Reflection: Positive Reinforcement Writing Drafts of Memoir Essays - Section 2: Independent Writing/One on One Consultation


Some of my students dove right into their writing, while a few needed some nurturing to get going.  One student was having trouble because, as he said, "nothing that interesting happens to me."  In the earlier sharing we did with some other narratives, some students wrote about some difficult times in their lives (such as divorce), so I got the sense that he was thinking he needed to write about some negative occurrence.  I remembered that he really liked the Dave Barry piece "Turkey's in the Kitchen" and related it to his own house, so I emphasized that a typical day in his house could make an argument about manhood, and that the piece can be amusing and critical at the same time.  He seemed to feel better about that.  A few others were trying to choose between a couple photos and issues, so for those students I tried to move them toward ones that could make a specific argument--to write about the influence of fashion on girls instead of influence of "media," for example.  This is the typical issue for students when they are writing without a specific prompt that I suspected might happen--not making their topics specific enough.  They have a tendency to go for huge, generalized topics that could be the name of a college course.  Fortunately, I felt like everyone was in a good place when we finished class, with no students staring at a blank screen.  So, I think the scaffolding and nurturing today in one-on-one format has been beneficial.

  Narrowing Down Ideas
  Positive Reinforcement: Narrowing Down Ideas
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Writing Drafts of Memoir Essays

Unit 7: Writing Memoir as Argument
Lesson 4 of 7

Objective: SWBAT write a draft of their own memoir in which they focus on using their personal experiences to make a broader argument about gender codes in our society.

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