Drafting Letters to Walter Dean Myers

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Using evidence gathered from select chapters of Bad Boy, SWBAT draft letters to the 16-year-old Walter Dean Myers, convincing him to come back to school.

Big Idea

"I know how you feel . . ." or "You should be ashamed!": Students determine the best approach to elicit the best results.

Vocabulary Eight Quiz

25 minutes

Before my students address Vocabulary Eight Quiz, I allow time for vocabulary homework sharing with the whole group, as a form of brief review before the quiz.  They were able to choose their homework activity for this set of words, from five separate options.  If my students elect to share, particularly any of their concept wheels, acrostics, or collages , I invite them to place their homework on the document camera and walk the class through their work.

When any and all sharing is complete, they will take their quiz.

Dear Walter Continues

40 minutes

The remainder of the period is devoted to completing the letters to Walter Dean Myers that were begun in the previous lesson.  Very few of my students were able to reach the letter-drafting stage in the previous lesson, though most have gathered ample evidence in determining as best they can the state of mind of the young Walter Dean Myers. 

That my students will need more time in class to draft their letters works to my advantage, in that I continue to try to make more time in class to write this year.  As I move my students into argument writing, a key shift in the CCSS, I am experimenting with a new approach, by tasking them with the exercise of supporting an argument before they have received any direct instruction regarding argument writing.  I recently learned that there is a name for this approach, called "disaggregate pedagogy," which I speak on further in this lesson


5 minutes

As the class session comes to a close, and any groups are not quite finished with their letters, I instruct them to elect the group member who will complete the letter for homework.  Letters may be hand-written or typed, and should be signed by all group members.