expository · literary essay · teacher of writing · teaching tools · writers · writing

Confessions of a Writing Teacher

I didn't teach the literary essay unit of study until last year. Why? I WAS SCARED TO DEATH TO TEACH IT! It seemed so complicated and so important... what if I messed up? Well, I bit the bullet last year since my rationale for not teaching it was not acceptable in my mind. I taught… Continue reading Confessions of a Writing Teacher

assessment · expository · literary essay · rubric · writing workshop

Literary Essay Rubric

I was debating whether or not I should create a Literary Essay Rubric before I got to work this morning or once I was there. I opted for creating it at home and getting into work a little later. This is what I came up with:

expository · literary essay · quote

Citing the Text

My 4th grade students did a unit of study in Reading Workshop entitled "Writing About Reading" this past fall. Therefore, they've become pretty adept at citing the text. However, I think that citing the text goes to a whole new level when you write literary essays. Therefore, I created yet another chart for this unit… Continue reading Citing the Text

drafting · expository · literary essay · news and announcements · plan · responsive classroom · teacher of writing · thesis statement · writing workshop

Draft Plans for Literary Essays

My students are going to be drafting while I'm out of the room doing reading assessments this-coming Thursday. Hence, I'm a little bit panicked since I don't like being out of the room on days when kids are selecting a seed idea or when they start drafting. (I have an amazing guest teacher... so it's… Continue reading Draft Plans for Literary Essays

conferring · expository · literary essay · lucy calkins · thesis statement


It's true what Lucy always said about speaking loud enough so other students hear you while you confer... they do learn by listening in! I've known this for awhile, but was reminded of it yesterday when I brought six of my students up to my classroom at lunchtime to further assist them with creating solid… Continue reading Conferring

academic choice · jacqueline woodson · Kevin Henkes · Khadra Mohammed · literary essay · sandra cisneros

I’m a bit astonished!

I am creating a list of writing partnerships for my students' Literary Essay Unit of Study based on the texts they've selected to examine, from the packet of 11 texts I gave them, for their literary essay. Would you believe that only five of the six texts are represented from the packet?!!? I'm a bit… Continue reading I’m a bit astonished!

expository · literary essay · thesis statement

Thinking About Thesis Statements

I've been doing a lot of thinking about the thesis statements my students are going to start crafting for their literary essays lately. Therefore, in addition to the graphic organizer I produced for tomorrow's lesson, I also put together a thesis revision template/writer's plans worksheet for my students to use on Tuesday that looks like… Continue reading Thinking About Thesis Statements

expository · graphic organizer · literary essay · thesis statement

Thesis Statement Creation

Kate mentioned that some of our students might need assistance with developing their thesis statements. Therefore, I created a graphic organizer for students to use to help them develop a meaty thesis statement. Click on the link below if you'd like to take a look. Literary Essay Thesis Statement Starters

elaboration · literary essay · midworkshop interruption · patience · teacher of writing · writer's notebook · writing workshop

Amaze Me!

You know the student who always rushes through assignments? You know, that kid... the one who sacrifices quality to finish his/her work? Well, I thought one of my students was rushing through their writing (which was all about elaborating using 'prompts to push our thinking about reading') when I saw that child's hand waving at… Continue reading Amaze Me!

expository · immersion · literary essay · mentor texts · non-narrative writing · noticings · writing workshop

Immersion Begins Tomorrow

I'll begin immersing my students in the literary essay genre tomorrow. I'm fortunate to have had some wonderful students last year who graciously allowed me to share their essays with future students to-come. Hence, I have quite a few literary essays copied, ready-to-go for my students to possibly use as mentor texts tomorrow. I realized… Continue reading Immersion Begins Tomorrow

Cynthia Rylant · Eve Bunting · jacqueline woodson · Kevin Henkes · Khadra Mohammed · Lenore Look · literary essay · mentor texts · minilesson · sandra cisneros

Literary Essay Texts

During our common planning time today, my colleagues and I brainstormed a list of texts we're going to have students select from for their literary essays. Many people think that kids should pick whatever book they're reading, I've come to believe that having children select from a pre-selected set of short texts is better. A… Continue reading Literary Essay Texts

collecting · literary essay · organization

Literary Essays

I started thinking about the next unit of study, Literary Essays, that I'm going to teach in March (even though my students are only half-way through their fiction unit of study). Therefore, I spent some time creating my students' collection folders yesterday. Here's a peek at what they look like: Materials I needed to create… Continue reading Literary Essays