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Launching Personal Essay

It’s nearly November, which means it’s time for me to start teaching my students how to craft personal essays. I use Calkins and Gilette’s book for my teaching points, but deviate from their text when it comes to teaching the actual lessons since I’ve tweaked every lesson each year that I’ve taught it.

I recall dreading personal essay when I was about to teach it for the first time in 2004. What could be so exciting about a five paragraph essay, I wondered. If you’ve read this blog for the past year or so, you already know that something magical happens to students’ writing during this unit of study. It becomes much more reflective and thoughtful. Hence, I’ve grown to LOVE teaching this unit.

Tomorrow, I’m going to immerse my students in this genre by sharing five of my former students’ personal essay. They’re going to fill out this form (whose lines & page breaks got slightly distorted when I converted it with Scribd) as they read each one.

Stacey Shubitz View All

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

5 thoughts on “Launching Personal Essay Leave a comment

  1. I just discovered your site tonight as I was googling for help on the third unit of study. I teach 3rd grade and attended Summer Institute from the Teacher’s College. The packet they gave us has third grade writing Information Books instead of personal essay. Any insight on this unit? This is my first year implementing Units of Study.
    thanks!

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  2. hi!
    i LOVE your sites. What great information and thinking! I check them daily. I can’t find that CUTE pict you had, of 4 little faces on a yellowish ; it said just who is your character? i want to see that graphic again, but cant find it on either of your sites. can you tell me where it is?
    thanks,
    grace

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  3. Even though I signed-away rights to proceeds from the sale of Deal with It, I usually don’t like to endorse my students’ book as a mentor text since it seems slightly self-serving. That being said, it’s an EXCELLENT source for personal essays and has several in it. I believe it has about 7-8 essays that grew out of the personal essay unit of study.

    Hope that helps Mel!

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  4. I know you mentioned that your book “Deal with it” that you worked on with your students, has personal essays in it….about how many essays would you say are in the book? I am thinking of purchasing it now as I begin my personal essay unit with my students, but want to make sure that it has a good number of essay examples. Thank you!

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  5. I was having some trouble with distortion of lines and graphics with scribd and my husband suggested that I upload the documents in pdf.
    Works like a charm! Great reflection form– thanks, Stacy.

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