Reflection: Modeling Close Reading: Writing to a Prompt - Section 2: Modeling


At the beginning of the year, it can be difficult to model writing with examples that are known to both you and the students.  I refuse to write using examples from popular novels like Harry Potter or the Percy Jackson series because not all students are familiar with those examples, and using examples that not all students are familiar with just isn't fair. That means at the beginning of the year, I'm limited to "Seventh Grade," Dr. Horrible, and "Thank You, M'am."  I don't usually use "Seventh Grade" in my models because it's just not one of my favorite stories. I should probably get over myself and use that story for my modeling, but I haven't. 

The best I can do at this point is use details from "Thank You M'am," but use quotes from later in the story that are not a part of the close reading.  Since the close reading prompt asks them to draw conclusions from the passage we close read, I think this works.  Later, when we have more stories under our belts, the problem goes away.

And really?  If a struggling student steals my example, but writes his/her own commentary?  I consider that a scaffold.  It's like in math, when a student practices an algebraic problem with numbers the teacher used in order to make sure they're doing the process correctly.  If those are the training wheels they need, then that's not the worst thing in the world.  The worst thing would be the student not even trying.

Sometimes I do use a quote, but write commentary that isn't so logical.  This helps students see that you can't just pull a quote and make stuff up. It has to be logical and rooted in evidence from the text.  That, and it's always fun to watch them figure out how to tell me I'm OH SO WRONG.

  Don't Steal My Examples
  Modeling: Don't Steal My Examples
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Close Reading: Writing to a Prompt

Unit 3: Analyzing Literature and Writing Business Letters with Langston Hughes’ Thank You, M’am”
Lesson 6 of 10

Objective: Students will be able to analyze character traits and motivations by citing evidence while writing an outline, rough draft, and final draft.

Big Idea: Students write an analytical paragraph from on a passage that was close read.

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