Speaking Out! Narratives published in voice recording and writing.

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SWBAT publish a final spoken and written draft by completing a final manuscript in two modes of expression.

Big Idea

Story Slam! student voice in writing can be activated by engaging in vocal performance.

Story slam! Student record their stories digitally

20 minutes

Why record it?

Students publish this narrative by producing a vocal recording of their essay and turning that in with the essay (W.9-10.6).  I've written about this aspect of writing more extensively in a book due out this fall (link).  

The main insights that I have had is that by vocalizing their work, students see that certain words require inflection and emphasis, and as a result they write with a bit more 'bounce' or rhythm on future essays.  Also, they gain confidence in their on voice on the page when they have to face the inner demons of doubt and create a vocalization, record it and listen to it.  Finally, they become more careful editors when they have to read the text aloud because they notice word choices, punctuation, etc., that might not be exactly perfect (W.9-10.5), and I have seen many students revise of their own accord after reading the essay aloud. 



Students use their laptops or phones to record and either to upload the sound file to google drive or Soundcloud; alternatively, our district's SIS allows for students to submit electronic files as part of their assignment submissions, so it's convenient enough for them to submit.  Actually doing the recording is emotionally traumatic because many students (and most normal people!) have trouble accepting and liking the sound of their own voices, but with some coaching and cajoling, students typically move past this potential impasse.  


When they are done, students will turn in TWO "copies" of their narrative: a recorded/vocal version and a written/edited version.  The combination here is powerful: performance and craft come together. 






Written Reflection on Turnitin.com

15 minutes

In addition, I post for the students a short exit-slip like writing that they will upload to turnitin.com:

What have you learned about your writing while doing this essay project?  



Unit Reflection and Final Comments

Narration is perhaps the most important disciplinary writing that we do in the English Language Arts, and here's why.  

I will assess the students using the turnitin.com rubric from their website (link to their rubric). Overall, I have read almost all of the drafts during the writer's workshop already, so there is very little to surprise me on the final drafts, aside from possibly the issue of final edits on mechanics.