Here's what I'm assigning my class today:
READ Evan's blog posts for the month of November. Just the blog posts - you don't have to read the comments. Most of the blog posts are short.
MARK two passages in the posts (printing out the ones you mark) or in the comments below. Mark one passage that contains an idea you like, find interesting, or agree with. Then mark one passage that you don't like, disagree with, or find offensive or annoying. Be prepared to talk in class about your reasons for choosing those passages.
I put together about a page's worth of comments, some praising the experiment and its humility and thoughtfulness, some pointing out that as a society we aren't doing men a favor by not teaching them to cook, some talking about how the vast majority of the world lives on way less than a dollar a day, some posts talking about how offensive it is to assume that poor people eat ramen and rice every day, or how offensive it is to think you can understand actual hunger and povery by doing an experiment like this.
In class I will have them all go around and explain the passages they marked. Then I'll ask them to write a short paragraph. Oh the challenge! One sentence that explains the project and refers to it. Indirect citation! Another that lays out what a commenter said. Another that explains a different comment. And then a final sentence for the student to say what he or she thinks.
My thesis advisor was a scary expert on composition teaching and he used to give us these mind-cracking exercises like "summarize this entire horrible literary theory article in one sentence"... He was also big on the "mark a sentence and explain it" technique, which I thought worked very well as a warmup.
This is going to be a good one!!!