Today is Model Monday. For more information see the warm up in an earlier lesson here.
I want to give students a very basic reminder to help them improve their sentence quality -focusing today on opening our sentences with common subordinating conjunctions.
Specifically, I'll introduce my students to AAAWWUBBIS ala Jeff Anderson's Mechanically Inclined. (A book worth purchasing!) AAAWWUBBIS stands for after, although, as, when, while, until, because, before, if, since.
Copy the following sentences:
1. After practice ended, we had ice cream.
2. Since it's cold outside, we decided to stay indoors.
3. If you are finished with your work, you may read your library book.
Below these write:
What I notice about these sentences:
After their discussion time, I will ask students to share what they noticed and I'll steer them toward what I want them to notice. What I want students to notice is that these sentences do not follow the typical subject or noun -predicate structure many of my students are accustomed to using in their writing. Each sentence opens with an AAAWWUBBIS which pretty much guarantees the need for a comma at the end of the opening clause. That clause is attached to the beginning of an independent clause/sentence to improve the sentence.
There are loads of practice and information about the AAAWWWUBBIS idea online. Here is a one sheet helper. For more -quality - search AAAWWUBBIS and Jeff Anderson.
Basically, I want students to vary their sentences as a result of this practice, so I will ask students to, write their own three sentences using any of the AAAWWUBBIS words, but imitating the pattern of each of the three above. After writing time, students will share these at their table and choose one per table to share with the class.
We will build from here with in class writing and journal tasks and the next Model Monday.
Our last class was about allowing students to see what is out there and find a topic that speaks to them.
Today, I want students to use a bit of tunnel vision and focus on the area they have discovered. They are permitted to "google it" or go back to the sites used in the last class.
The goal today is to establish the angle they want to attack their topic from. I'll ask students, "What is your purpose/ goal in reference to the topic? This is an argument piece, so what will your argument and support look like? How much support do you need? We'll talk about this last question in reference to what we have practiced all year. Three is the magic number - less is too little and more is just over kill (Can cause some reasons to appear weak.)
Again, I will ask that they take notes in their journal, so to help them focus, I'll list the goals on the SMART board-
1. Consider - What is my purpose? - what do I want to do with the topic?
2. What is my point/argument? What new ideas or "spin" can I discover? (write this out)
3. What support do I have or need? (write this out)
To wrap up class today, I'll ask students (again) to share with a neighbor, but not the same person they shared ideas with yesterday. I want them to give opinions and suggestions as they discuss where they are in the process.
I'll also note that for those who are a little stuck, this is homework. I want concrete ideas flowing for class tomorrow.