After reading "Monday, October 2" in Tangerine by Edward Bloor, students responded to the following prompt and organized their ideas using a venn diagram or double-bubble map in preparation for constructing a compare/contrast essay.
Prompt: Compare and contrast the two schools that Paul attended – Lake Windsor Middle School and Tangerine Middle School. Include a thesis statement making this comparison. Support your claims with details, explanations, and textual evidence.
After organizing their ideas and locating textual evidence, students wrote a rough draft using the following as a guide.
Paragraph 1 – Students stated their claim about the two schools in a thesis statement.
Paragraph 2 – Addressed issues about one school including details, relevant information and explanations, and incorporated textual evidence to support their claims.
Paragraph 3 – Addressed issues about the other school including details, relevant information and explanations, and incorporated textual evidence to support their claims.
Paragraph 4 – A conclusion reinforces their original claim indicating the appeal of the school to Paul.
I stressed the importance of a strong thesis statement - that it is concise, relevant, and the reader recognizes the bias of the writer. This guides the future analysis in an organized and logical manner. The reader will not be lost, but rather have a road map in mind of the path to follow.
By separating information about each school into two paragraphs, the students are assured that they will address relevant issues for each setting and demonstrate their credible inferences made from the textual evidence.
Finally, students provide a conclusion which relates back to the thesis statement and supports the arguments present in their writing.
After completing their rough draft, students began revising using strategies that have been taught throughout the year.
Finally, students write a clean copy so they have a neat copy for Peer Feedback activity tomorrow. If they do not finish this in class, it is homework.
I call this the "Clean Copy" because tomorrow when students receive feedback, it is easier for others to read a "Clean Copy" and students realize it is not their final draft - there is still more work to accomplish.