Monday, January 25, 2016

Terrific Theories

In class we have been working on building theories about our characters. Students have learned to really dig deeper below the surface to build ideas. We have spent lessons identifying characters traits and then asking...Why are they like this? What do I see by their actions and words? What patterns have I noticed about my character?

These questions have helped students build great theories. They have been pushing themselves to really ask WHY and think hard about the choices their characters make. This is a very hard concept for students as it involves them to think actively synthesize information they are reading. We also have discussed the importance of using text support and constantly think back to prior events as support for their theories.

This week we will push their minds a little farther and build predictions based on theories as well as predict how the story will unfold based on what we know about story structure.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Powerful Persuasion

       We have begun writing persuasive essays in class. Students have learned about the basic format of a persuasive essay. We spent  a few days brainstorming meaningful topics at home, school, and in the world. Students then used a graphic organizer to write their thesis/claim and develop at least 3 STRONG reasons. ("Because I said" so was not an option.)

Next, they were to think of supportive detail for each reason. These could be life examples, details, or experiences they have had or witnessed others going through.  We are also talking about addressing the counterargument that our audience would most likely reply with. Students  had to embed transions for each new paragraph as well as throughout their reason paragraphs. Not only this, but they wrote engaging introductions and will be working on their conclusion in the next few days.

Below is an online tutorial that allows students to practice writing a persuasive essay.

Write My Own Persuasive Essay