With this Guiding Question, I wanted students to begin thinking about what types of writing is best for them. This is something that I think about every year. Some of my students do really well with creative pieces, while some excel in the analytic pieces.
I know that I certainly teach the creative pieces better, or at least I'm more comfortable with them, because that's my background and my passion. So, as the kids are thinking about this Guiding Question, and reflecting on the writing they've done, I'm also reflecting on the writing instruction I've done.
Several years ago, in my state, students kept a writing portfolio. This was a collection of their writing throughout the year along with a "Letter to the Reviewer." What began innocently enough, I think, turned into a forced, formulaic model where all writing pieces pretty much looked the same, and the "reflective" "Letter to the Review" became a pleading attempt to persuade the anonymous grader to give you a good grade.
Now, my students have a "writing collection," where they keep all of their writing throughout the year. At the end of the year, and in today's lesson, students begin to think of the year as a whole and choose their favorite (not necessarily the best) single piece of writing to move with them to 7th grade. Here are the directions I gave, as some were getting confused about what goes in their writing folder and what doesn't. See my reflection for more of this.
For this lesson, I gave students this writing reflection prompt. Here's how that went: