Writer's Workshop: Writing and Revising Narratives
Lesson 8 of 10
Objective: SWBAT finish writing their narratives by engaging in sustained writing and critique of model essays.
Why a writer's workshop? Now we turn to actually getting the writing done! Some students are advanced and highly motivated by their living, breathing character, and they have already finished a multi-page draft, while others are just getting started with a shorter draft in progress. I plan to differentiate and use this day primarily as a writer's workshop during which I can carry on as many individual conferences as possible to help students engage in the writer's process at whatever entry point is relevant (W.9-10.5). Link to video explanation.
Rubric from Turnitin.com
The students will be using turnitin.com for this essay submission, so I will post the rubric for CCSS9-10--Narrative that they have developed (link). We will do this aloud and together so that I can gauge the students' uptake on the rubric; if we don't have a clear sense of shared meaning, then the assessment of their writing may be a mystery to the students, and that can create a weak classroom culture. In contrast, when students clearly understand the expectations, they are more likely to achieve them and to be motivated to even exceed them, if possible!
I will focus on two criteria:
1.) What do you think will count for strong development in this essay? Based on our work in the lessons to date? [I expect to hear about description, dialogue, complex characters.]
2.) How will you organize your story and move it forward, and what counts for strong organization? [I expect to hear about plot W, dialogue (W.9-10.3.b), and maybe even scene progression.]
Process. My goal in this lesson and in these couple of days of writer's workshop are to engaged the students in the various points of entry into the writing process (W.9-10.5) and to help them to expand their notions of what can be accomplished through that kind of work.
I have students situated roughly in base groups and will conduct a writer's workshop, much as I have done all year (e.g. link to my second unit on Absolutely True Diary). The goal of a writer's workshop is to provide time for students to write, get feedback (e.g. on grammar, L9-10.2), conference with peers, re-read the assignment, shore up some key elements, etc. I move from student to student and differentiate my responses based on the questions at hand as it relates to the relevant stage of the writing process (W.9-10.5). I also allow students to quietly ask their base groups writer's questions and to review the assignment (W.9-10.3) and drafts together. The structure of a workshop feels much different from a typical classroom interaction, but it's a nice respite from the norm. I know that the students benefit a great deal from it.
We are in a 1:1 laptop environment, so this work goes on in our normal classroom, and we can move in and out of the workshop fairly simply, with a short breakout to read a sample essay or to review the rubric (W.9-10.6).
At the end of class, I remind students to continue working on their narrative drafts (W.9-10.5) and to focus on the key elements of the rubric that we had just discussed. This may be rather obvious, but a quick reminder helps students to remember to do the work at home.