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????
I am a literacy consultant who has spent the past dozen years working with teachers to improve the teaching of writing in their classrooms. While I work with teachers and students in grades K-6, I'm a former fourth and fifth-grade teacher so I have a passion for working with upper elementary students.
I'm the author of Craft Moves (Stenhouse Publishers, 2016) and the co-author of Jump Into Writing (Zaner-Bloser, 2021), Welcome to Writing Workshop (Stenhouse Publishers, 2019), and Day By Day (Stenhouse, 2010).