Class Outlines, Session 1

2016-2017 School Year Elementary Class Outline   (scroll down for teen classes)


Class 1: (Monday, 8/28 and Thursday, 8/31)

Personal Narrative Writing
1.   Read a story to the class.  (Owl Moon)
2.  Read a poem to the class.  ("Six Minutes Twenty-Six Seconds")
3.  Read a student story about a sled race.
4. Think of a person, a place, or an object to help you think of a true story that happened to you. Write a "small moment story" or "watermelon seed story" about an experience with that person, place or object.
5.  Zoom into that moment (maybe a moment of 20 minutes or less, not the whole day!) and write  about it.



Class 2:  (Thursday 9/7 and Monday 9/11)
Personal Narrative Writing
1. Read a poem to the class: "A Sestina for Michael Jordan."  Read a book called Whistling. Read a student story about a baby turtle.
2.  Talk about "Timelines" and make one. Discuss "Step by Step" Stories.
3. In class we will talk about "small moment stories" again.  Is your story a seed story or huge watermelon topic?  We want seed stories.
4.  Use exact details in your writing.
7.  Write a personal narrative.

Class 3: (9/14 and 9/18)
Personal Narrative Writing
1.  Read two poems to the class. ("Ping Pong Alfresco" and "What's Not to Like?")  Read a story to the class.  (Salt Hands)
2.  Talk about giving your story a strong lead.
3.  Read a student example about Lizzie helping her mom who is a teacher.
3.  Write.  Give your reader "goosebumps."

Class 4 (9/21 and 9/25)
Personal Narrative Writing
1.  Read a poem to the class.  ("Trouble with Math in a One-Room Country School")
2.  Read Thundercake to the class.
3.  Read a student piece called "Excitement in My Heart" about a girl making a best friend at Chuckie Cheese.
4.  Discuss paragraphing.
5. Teach how to punctuate dialogue.
6.  Write.
(Last Year's lessons below.  Will update before our new class meets.)

Class 5 (10/10 and 10/13)
Personal Narrative Writing
1.  Read Come on, Rain! to the class.  Read the poem "Starry Night Tritina" to the class.
2.  Discuss using feelings in your narrative, and the "heart" of the story. Review punctuating dialogue.
3.  Share a student story about Felix and going to the church.  I will also share a story with the students.
4.  Students write and I confer.

Class 6 (10/17 and 10/20)
Personal Narrative Writing 
1. Read Peter's Chair to the class.  Read the poem "Car Ride: A Sestina" to the class.
2. Share some charts with the class to review strategies for good personal narrative writing.
3.  Share a story: "Getting Ready to Go to California."
5.  Students write.

Class 7 (10/24 and 10/27)
Personal Narrative
1.  Read the poem "Sonnet 18" to the class. Read Snowy Day to the class.  Read "Gifts That Count,"  written by a student.
2.  Talk about the "heart" of a story.
3. Talk about good endings in a story.
4. Pass out editing checklists.  Go over it.
5. The students will choose one personal narrative that they will revise and bring in next week.

Class 8 (10/31 and 11/3)
Personal Narrative/Fiction
1.  Read the poem "Arizona Sunset."
2.  Students will share their personal narratives.
3.  I will read a portion of the fiction story "The Runaway Cat."
4.  Students will work on an ending for that story, or write a new Halloween story.

Class 9 (11/7 and 11/10)
Fiction
1.  Read the story Dancing in the Wings. 
2. Read a poem.  ("Ode to the Apple")
3.  Discuss characters, problems and the t-chart when beginning to write a fiction story.
4.  Discuss first scenes.

Class 10 (Class 14 and 17)
Fiction
1.  Read "Slower Than the Rest," by Cynthia Rylant.
2. Read the student poem "Ode to a Star."
4.  Students will work story mountains. I will show them how to do this.
5.  Then students will work on their stories.



Teen Class Syllabus (Thursday 11:35-12:35)


Class 1 (8/31)
Personal Narrative
1.  Read a poem.  ("Digging for China")
2.  Read an example personal narrative about a boy who was cold in his bed, and another about a sled race.
3.  I will write an example story on the whiteboard as well.
4.  Brainstorm topic ideas in the notebooks.
5.  Choose one of your ideas.
6.  Discuss that a lead can begin with action, dialogue or setting.
7.  Begin writing.

Class 2 (9/7)
Personal Narrative

1.  Read a poem:  "Almost Hollywood"
2.  Read a personal narrative by a published author, Jean Little.
3.  Read a narrative called "Molly."  Also, learn how to punctuate dialogue.
4.  Review the idea of focusing your piece.
5.  Brainstorm topics.
6.  Students will write.

