student: [Inaudible 20:42]

    Teacher: Okay.

    Student: They’re just doing what they’ve been told to.

    Student: Yeah.

    Teacher: All right. Let me hear what you came up with. Jake, tell me what you just said.

    Student: Assertive. People don’t try to do more than they have to maybe.

    Teacher: I think those are probably two different ideas.

    Student: Step out of the box.

    Teacher: Okay, good. So assertive means you speak your mind, right? You’re assertive. What else did you think? Did you say something about being free?

    Student: That people aren’t free thinkers. They just do what other people tell them to.

    Teacher: Okay.

    Student: Hit gold. That’s what I’m saying hit gold.

    Teacher: Okay.

    Student: They go by what they’re told.

    Teacher: One more time.

    Student: They go by what they’re told, and so they don’t think outside the box. They just go in their routine.

    Teacher: By what they’re told or their routine. All right, so this is how it started, right? We started with this circle in the middle with impact. Okay? Then you did a circle with Crucible. Then you did a circle of civil disobedience. All right, now I’m gonna ask you to choose just one of these strands. You probably have three or four strands. I’m gonna ask you to choose just one. Outside of this one I’m going to ask you to now explain what leadership has to do with all of this. Okay? Now if you look at all three of these together—or excuse me, all four of these, what does leadership—how does leadership contribute to this discussion? You might find it really helpful to use some of this language. Okay? You’re gonna choose just one.

    Student: I think this one would be a better example.

    Student: [Crosstalk 22:40]

    Student: ‘Cuz he’s doing the right thing. He’s taking control by annihilating the court like take over him, so he’s doing what he wants and that’s kind of resentful leadership.

    Student: Setting an example. Proctor is setting an example to his family and friends by not doing what the court tells him to.

    Student: I’m thinking.

    Teacher: Okay, last thing. All right, you’ve got one minute. All right, you’ve got one minute, but last thing before you leave. I’m gonna quickly give you a sticky note. Okay? On your way out the door, we’re gonna do our stop light; either what you learned today, what you considered, or if your learning stopped and why. You can leave everything else on your desk. Okay? There you go. Put that on the door on your way out. No homework this weekend unless you have stuff to make up.


    [End of Audio]

School Details

Johnston Senior High School
6501 Northwest 62nd Avenue
Johnston IA 50131
Population: 1548

Data Provided By:



Sarah Brown Wessling
English Language Arts / 10 11 12 / Teacher


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