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, “We have learned about the genre of memoir and completed a final product of our writing. We are now going to take what we learned in our Memoir Unit and apply it to a unit of explanatory writing.
Teach: I will say, “In order to learn about the genre of explanatory writing, I am going to show you how to practice the skill of learning a new genre and the strategy of using a mentor text to discover the craft moves authors make. The process I will use is as follows:
1) Read over the vocabulary words that are connected to author’s craft’s moves
2) Read the example Expository Essay.
3) Stop and jot on my note taking sheet where I see the author’s moves and annotate on the text
4) Connect it to how I could these moves in my essay
I will model for students how I read through one half of an explanatory essay and how I notate the authors’ moves and annotate the text. I will model this for students using the expository essay research sheet. These are my thoughts on using the research handout.
Active Engagement: I will say, “You will now read the other half of the essay with your partner. You will stop and jot notes when you see one of the components of an explanatory essay (at least 3 students-one who is at standard, one is approaching standard, and one who is above standard). I will ask the students, “What did you jot notes about and where did you annotate it in your text? How did you connect these notes to ideas for your own essay?"
Closing of Active Engagement: I will say, “Remember successful writers practice the skill of learning a new genre by using the strategy of using a mentor text to discover the craft moves authors make. The process they use is become familiar with vocabulary words that are connected to author’s craft’s moves, read the text, stop and jot where they see the author’s moves and connect it to how they could use the same moves.
Independent Practice: I will say, “Now you are going to read over another essay expository, take notes and annotate the text. I will walk around and confer with students around their note-taking and annotations using these possible conferences for learning the genre of an explanatory essay.
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 ticker in which students write down the response to a question.
1) What are the three main components of an explanatory essay?
2) What questions do you have about these components?