Project Gutenberg is a teacher's one-stop literary shop.. They are publishing as many as possible public domain works. I love this resource. This props to Project Gutenberg video explains the ways I use them in my classroom and why I chose Pride and Prejudice for this lesson.
Today, I am copying Chapter One of Pride and Prejudice for students. I will read it aloud. After, I will discuss how this is a seed story (very specific conversation between a husband and wife), and what the dialogue reveals to us (We understand that Mr. Bennet is funny and Mrs. Bennet is obsessed with finding a suitable husband for her daughters and thinks Mr. Bingley is that man). I'll explain to students that today they are writing a story incorporating the elements we've been discussing this week (the other lessons in this unit).
Today's writing prompt is very open ended. There isn't much specific direction. This early in the year, I am looking for a solid writing sample that I can assess for voice, and for work ethic. I give students this prompt with lots of choice so I can see how hard they are going to work with writing.
I distribute the writing with word lists. I explain to students:
You have worked really hard this week in various writing situations. Now, I want you to put it all together in 25 minutes. You are writing a narrative story, with a beginning, middle and end. Introduce your story with a great hook and include dialogue to help move the plot along. First, you will choose one of the word lists to work with. No, you may not combine lists. Please follow this order of events:
1. Choose word list
2. Do some planning. Create a graphic organizer or brainstorming model that helps you organize your thoughts (W.9-10.5)
3. Narrow your plan into a seed story (W.9-10.5)
4. Write a hooking introduction that shows the reader the story rather than simply telling it (W.9-10.1a, W.9-10.1b)
5. Continue writing your story and use dialogue to advance the plot and help us know the characters (W.9-10.3b).
All of these techniques will help build a coherent whole (W.9-10.3). Don't worry if your piece isn't finished at the end of 25 minutes. We will work on concluding a story later and you'll have a chance to finish this writing. You'll have time to revise tomorrow.
While students work, I will walk around and help. I will confer with students who are struggling.
Wish a few minutes of class left, I will tell students to file their writing in their binders and we will work on it again tomorrow.
After tomorrow's lesson, I will be collecting the writing, however students don't need to work on it for homework. Since this is there first major piece of writing, I want them to work on it during class.