Draft in Progress. Date: March 6, 2011


Title of Lesson / Activity: Mālama Hawai'i, Mālama Honua: A Vision-Based Writing Sequence for College Writing

Teacher / Author: Dennis Kawaharada

School: Kapi‘olani Community College

Grade Level or Course: Eng 22-Introduction to Composition and Eng 100-Composition. Eng 100 is a required courses for an AA, AS, BA, and BS degree in the UH system.

Project Time Span: one semester, to be piloted in fall 2012.


Contexts and Background for Lesson:


"Mālama Hawai'i, Mālama Honua: A Vision-Based Writing Sequence for College Writing" is designed for first year students in college, to help them develop college-level writing skills, a sense of identity and a vision of where they want to be in the future.


The hypothesis is that students who develop visions for their future and who see that their purpose for being in college is to prepare themselves to pursue that vision is more likely to persist and to succeed in college and in life.


The two writing courses will be part of an interdisciplinary cluster of courses that include Hawaiian language, ethnobotany, and anthropology.


The writing assignments will allow students to integrate cultural, historical, science knowledge base on their interests. Instructors should have some basic knowledge of a wide range of subjects to direct students in their research.




The assignments will be built around some fundamental questions that students need to answer for themselves in order to start on their journeys into the future:


Š      Where are you going?

Š      Where is your community going? Where is Hawai'i going?

Š      Where is the earth (honua) going?


From a dialogue between a master and apprentice navigator, about an island 2,500 miles away, where the apprentice navigator will sail his canoe:


Teacher: "Can you see the island?"

Apprentice: "I can't see the island but I can see an image of the island in my mind."

Teacher: "Good. Don't ever lose that image or you'll be lost."


In Eng 22/100 you'll writing about navigating through life and develop a tentative vision – an image of where you are going (your destination in life). Just as a long-distance, open-ocean navigator must sail to an island he can't actually see, beyond the horizon, you are headed for a future you can't see. Without a vision of your potential destination, you are lost and adrift at sea.


Assumption 1: You are going somewhere… and where you end up depends not only on where you want to go, but how well prepared you are to get there, as well as the direction the winds and currents in your world (community and environment) are blowing and flowing and taking you along. Your college education should be designed to help you get to your destination.


Assumption 2: Your community and environment are constantly changing and increasingly affected by global events; how they change will affect where you end up on your voyage, which may not be where you think you are headed now; you need to orient and reorient yourself continuously to changes in the world around you in order to be successful on your voyage. Continuous orientation involves continuously gathering knowledge and critically thinking about yourself, your family, your community, and your environment. Your college education should prepare you for this continuous orientation.


Assumption 3: Your voyage will (or should) involve mālama – take caring of – yourself, your community and your environment, if you want you and your children and grandchildren to have a safe and healthy future.

Goals of the Lesson/Activity

Š      The specific goal is to prepare students to be able to read critically and write effectively for college courses.

Š      The institutional goal is to improve the success rate in Eng 22/100 courses, the persistence rate of students from semester to semester and year to year, and the graduation and transfer rates to four-year institutions.

Š      The broader goal is to prepare students to navigate through life effectively.

Student Learning Outcomes


The student learning outcomes for the writing course are as follows:

Š      Employ a writing process which includes gathering information and exploring ideas, developing and supporting a point of view or thesis, organizing, revising, editing, and proofreading.

Š      Produce different forms of college level writing, such as narrative, analytical, and persuasive essays, whose content, organization, diction, and style are effectively adapted to various writing situations, purposes, audiences, and subjects.

Š      Analyze and evaluate the logic, evidence, and strategies of an argument (written and/or presented in a visual or digital medium).

Š      Analyze and interpret a literary work (nonfiction, fiction, poetry, or drama) or other textual material.

Š      Work effectively with fellow students and the instructor in providing and receiving written and verbal feedback on assigned work.

Š      Find and evaluate information from a library and from the Internet or other sources; synthesize and document relevant findings in one's own writing, without plagiarizing.

Š      Write a coherent timed response to an assigned question or topic.


