In the beginning of class, I plan to activate the students' memories of the day before and to begin to pre-assess how they are coming along with their essays. They will have just a little bit of pre-writing done for the most part (some students will have gone ahead and written half of the paper, I am sure, and others may have only completed their graphic organizer from yesterday's class), so it is important to see how they are processing the assignment.
While my students are used to writing structured, formal papers (W.9-10.2), they have only been asked to do a formal comparison/contrast writing once before. Thus, I will emphasize that each body paragraph will need to use a formal transition in the middle as the writer moves from one example from one text to the different example from the different text. Because using this type of transition work is somewhat new (W.9-10.2d), I plan to review a resource that I found online; there are many that you can choose from.
I will ask:
1.) What types of transitions do you recognize here?
2.) How comfortable are you with using them?
3.) Where in the paragraph do you plan to put these comparison/contrast type words? (middle)
4.) How can these types of words give your writing a polished, formal feel? When do they come off as overused? How do you know the difference?
I plan to project this example of an introduction and first body paragraph for the students to review. I explain my technique in the video here:
Adventure is exploration through a wondrous world with many harsh obstacles; here are two explores that embarked on a expedition daring their own life to honor themselves in history. Kira Salak in “600 Miles to Timbuktu,” and Matthew Henson in “Northward Bound,” are both extreme explorers, but some would call them crazy. Both took small step for their preparation. One small step for both of them is a big accomplishment for mankind. Both explorers had different steps of preparation. Kira Salak prepared mentally, physically, and read a story about a man that went down the Niger River. On the other hand, Matthew prepared differently. He worked as fisherman, he was mentally focused, and he had help from the Esquimos. I always wondered if the explorers had something to motivate them, to keep going, not to turn back.
Kira Salak’s preparation was focused on one thing to reach Timbuktu, by canoeing down the Niger River. She prepared by reading a story about a man who paddled down before Kira. His name was Mungo Park, and he inspired her to paddle down the Niger river. But he died on his second try. “Kira told herself that she wanted to be more successful than Mungo park.” Kira study the route to Timbuktu carefully. Kira studied the route very well because if she messed up, she may come back, because there are a lot miles to paddle back. She was also mentally focused by not freaking out and not jeopardize her mission. She was always looking forward, not back. For her last stage of her preparation to her voyage, she had to go to the gym to have her in shape so she be able to survive on the expedition. She also had to eat right so her body could get use to the food that she would eat. Kira was successful on the voyage because these preparation were the objects that kept her ready for her voyage. Kira said, “I try to use the pulses of pain as I fight the river”. (Salak, 163) Kira that she was so tired that her muscles hurt so much, but she had to keep going.This line showed me that she was determined to reach Timbuktu. As much as she went to the gym paddling everyday is devastating to her body. I wonder to what extent would she push her body to? I think that if it wasn’t for these three preparation, maybe Kira wouldn’t be in the place that she is now.
The purpose of the writer's workshop here is to give students a chance to engage in an effective writing process (W.9-10.5 and W.9-10.10) and to give me the chance to differentiate my coaching, to engage in each student's progress where and how it is relevant.
As the students work on their chromebooks, writing their essays, finding examples, explaining texts, etc., I will circulate and discuss with them how it's going and how to make the essay-in-progress better. It's a different, more laid-back mode of class, but the time to decompress and to work in a relaxed but focused way is a really effective and important way of helping students to improve their informative writing (W.9-10.2).
At the end of class, I will remind student to be working on their essays for homework, that we have one more class day to finalize revisions tomorrow.
I will ask:
1.) How can you use the writing process to your advantage?
2.) What incremental work will you do tonight?
3.) How can I help you? How can you help you?