An update…

I know, I know… it’s been a while. Been swamped, but invigoratingly so. I barely have time to watch video versions of The Tempest (Taymor/Mirren is next on the docket), let alone write about the play.

Just wanted to share a draft of a document/infographic I’m working on…

This past week, I’ve been working on writing textual evidence-based expository paragraphs with my kids (both frosh and soph). When I read them the stories (“The Necklace” and “A Sound of Thunder,” respectively), we focused on characterization. We stopped repeatedly when we found the characters’ personalities being revealed, and I had them note the words the author used and the inference they as readers took from these words. Then when we were done with the story, each class–through discussion–came up with their own theses about the character (Mme. Loisel and Eckels, respectively). We then walked through the parts of the expository paragraph, and we wrote as a class our own expository paragraph. I’d have them give me a sentence–we’d put it on the board, then discuss it, tear it apart, put it back together, improve it to the point where we had consensus that we had a good sentence, then they would copy it down. It took three days but by the end (yesterday), each class had their own solid expository paragraph.

Tomorrow, I’ll be handing out the following infographic…this content will be on the front; on the reverse will be their class paragraph, with the different parts/sentences noted.

Once I’m happy with how this infographic works in the classroom, I’ll be adding it to my Teachers Pay Teachers page… (of course, on the generic version, the reverse will have a self-penned expository paragraph based on a short story I published a couple of years back in a horror/noir mashup collection)… so if you’ve got any feedback, let me know!

They don’t know it yet, but on their next reading, they’ll be breaking off into small groups to do the same process, and then for the following reading, they’ll go solo…all the while, I’ll be circulating around the room to help troubleshoot. I’m hoping by the first week of November, they’ll be comfortable with this style of writing (and I’ll be comfortable with their skill level)…and then it’s on to To Kill a Mockingbird for the frosh, and Julius Caesar for the sophomores…



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