Broader outcomes include the following:

Š      Students will develop a sense of identity, where they come from (places and people, cultural traditions, and community) and what they value and believe.

Š      A vision of where we are going, individually, and as a community (local, national and/or global).

Š      Adopt the value of mālama as central to their lives.

Instructional Procedures (5 Es: engage, explore, explain, extend, evaluate)

Š      Writing process includes feedback from classmates and the instructor. Readings are provided a models or prompts for exploring ideas.

Š      To engage their interests, students are allowed to select topics to research and write about and to select readings to analyze.

Š      Each writing assignment is a project in applying what is learned to an actual piece of writing.

Š      Assignments may build on each other; knowledge and skills learned in one assignment are applied in another; students have the option of developing a paper from Eng 22 into their capstone project for Eng 100, by gathering new information, adopting new perspectives.

Š      Service Learning: option for an assignment in each course. Students are required to serve 20 hours at a community organization of their choice, to learn what people in the real world of work (career exploration); students also do a reflection which would be integrated in to the capstone project for the course.

Š      Research: how to gather and evaluate information, an essential skill for continuous learning and orientation in an ever-changing world.

Š      Students also use a website to network on projects and post their works in a showcase.



Š      Students will produce six essays, three in Eng 22 and three in Eng 100; a portfolio at the end of Eng 100 will be scored with rubrics to assess the achievement of student learning outcomes and to guide the improvement of the writing sequence in future semesters.


Eng 22 Assignments


1. Where You Come From (Two Options: Writing about a Place or a Person)


1a. Writing about Place (Prompts from EXPLORATION 1—"I AM FROM" POEM and EXPLORATION 2—MY SENSE OF PLACE)


Write about a place that has significance in your life--a place where you feel at home or centered or felt at home or centered; or a place where some significant event took place; or a place you loved, or a place you hated, or had mixed feelings about. This place could be a room, a house, a street, a neighborhood, a school, a park, a town, a beach, a surf break, a stream, a mountain, an ahupua‘a.


Sources: personal experience, some research optional.


1b. Biography: Writing about People (Modeling Piece: Colette's "Kapi'olani's Legacy" from EXPLORATION 4 MY INSPIRATION)


Write about a person who has shaped or influenced who you are, or are becoming, or would like to become. The person might have affected you positively, negatively, or ambiguously; i.e. it could be someone you admire or would want to emulate, or someone you don't admire and would not want to emulate; or more complexly, someone you both like and dislike.  What is the legacy that the person imparted to you?


Sources: personal experience and observation; optional interviews or research.


Readings: J.D. Holt: "Kawela Bay," "Kalihi"; N. Scott Momaday, "Way to Rainy Mountain"; Other essays by students and professional writers.


2. Cultural Tradition: Write about a cultural activity or tradition you've participated in or want to participate in. It should be a tradition that you would want your children and grandchildren to participate in because you believe it perpetuates something that you believe in.


Sources: personal experience; research required.


3.  Community: (Based on prompts in EXPLORATION 4 MY DREAM).


Research a community organization (could be a non-profit, a school, a business, etc.; local, national, or international) that is doing one of the following:


Š      mālama honua (taking care of a place)

Š      mālama kekahi i kekahi (taking care of people)

Š      mālama mo‘olelo (taking care of a cultural tradition)


It should be an organization to which you might want to belong because you feel you share its vision, mission, values, and beliefs.


Questions to Answer for Your Essay

Š      About the organization: What vision, mission, values, beliefs, and interests do the community members share? What kinds of activities does the community engage in to promote those vision, mission, values and beliefs? What responsibilities does a member have?


How might you become a member of the organization? What preparation would you have to undergo to become an effective member or leader in the organization? What are some difficulties you may face with becoming or being a part of this community?


Š      About you: How did you acquire values and beliefs similar to those of the organization you are researching? Analyze how you came to acquire one of the shared beliefs or values you identified above. Over time (e.g. from childhood), what personal experiences, observations, stories, readings, media, etc. have led you to the belief/value and confirmed it for you? What person(s) influenced you, in a positive or negative way, to hold onto this belief or value?


