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Gearing-Up for Memoir

writing memoirs
We’re starting a new unit of study on Monday: MEMOIR! I’ve taught it twice using Calkins and Chiarella’s Book. However, this year is going to be different. Kate and I decided to mesh C&C’s book with Katherine Bomer’s Book entitled Writing A Life. Our teaching points are from both books. However, we think we might need to cut a day or two because of the upcoming NECAP Science Test and some other things that are going on around school that our students are involved in. Any suggestions about what might be a good one (or two) to cut? (We’re totally wedded to the first six, so those aren’t even options.) If so, then PLEASE leave a comment. THANKS!!! 🙂

Session 1: Writers read and listen to student memoirs and then write in order to inspire their own writing. (IMMERSION)
Session 2: Writers find their life topic by thinking about people who are important to you. One way writers do this is by asking themselves questions.
Session 3: Writers find their life topics by thinking about problems they’ve had. (Hand out questions for diving deeper about problems.)
Session 4: Writers choose and develop a seed idea. (THIS FEELS REALLY FAST NOW THAT I AM LOOKING AT IT AGAIN!!!)
Session 5: Writers describe a person or a problem. One way they describe this is by answering questions that push them to think deeply about what this says about them as a person.
Session 6: Writers reflect on how they’ve been impacted by a person or problem. Then, they think about what this says about them as a person.
Session 7: Writers recall memories that accompany and deepen their thinking about a person or problem.
Session 8: Writers compile their memories and thoughts to create a draft of a memoir. Writers put it in their order that makes sense and then they read it out loud to make sure their sequence makes sense. (MENTOR MEMOIR DAY)
Session 9: Writers compile their memories and thoughts to create a draft of a memoir. Writers put it in their order that makes sense and then they read it out loud to make sure their sequence makes sense.
Session 10: Writers reread our writing intently, in order to learn from it how we need to revise.
Session 11: Writers often search their writing for lines such as these looking for ways to highlight them, because highlighting a particularly strong line can also highlight a particularly strong idea. One way to make a powerful line stand out is by repeating it here and there across a piece of writing.
Session 12: Writers use punctuation to create voice. They do this by choosing punctuation that helps them convey mood, tone, and the feelings of a piece.
Session 13: Publishing Buffet
Session 14: Celebration

NOW that I read this again, I’m not so sure we can take anything away. THOUGHTS????

Stacey Shubitz View All

Literacy Consultant. Author. Former 4th and 5th Grade Classroom Teacher.

4 thoughts on “Gearing-Up for Memoir Leave a comment

  1. I wouldn’t eliminate any either.

    I have to ask…do all of your students stay in the same place? What do you do with the one who gets behind?? Sometimes most of my class is ready for session 8 but there are 2 that are still stuck on 4 or 5.

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  2. Awww..memoirs! I love that unit! As I look into all the sessions you have, it is really hard to get rid of any because writing is such a growing, never ending process. One thing I am sure of: session that students need to spend a lot, a lot of time on is the immersion of literature, stories, because the more they listen, and read, the more they will be ready to write a memory of their own. I truly believe this. 🙂

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