Revising Repurposed Stories for 21st Century Audience

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Objective

SWBAT develop and strengthen writing for a specific purpose and audience by completing self and peer revision of their repurposed stories.

Big Idea

Bring on the audience! Students strengthen writing through self reflection and peer feedback.

Let's Get Started: Organization

5 minutes

It is Monday morning, my students are wide awake and chatting about their stories. I am thrilled to see their enthusiasm for the repurposed stories.  Although the students will get to share their stories, they are about to find out that the purpose of this project focuses on how they connect with an audience and how they communicate with each other about writing.  I put up slide seven of the War of the Worlds powerpoint. It instructs them to get out their story and their visual. They will also need two sheets of notebook paper and a pen or pencil.  

Next, I show them slide eight with their objective on it: "SWBAT develop and strengthen writing  for a specific purpose and audience  by completing self and peer revision of their repurposed stories."  

I break the students into groups three.  I want them to get feedback from more than one person. A bit of a loss of excitement comes with revision. In order to pick the energy up, I tell them that each group will choose their best story, these stories will be presented to the entire class with the winner earning extra credit.  Ah, extra credit, two words all students love. 

Applying Knowledge: Self-Assessment

10 minutes

The next slide outlines how I want the students to tackle self and peer assessment.  Based on the results of their last formal essay, I determined that they needed to work on revision strategies and how they communicate with one another about writing.  Their formal writing is still overly focused on writing for themselves without consciously considering how to communicate their purpose to an external audience (CCSS.W.9-10 5).  

I acknowledge that my students need to work on editing--they make far too many mistakes in conventions.  However, I am more concerned with the quality of the content and organization. Currently, my students don't distinguish between revising content/organization and editing conventions.  I want them to have a clear and defined purpose that connects to an external audience before I start nitpicking a conventions. 

To achieve this goal, I require students to reread their story.  They have to answer four content based questions about the story (listed below).  I tell them to use evidence from their story to support their response.  I also tell them they can correct conventions as they go.  They do get distracted by minor errors and miss the big picture, so hopefully these questions will help to guide them to focus on the story as a whole.  

How did the writer use imagery to create the setting?

How did the writer use language to develop characters?

Is it credible in 2013?  Why or Why not? Use examples from the story for support.

How does the visual support the story?

 

Building Knowledge: Feedback from the Audience

45 minutes

aNow, the fun begins.  Each student has to read aloud the repurposed story to their team mates. It is important for students to read their work out loud. It helps them hear and develop their voice as a writer and it is an effective way to discover errors. 

As each student reads his/her story, the other team members write down answers to the same four questions that they used for self assessment.

How did the writer use imagery to create the setting?

How did the writer use language to develop characters?

Is it credible in 2013?  Why or Why not? Use examples from the story for support.

How does the visual support the story?

 As the audience, students can ask clarifying questions, and I ask them to be aware of what information they need to answer the questions.

 

Next I ask the students to give each reader/writer at least one compliment about their story and at least one aspect of the story that needs improvement. For example, this student compliments his teammate on his use of dialogue. (Note: I had to prompt the student to use the appropriate language of the content area, but his comments hit the mark.) 

The last question asks students to explain how the visual supports the story. Some students got really creative and made  a visual to tell a story. One even created a web-based construction company for the contemporary three little pigs.  No one builds their own homes; it makes sense that the pigs are contractors competing for business. 

Applying Knowledge: And the Winner is...

20 minutes

Now each team picks the best story to share with the class.  These students read their story and share the visual with the class.  I tell the class to ask questions at the end of each story.  

Finally, each student writes the name his/her favorite story on a slip of paper and my student aids tally the votes. 

 The winner is...

Wrap up: What's Next?

5 minutes

The students and I swap papers, I take the stories, visuals, and feedback sheets.  I give them the short story to read and annotate for the next class.  The story is Spunk by Zora Neale Hurston.