Think of a case or cases, in your life or someone else's, in which what you believe in has not been or might not be true, or what you value might not be valuable. In spite of these contradictions to your belief or value, why do you continue to believe or value it?


Conclude by telling the reader how the belief or value affects your choices and behavior today (e.g., how you act on, or struggle to act in accordance with, this belief or value); and/or how this value or belief might affect your choices and behavior in the future.


Sources: personal experiences; organization websites, interviews with members of the group, site visits. For a list of possible organizations, see the following websites:

Š      KCC / UH Service Learning Pathways: Art, History and Culture; Bridging Generations; Education; Environment; Human and Social Services; Environment; International Perspectives.

Š      Mālama i Ahupua‘a website: http://www2.hawaii.edu/~csssl/index.html,


Š      Mālama Hawai‘i website: http://www.malamahawaii.org/calendar.php, http://www.malamahawaii.org/get_involved/volunteer.php

Š      Mālama Maunalua Bay (non-profit)

Š      Native Books and Beautiful Things (business)


Readings: Nainoa Thompson: "Finding a Way."


NOTE: to expand this essay into the final capstone assignment for Eng 100, students will need to acquire service learning experience as part of Eng 100: (20 hours of Service Learning required + a reflection integrated into the essay)


English 100 Assignments


1.     Analyzing an Argument: Select an issue that your community is facing for the future and find an argumentative article about the best way approach the issue. The argument should be advocating an action (e.g. adopting a practice, making X legal or illegal, etc.), based on how the action will make life better for your community. After you select and article (and I approve of it), find four more articles shedding light on that issue, including at least one argument that takes that opposite position: for example, if the argument you will analyze is arguing that we should do X, you need to find one arguing we should not do X, we should do Y instead.


Taking into account its rational, emotional, and personal appeal, how persuasive did you find the argument? How likely is it that the action proposed is going to result in something that benefits you and your community and environment?


Readings: The Value of Hawai‘i:Knowing the Past, Shaping the Future (“The Economy,” “Tourism,” “Agriculture,” “The Military,” “Race/Ethnicity,” “Labor,” “Transportation,” “Government,” “Law and the Courts,” “Public Education,” “University of Hawai’i,” “Prisons,” “Social Services,” “Homelessness,” “Domestic Violence,” “Health and Healthcare,” “Arts,” “Journalism,” “Terrestrial Ecosystems,” “Climate Change,” “Energy,” “Water,” “Sovereign Ground,” “Historic Preservation,” “Hawaiian Sustainability.”)


2.     Interpreting Stories: Stories embodies our values and beliefs, the traditional knowledge and wisdom that a community and culture wants to pass on to future generations. In this unit, students will practice techniques for interpreting stories, both contemporary and traditional, and write an interpretation of one of them.


Readings: Contemporary stories. Traditional stories.


3.     Creative Non Fiction/Capstone Writing Project


Option 1. Expand an essay from Eng 22:

Š      Place (layers of time approach, with flora and fauna, traditional stories, historical times, personal experiences)

Š      Person (biography approach with historical research and interviews)

Š      Cultural Traditions (research and interviews)

Š      Community (20 hours of Service Learning required + a reflection integrated into the essay)


Option 2: Write about one of these two new topics

Š      Spiritual Concerns

Š      Passages/Transitions


Creative Nonfiction Techniques to Consider

Š      Multilingual: Hawaiian, Pidgin, Standard English, other languages.

Š      Multi-genre: fiction and non-fiction, poetry and prose, autobiography, biography, and history, etc.

Š      Multi-sourced: personal experience, interview and research

Š      Multi-media: text, with photos and videos



Š      Places: "Kalihi" and "Rainbows Under Water" (J.D. Holt);

Š      People: "Sista Tongue" (Kanae); "The Ocean is my Classroom" (Speidel and Inn)

Š      Passages /Transitions: "I Remember. …" (Lino Kaona); "Finding a Way "(Nainoa)