Creating a Character Day 5

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SWBAT complete revisions, editing, and the final copy of their writing piece before sharing it with others.

Big Idea

At the end of yesterday's lesson, students were in various stages of the writing process. Students continue their work until all are finished and ready to share their published work.

Unit Introduction

This year, I’ve challenged myself to rethink genre instruction so that students gain a greater understanding and appreciation of the three main types.  In order to build stronger connections between reading and writing, I reworked my units so that they are completely intertwined.  Just as with my non-fiction units, you’ll find lessons focused mainly on reading skills in a unit called, “All About Fiction” while those centered around writing skills in a unit called, “Fictional Writing.” In my classroom, both units were taught simultaneously over a nine-week period.

In these first five lessons, students create their own fictional character. We’ve spent the last several weeks reading fiction stories and analyzing the characters in each. These lessons begin with a quick review of a few characters we’ve met and a short modeling of how to complete today’s task before turning students loose to complete their own work.


Setting a Purpose

5 minutes

I call students to the meeting area to start the day. At the end of yesterday’s class, students were in various stages of the writing process. Some students were finishing their initial drafts of paragraph two and three, some were revising, while others were editing. I take a quick status of the class to see how many students are at each stage.

I explain that today’s task is to finish our final copies and share our work with others in the room. Students still working on drafts will complete that work independently at their desks. Those ready to begin revising or editing should check in with me at the front table before moving on to the next step. I ask students to tell me what choices they can make should they finish before the rest of the class and then set everyone to work.

Independent Practice

30 minutes

Students busy themselves in their portion of the writing process. During this time, I conduct individual conferences and wait for students to join me at the table ready for check-ins. Here I’ll connect each student with another in the same stage and make sure they are successful at moving onto that next step.

Sharing our Work

30 minutes

When everyone has finished, I ask students to return to their desks and prepare to share their work. Today we’ll share in a jigsaw-esque way. First, I set a timer for eight minutes and ask that students share with the people at their tables. When the timer goes off (or earlier if I see that students don’t quite need that much time), I have them stand up with their pieces and head to a new table. The trick is not to sit at a table with someone whose story you’ve already heard. This is easy in the beginning, but becomes more difficult as we continue to rotate. Because we have a limited time today, not every student will get to hear each piece. However, I always place completed pieces in our writing area and/or on a bulletin board so that students can read each other’s writing on their own during the next few weeks.