Class 3
Personal Narrative (9/14)

1. Read aloud the poem "Dandelion Wars."
2. Create a grammar tab.  Discuss semi-colons.
3. Read an excerpt (personal narrative) from A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson.
4  Share the first page of a student piece called "The Catfish."
5.  Students will write.
6.  Discuss "thoughts and feelings" with the students when writing their stories.

Class 4 (9/21)
Personal Narrative

1. Read aloud the poem "Whenever I See a Field of Corn."
2.  Finish the student example, "Catfish."
3.  Read a personal narrative about a boy who wasn't allowed to eat ice cream.  (This was written for a college essay.)
4.  Discuss conflict and tension today.
5.  Students will write.

Lessons from last year are below.  (I will change and update these as we go.)
Class 5 (1013)
Personal Narrative

1. Read aloud some poetry.  ("Nothing Gold Can Stay" by Robert Frost)
2. Share a student narrative called "Sneak."
3.  Share a college application essay about a boy noticing class differences at a Bar Mitzvah.
4.  Discuss "life topics" again.
5. Students write.


Class 6 (10/20)
Personal Narrative

1. Read aloud some poetry.  ("After Watching Peter Pan Again")
2.  Read a personal narrative called "The Cliff."
3. Read Come on Rain.
4.  Students will write.
5.  Discuss how the best personal narratives usually have a point, or tell what the write learned from that experience.

Class 7 (10/27)
Personal Narrative

1.  Read aloud some poetry. ("Quotes")
2.  Read a portion of a college essay called "The Circle Game."
3.  Give students the editing checklist.
4.  They will work on the editing checklist today.
5.  Final Personal Narratives due next week.

Class 8 (11/3)
Personal Narrative/Fiction

1. Read a poem.  ("Practically Triplets")
2.  Students will share their personal narratives.
3.  If students don't wish to share them aloud, we can pass them around.
4.  Introduce fiction writing. Read "Stray" to the class.

Class 9 (11/10)
Fiction
1.  Read a poem.  ("Call Me")
2.  Read a fiction story. ("Raymond's Run")
3.  Brainstorm fiction ideas.
4.  Have the students fill out the "Main Character Questionnaire."
5.  Discuss the "Short Story Structure" handout.  Talk about the first three bullet points.

Class 10 (11/17)
Fiction
1.  Read a poem.  ("The Drum")
2.  Finish reading "Raymond's Run")
3.  Begin reading a student fiction story. ("The Three Musketeers")
4.  Read the next bullet points of the "Short Story Structure" handout.
5.  Review dialogue.
6.  Students will write.

Elementary Classes (alternative lessons)

Class 1:
Personal Narrative Writing
1.  Read a story/excerpt to the class.  (Owl Moon)
2. Think of a person and write a "small moment story" about an experience with that person.
3.  Zoom into that moment (maybe a moment of 20 minutes or less, not the whole day!) and write in a step by step way about it.
4.  Set up writing "share" partners.  These partners will then read the stories they just wrote to each other.
5.  I will talk about what you do when you are "done" with a story.  Actually, "when you are done, you've just begun."  Start a different story or work on the one you just finished.


Class 2:
Personal Narrative Writing
1. Read a story/excerpt to the class.  (Shortcut)
2.  Review strategies on how to find a topic.  You can think of a person, place or object, and then think of a small moment that happened in relation to it.
3. Introduce "Step by Step Stories" and "watermelon stories."  
4. Discuss "Word Wall."  Look at my chart for high frequency words and double check your writing.
5.  With spelling, write the word the way you think it should be, and I will check it later.

Class 3:
Personal Narrative Writing
1.  Read a story/excerpt to the class. (Fireflies)
2.  Discuss what a "lead" is.
3.  Write.  Give your readers "goosebumps"!
4.  Introduce "free-verse poetry" and let children look at some objects I put on the table.
5.  We will be looking at these things using poets' eyes.

Class 4:
Poetry
1.  Read part of I'm in Charge of Celebrations along with an assortment of poems to the children.
2.  Write some free verse poems in class, using poets' eyes and line breaks.
3.  Do some more personal narrative writing at the end of class, or if your poetry is finished for the day.
4.  Discuss homework for the week.

Class 5:

Personal Narrative Writing/Poetry
1.  Read Whistling to the class.
2.  Read a selection about a pet beta fish out of Boy Writers.
3.  Show how a boy chose a topic and added some personality to his personal narrative.
4.  Discuss how places can give you ideas for personal narrative topics.  Introduce the "story map."


Class 6:
Personal Narrative Writing/Rough Drafts
1.  Read The Snowy Day to the class.
2.  Talk about the story maps.  Today you may write about an event from your map.
3.  Discuss how to choose a "seed" idea for a rough draft.
4.  Once you have your seed idea, you'll want to write "fast and long."
5.  Write.
6.  Finish I'm in Charge of Celebrations.


