In my lesson openers I always have a "connect" in which I connect students' thinking about yesterday's lesson to today's lesson. I then have a "teach" in which I model for students the lesson of the day and also have them try it out. When I think about my modeling, I use three categories; skill, strategy, and process. I model by stating the skill to the students, then giving them a strategy in which to use the skill, followed by the process to try out the strategy.
Connect: I will say, “Yesterday we planned out one idea for one essay, before you try that essay out in a draft form, we are going to practice writing persuasive introductions.”
Teach: I will say, “In order to write an introduction for my essay, I am going to practice the skill of trying out different kinds of introductions and the strategy of using examples. The process I will use is as follows:
1) Have my claim and reasons in mind
2) Read through the different types of persuasive devices I could use
3) Try out at least three hooks but always add my claim, reason and evidence
We will read the examples together. I will show them how I use the examples to think how to create an introduction for my claim I created yesterday. I will have one prepared and show them how I think through writing a second one.
Active Engagement: I will say,” You will use the claim you started yesterday and use that claim and reasons to practice at least one persuasive hook for your introduction. I will look over the shoulder of at least three learners. (at least 3 students-one who is at standard, one is approaching standard, and one who is above standard). I am looking to gauge their understanding of the hook they are writing.
Closing of Active Engagement: I will say, “Remember in order to introduce your essay to your reader in a way that persuasively hooks them, successful writers practice the skill of trying out different kinds of introductions and the strategy of using examples. They have their claim and reasons in mind and examples they can use in order to try out at least three hooks before deciding on the one they will use for their essay.
Independent Practice: I will say, “Now you are going to write out two more different introduction paragraphs. They should write for at least 25 minutes if not more. If they are done, have them try out the other two kinds of hook, or having them start drafting their essay. As they are working independently and quietly, (I like to play classical or smooth jazz for“writing”music (I just create a play list on Pandora Internet radio) I will confer with them about their writing.
Partner Work: Students will be directed share their favorite introduction with their partner. I will say, “Decide who will be partner A and who will be partner B. Partner A you will share your introduction. Partner B, I want you to listen if Part A makes you want to read more of their essay. Give your partner feedback as to how they could draw you into the essay missed anything, you might say, “Maybe you could try..” Then switch.” .
I believe that the end of the lesson should be an assessment of the days’ learning; therefore it should be independent work. I always end class with an “exit ticket” in which students write down the response to a question.
Closing: For today students will turn in their best introduction, the one they think really draws the reader and has clear claim, reasons and evidence.