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.

Class 5 (9/28 and 10/2)
Personal Narrative Writing
1.  Read Earthquake to the class.  Read the poem "Starry Night Tritina" to the class.
2.  Discuss using feelings/thoughts in your narrative.  Discuss how to make your stories longer.  What strategies can you use?
3.  Share a student story about Joey being scared of jumping in water.
4.  Students write and I confer.

Class 6 (10/5 and 10/9)
Personal Narrative Writing 
1. Read Digging to China 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. With the Thursday class discuss writing a story that has some conflict or tension in it.
3.  Share a story: "Hamster For a Day."
5.  Students write.

Class 7 (10/12 and 10/16)
Personal Narrative
1.  Read the poem "Sonnet 18" to the class. Read "Papa Who Wakes up Tired in the Dark" to the class.  This is from The House on Mango Street. Read a student story called "Practicing for My First Communion."
2.  Talk about the story dice.  Let them try them out.
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 (10/19 and 10/23)
Personal Narrative/Fiction
1.  Read some haiku poems.
2.  Students will share their personal narratives.
3.  I will read the fiction story "Slower than the Rest."
4.  Students will figure out a main character and a problem, and they can begin writing their stories at home.


Class 9 (10/26 and 10/30)
Fiction
1.  Read the story The Other Side. (Monday class read Freedom Summer.)
2. Read a poem.  ("Arizona Sunset")
3.  Discuss characters and the t-chart when beginning to write a fiction story.
4.  Read half of the story "Mirror Magic" to the class. (Monday class had time to read the whole thing.)

Class 10 (11/2 and 11/6)
Fiction
1. Read the rest of "Mirror Magic" to the Thursday class. Read a student fiction story by Rena about getting two invitations for the same party. Read Freedom Summer to the Thursday class.  Read "Birthday Box" to the Monday class.
2. Read the student poem "Ode to the Apple."
4.  Students will work story mountains. I will show them how to do this.
5.  Then students will work on their stories.

Class 11 (11/9 and 11/13)
Fiction
1. Read a poem.  ("Ode to a Star")
2. Read "Birthday Box" to the Thursday class. Read a piece by Rena about getting two party invitations.
3. We will discuss setting today.  Give an example.
4.  Students will write.

Class 12 (11/16)
Fiction
1.  Read a poem.  ("Mom,")
2.  Read "The Marble Champ."
3.  Share a lead of student fiction story about a girl not having friends.
4.  Students will write.




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.

Class 5 (9/28)
Personal Narrative

1. Read aloud some poetry.  ("Revelations in the Key of K)
2. Share a published student narrative called "The Broken Vase."
3.  Share a story about a boy who was supposed to be watching his brother at Six Flags.
4.  Discuss colons.  Discuss good qualities of narrative writing.
5. Students write.

Class 6 (10/5)
Personal Narrative
1. Read aloud some poetry.  ("Trouble with Math in a One-Room Country School")
2.  Read the first scene from The Glass Castle.
3. Read a personal narrative called "Best Friends."
4.  Students will write.
5.  Discuss how to make your writing longer.  Brainstorm ways to do that.


Class 7 (10/12)
Personal Narrative

1.  Read aloud some poetry. ("Boy's Life")
2.  Read a piece called "Your Name in Gold."  Also, read a student piece: "G-o-o-o-o-l-l!!"
3.  Give students the editing checklist.
4.  They will work on the editing checklist today.
5.  Final Personal Narratives due next week.

Class 8 (10/19)
Personal Narrative/Fiction

1. Read some haiku poems.
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 "Your Move" by Eve Bunting to the class.
5.  Students will figure out a main character and a problem, and start working on the beginning of the story for homework.

Class 9 (10/26)
Fiction
1.  Read a poem.  ("The Tyranny of Nice or Suburban Girl")
2.  Read a fiction story. ("Lost")
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 (11/2)
Fiction
1.  Read a poem.  ("Eye of the Beholder")
2.  Read the first page of  "Breaking the Surface." Read Mr. Lincoln's Way.
4.  Read the next bullet points of the "Short Story Structure" handout.
5.  Review dialogue.
6.  Students will write.

Class 11 (11/9)
Fiction
1.  Read a poem. ("Bones in an African Cave")
2. Read the rest of a student fiction story called "Breaking the Surface." Read Those Shoes to the Thursday class.
3.  Discuss setting.  Point out how to do this throughout the story.
4. Students will work on stories.

Class 12 (11/16)
Fiction
1.  Read a poem. ("Why I'm in Favor of a Nuclear Freeze")
2.  Read "Drying Out" to the students.
3.  Review the sheet about ways to develop your character.
4.  Students will continue working on their fiction stories.

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.