Let's Edit Those Intros Before We Start the Body Paragraphs

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SWBAT develop and strengthen their introductory paragraphs as needed by revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on addressing what is most significant for a specific purpose and audience.

Big Idea

We're perfecting our intro paragraphs so that the body paragraphs are even better.

Getting Started

5 minutes

At the beginning of class today, I will collect the answers to the questions to chapter 20 of Great Expectations, which they read independently. I will also ask them to put the necessary tools for today's lesson on their desks: the prompt, their outline, intro, and the model long composition. Quick and easy! We have a lot to do!

Looking Back so We can Move Forward: Writing Folders and Analyzing Work

15 minutes

Before we continue writing, I am going to ask a student to hand out everyone's writing folder and another to hand back the long compositions students wrote without assistance over a month ago. These essays went straight to the department head for scoring; he wanted to see the current status of essay writing for all freshmen and he will assign another similar essay in the spring. I want the students to review these essays and fill in the writing chart, marking the work they are proud of and the work that needs improvement. To help them, I will review my interpretation of the official DESE rubric for long compositions, as explained here. And here's DESE's explanation.

As expected, the class scored 3s and 4s on the last long compositions.  It's expected because this process is new and because they received minimal guidance. I think that these scores will help reinforce my emphasis on theme.

What Does my Neighbor Think of my Intro?

35 minutes

At this point, I will direct my students read their intro paragraphs, however much they have so far, to their neighbors. As they read, I expect that they will hear issues that they miss when reading. I will also instruct the listening partners to look to hear each element required for an intro paragraph (SL.9-10.1d), which we reviewed (W.9-10.5), especially the thesis/claim (W.9-10.1a). Students need a precise claim in the intro paragraph, but because the Massachusetts long composition standards do not require a counter claim, that will not be required in this essay.

I expect the think-pair-share to take about 15 minutes. Then I will direct student to pick up where they left off, writing and making edits as needed. Some will be ready to begin body paragraphs, while others will use much of this time improving their intros (W.9-10.1). I will walk among the students answering questions and providing advice. 

Wrapping Up

5 minutes

In the last few minutes of class I will remind students are their homework-- reading chapter 22 of Great Expectations and answering the respective questions-- and I will give them time to write it in their agenda books.