Monday, March 30, 2009

slogs galore

We're in the "write a lot" stage of preparing to write memoirs.  Each lesson focuses on a particular literary element, such as the social environment of a story.  The lesson begins with...

1. a short journal "slog" writing prompt (i.e. at least five sentences; for previous slogs, I've given the option of making lists, but now I want sentences), about 5 minutes
2. pair share after the writing, about 5 minutes
3. voluntary class share, about 5 minutes
4. mini-lesson about the literary element, including a short reading passage to demonstrate the literary element, about 10 minutes
5. a second slog writing prompt and sharing, about 10 minutes.  Both writing prompts relate to the mini-lesson/literary element.

Originally I planned to read aloud from Jerry Spinelli's memoir, Knots in my Yo-yo String, and I've read a few chapters so far.  I've also found good passages from Dropping in with Andy Mac - the life of a pro skateboarder.  A colleague gifted me the Andy Mac book last year when we were both packing up to move our classrooms.

Despite initial moans and groans about "so much writing" each lesson, students are writing more readily!  We're going to enjoy a Dr. Seuss interlude the few lessons before Easter break (The Lorax to celebrate Earth Day), then we'll start drafting the actual memoirs after break (late April).

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