In my lesson openers I always have a "connect" in which I connect students' thinking about yesterday's lesson to today's lesson. I then have a "teach" in which I model for students the lesson of the day and also have them try it out. When I think about my modeling, I use three categories; skill, strategy, and process. I model by stating the skill to the students, then giving them a strategy in which to use the skill, followed by the process to try out the strategy.
Connect: I will say, “Yesterday we completed a sequence of our memoirs.Today, we are going to plan out the narratives in our memoirs which is the heart or the most important part of the story.”
Teach: I will say,“I am going to practice the skill of planning out my narrative. I am going to use the strategy of using a sequencing chart. The process I will use is as follows:
1) Use the memoir from yesterday that I have already sequenced
2) Use my mentor texts as examples
3) Ask myself: What are the most important parts of this moment that I want to tell in detail?
4) Jot the sequence of the narrative.”
I will show the students how I re-read the moment from “Fist, Stick, Knife, Gun” from yesterday and think through my moment. I will then show the students how I sequence the moment I chose yesterday using the planning sheet for the narrative in the memoir. I will make sure I highlight that the turning point should be the longest part of the narrative (at least a page). Here is a video(How I Used the Planning Out of the Heart of A Memoir Sheet) which explains more about this.
Active Engagement: I will say, “Turn and tell your partner, what meaningful narrative you will work with today that will be the heart of your memoir” (I will listen in). Turn and tell your partner, what was the turning point in that moment? The part where you learned something (I will listen in)?” I will check for understanding by listening in to every level of learner (at least 3 students-one who is at standard, one is approaching standard, and one who is above standard). I am hoping to hear that they telling an important part so I can determine if I need to re-teach them in the moment, or give an example from my memoir.
Closing of Active Engagement: I will say, “Remember writers, successful writers use the skill of planning out their narrative, the heart of their memoir. They use the strategy of using a sequencing chart. The process they use is 1) Pick a narrative they brainstormed 2) Use mentor texts as examples 3) Ask themselves: What are the most important parts of this moment that I want to tell in detail? 4) Jot the sequence of the narrative.”
Independent Practice: I will say, “Now you are going to take the memoir you sequenced from yesterday and plan out the narrative.” Students will be given a sequence with 4 points along the way (the same one I showed in the lesson opener. I will confer with them using these possible conferences.
Teach Again: Students will probably only need part of the writing time with this planning sheet. Once they have sequenced out their narrative, they will then need to go back in and add more descriptive detail, especially to the turning point of the narrative. I will show them how to do this by: using sticky notes, using “spider legs” or strips of paper that can be taped in, write in the column or in between the lines if I skipped lines from the previous days’ lesson.
I believe that the end of the lesson should be an assessment of the days’ learning; therefore it should be independent work. I always end class with an “exit ticket” in which students write down the response to a question.
Closing: What did you discover was the most important part of your narrative today? Why is it the most important part?