Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Writing Workshop Session 2 (Argument)

Growing Big Ideas From Details about Characters

Connection: Remind students of the previous session tell them that today they will be working similar work, but on a larger scale.

Open your notebooks to the page where you wrote your revised essay about the 'Three Little Pigs,' and look it over, ask yourself one very important question: What did I learn from doing that essay that I can use again, when writing a more intellectually ambitious essay?

We are not going to talk about them right now but carry them with you, because starting today, you are going to work on a much more ambitious character essay.  Your essay will take 4 or 5 days to write, and it will be a lot better than the essays you whipped out yesterday.  But the process of writing these essays will be largely the same, it helps to start by thinking about the big claim that you want to make bout the text--and in this case, about the character.

Show chart of:
How to Write a Literary Essay about Character

Today I want to teach you that to get big ideas about texts-and eventually grow those ideas into a literary essay-it pays to notice important details the author has included about the character, and then to reflect on the author's purpose for including a detail, and to jot down those thoughts.

"Good books don't give up their secrets all at once." -Steven King

This tells us that there is great reward in paying attention to the details in stories, that if you do, you will uncover the big ideas that make the story important.  

In this BEND you will be writing essays about characters, paying attention to the details of a character is an especially important thing to do because characters are people.  Just like you can't know everything about a person the 1st time you glance at them, you can't know everything about a character the 1st time you meet the character in the pages of a story.  

Refer to Raymond's Run *each student should have a copy

-This story remember is about a tough girl with a brother who has some special needs and her discovery that even though he has problems, he's  great runner, just like she is.  

To grow a claim about Squeaky, the protagonist in this story, you and I need to do some work that you will also end up doing with whatever story you choose to work with later today.  

We are going to reread a part of the story that shows what the protagonist is like, and we need to reread closely, with pen in hand.  After we will need to take some of what we notice and think hard about why the author might have put in this particular detail.

Go right to a part of the story that shows the character. The 1st part of 'Raymond's Run' that you think shows Squeaky.  

Read the start of the story-as we read , underline details about Squeaky that show what she is like as a person. Then stop and think...

 Why might the author have chosen this particular detail?

Refer to page 16 for underlined parts.

Did some of you underline the phrase

I much rather just knock you down' like I did?

Show that you are thinking about why the author might have included this.

Chart: Thought Prompts that Help an Essayist Think and Write (page 17)

Using the chart, continue to discuss Squeaky's character.

Refer to the chart "How to Write a Literary Essay about a Character" (Chart page 20)

We are going to have another story to study.

With a partner: Read and annotate like we did for Raymond's run - specifically focusing on one character.  Annotate and underline details about the character -Ask yourself: why the author chose to reveal those details and what does it say about the character?

Tonight, reread your new story and your annotations.  Like the conversations we had in class about Squeaky, have a conversation with an imaginary partner about your new story on paper.  Use phrases like: "Yeah, but what about this...?"  to have a conversation of different ideas. 
Begin writing about your thoughts and develop ideas about your story's character.

Come tomorrow with your new story annotated and at least two pages of written ideas.

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