Continued: What makes a memoir?

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SWBAT continue identifying traits found in memoirs.

Big Idea

Do students understand the major concepts of the unit? Make sure to slow down and highlight common misconceptions.

Highlight Misconceptions

10 minutes

This lesson in linked to the prior two.

At the start of class, I created a power-point addressing "commonly made mistakes" from the previous day's worksheet.

This fluctuated from block to block, based on misconceptions.

Below is on example of one slide.

Commonly Made Mistakes:

Description/Detail: Make sure the author is actually describing something. It could be the way someone/something looked, smelled. Description and images are often similar.



Dialogue: Make sure you explain WHO said the words.



Always include the page numbers: Today you may need to go back into your text to find them.

I create a key next to their work that I pass back, letting them know which type of mistake they've made, and then during independent work time, they fix their errors.

Independent Practice: Students Correct Mistakes and Continue Working

30 minutes

Students will begin by clearing up their mistakes, then they will continue working on their traits of a memoir worksheet, using their independent text.

When I have time, I make notes of students I would like to confer with at the back table. I group them by misconception type. For example, if I notice three of four students who are not understanding the detail and description component, and instead of finding these are writing random unrelated blurbs on their papers, I make a small group at the table and together we can find an example. I use a common text, often our mentor text, to reteach this activity. Then I sit with them as they find a piece of detail from their independent text.

If students complete this activity early, they are free to silently read their memoir.

Five Minute Focus Read: Log Set Up & Explanation

10 minutes

I explain the concept of the five-minute focus read, or the independent reading weekly goal. Each week, every student sets an independent weekly reading goal, tailor made to the text they're reading that week. This strategy was taken from Penny Kittle.

We go over the guidelines of a five-minute focus read, which is part of a larger formula that tallies their weekly goals. I ask, "do you think it's your fastest reading? Is it your slowest reading?" We narrow down the fact that it is comprised of student's most concentrated reading. I ask the question, "If a principal walked in, what would they see and hear?" I pause for responses: eyes, moving, pages turning, nobody would be looking around or talking.

Then I set the timer and we begin our first five minute focus read of the year.

After its completion, I have the kids go through the equation. (Watch this video for further instructions on the Five Minute Focus Read).

They must tally the total number of pages they read in five minutes. Then they take that number and multiply it by six to get their nightly goal. Next, they'll take their nightly goal and multiply it by the number of nights they are held accountable for during that particular week. The first week, I give a two night log, so they multiply their number by two. Finally, they must note the page they are starting on, and add the total number of pages they are being held accountable for to the page they are currently on. Finally, they get their reading goal for the week. I have them flag the page they should end on in their book with a Post-It Note.

This week the reading log will have an extra element. Instead of the typical "My Thinking" section, students will need to come up with traits that make a memoir. This activity is exactly like the in class activity we started the previous week. They will need direct quotes and page numbers as to where they found the elements of memoir within their texts.

Read Aloud

15 minutes

In the final fifteen minutes I read aloud from Ralph Fletcher's Marshfield Dreams, our mentor text. I let the students passively listen for enjoyment. Sometimes I'll pause and ask if they have noticed any of the traits we've been studying.

Sometimes I have to remind myself that it is okay to let the kids just listen. The students don't have to constantly monitor for understanding. I am trying to foster in them a love of reading. This comes with listening and enjoying a text.