Class 7:
Personal Narrative Writing/Rough Drafts
1.  Read My Pig Amarillo to the class.
2.  Pass out the "Writing Process" checklist and explain.
3.  Students will choose a seed idea from their notebook, and work to make it longer and more detailed.
4.  Write.

Class 8:
Personal Narrative Writing

1.  Read The Paperboy.
2.  Discuss timelines and how it can help you write a personal narrative.
3.  Work on your rough drafts, making a timeline to help you.
4.  Students write and I confer.



Class 9:
Personal Narrative Writing
1.  Read Stephanie's Ponytail.
2.  Discuss paragraphing.
3.  Students work on rough drafts and writing process lists.
4.  Discuss what you do when you finish one rough draft.  You then go back to your notebook and work some more on gathering entries.


Class 10: Personal Narrative Writing/Haiku
1.  Read A Letter to Amy.
2.  I will show students how to insert an extra page or section to add to the "heart of the story."
4.  Students write, using editing checklists.


Class 11 Personal Narrative Writing
1.  Read The Tenth Good Thing About Barney.
2.  Discuss how strong feelings can help you with your narratives.  Read an example: "Hamster for a Day".
2.  Students will work on their rough drafts.






Teen Class Outline (Monday Class)

Class 1:
Free Form Poetry/Journaling
1. Students write a journal piece. (I will introduce this.)
2. Read aloud a selection of poetry. (You Can't Write a Poem About McDonald's)
3. Create a personal topic list.
4. Discuss free form poetry and what a "good title" can do.
5. Students write and I confer with them.


Class 2:
Free form Poetry/Journaling
1.  Students write a journal piece. 
2.  Read aloud a selection of poetry. (Defining the Magic)
3.  Present a lesson on writing about a specific thing rather than writing in generalities.  (This is called "The Rule of Writing about a Pebble.")
4.  Part two of the lesson is about "the power of I."  In poetry it can be more powerful to write "I listen to the wind rustle the trees" rather than "the wind rustles the trees."  
5. Students write and I confer with them.


Class 3:

Free form Poetry/Journaling
1.  Students write a journal piece.
2.  Read aloud a selection of poetry. (Famous)
3. Discuss what it means to write a good lead.
5.  What does it mean to see with "Poets' Eyes"?  We will look at common objects and discuss how to see these things in a different way.
6.  Students write and I confer.


Class 4:
Free Form Poetry/Journaling
1.  Students write a journal piece.

2.  Read aloud a selection of poetry. (Fat Man and New Eyes)
3.  Discuss breaking lines, stanzas, and conclusions in poetry.
4.  Students write and I confer.



Class 5:
Free Form Poetry/Journaling
1.  Students journal.
2.  Read aloud a selection of poetry. (The Bowl)
3.  Part one of today's lesson is about effective repetition in poetry.
4.  Part two of the lesson is to introduce Billy Collins and his poetry.
5.  Discuss how making a list of "twenty actions" is a good way to think of topics for poetry.  Billy Collins does this in his poetry.
5.  Students write and I confer.



Class 6:
Free Form Poetry/Journaling
1.  Students journal.
2.  Read aloud a selection of poetry. (First Love and Dharma)
3.  Introduce figurative language.
4.  Write a poem using figurative language if you can
5.  Talk about choosing a favorite poem and then revising it.
6.  Read I'm in Charge of Celebrations.


Class 7
Free Form Poetry/Journaling
1.  Students journal.
2.  Read aloud the "Evening poems."
3.  Teach about "polishing your poems."
4.  Students will choose a poem from their notebooks and work on polishing it by next week.

Class 8

Free Form Poetry/Final Copies/Journaling
1.  Students journal.
2.  Read aloud
3.  Share completed poems.
4.  Introduce "Memoir" to the students.  Brainstorm.

Class 9
Memoir/Journaling
1.  Students journal.
2.  Read aloud "The Drum" and "On the Road."
3.  Read aloud the memoir:  "My Grandmother's Hair" and "Papa Wakes up Tired in the Dark".
4.  Discuss what a planning sheet is.


Class 10
Memoir/Journaling
1.  Students journal.
2. Read aloud "Dreams" and "Harlem (2)".
3. Discuss narrative leads.  Give them the handout.
4.  Read aloud "Mama Sewing" by Eloise Greenfield.  (Pg. 118 of Memoir:  The Art of Writing Well)
5.  Listen to a memoir I have recorded from a radio program.


Class 11
Memoir/Journaling
1.  Students journal.
2. Read aloud some poetry.  ("Flowerless")
3.  Talk about "Thoughts and Feelings" in your memoirs.
4.  Write memoir.