Often times, students learn strategies that are used in that lesson they were taught but not used thereafter or at least not for a while. This happens especially in writing. I want students to really understand that the strategies I teach them to use in their writing become part of their toolbox of strategies any time they write. Therefore, instead of only publishing the first and only story their wrote for this unit, I ask them to write a new story, this time using all the techniques we’ve worked on before.
I gather all students’ attention and then tell them that they have all begun the process of writing great stories. We are going to pause with the revising of our stories and instead look back on what we have learned about writing and try to use those strategies again.
The first thing I do is ask students about the specific strategies they have learned and write up a rough list of skills, such as brainstorming using a timeline, or drafting leads before picking one to write off of.
Those skills were not meant for them to only use on that one day with that one piece of writing but instead to be used whenever they are writing in this genre.
After showing them a checklist that they will use to make sure they are continuing to use good writing skills, I ask them to take out their draft from the first story and read through it while they check off things they have tried in their first story. I ask them to pay attention to things they could have worked harder on or tried out in order to make their writing better and recommend that they focus on those strategies when they write their second story.
Students then began brainstorming or prewrite their second story in their Learning Journal/writing journal and may continue to drafting if there is time.
During the share, I ask students to share what strategies they decided to focus on in their 2nd piece of writing. I also poll the class once a strategy is mentioned. For instance, if someone says, “I am going to work on collecting many ideas before I start” I ask the class to raise their hand or put a thumb at the chest or forehead if they are doing the same. This helps students stay engaged and support a class culture of growth and development.