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SCOPE AND SEQUENCE (Week Five): Paired and Independent Writing


Now that school is underway, and you've taken time to introduce to students the functions of sentences in an academic paragraph, the time has come to gradually release the responsibility to them. For this week, you are going to have the students do paired writing and independent writing.

I want you to think of an assignment that could be divided into two body paragraphs. So develop two different prompts on one topic or article or literary work. Please make your decision on a student-friendly and easily accessible topic or text. Remember, they are just learning how to think about how to write academic essays. For the first prompt, divide the students into pairs and assign roles:

  1. Before class begins, create the pairs. Don't just say, "Talk to the person next to you." Make this an actual get up and move activity. You should have some understanding by the fifth week of who should not be together and who will benefit from being together. You're the expert. Do not haphazardly make pairing decisions. This preparation on your part will help to make the activity work.
  2. Start as a class. They are not in pairs, yet. Give the students the Prompt. Decode the prompt with them. Even color-code the prompt for CDs, CMs. 
  3. Then, give the students the Gathering CDs graphic organizer. Tell them to get out their red pens. As you read the article or brainstorm the topic, pause and let them write the CDs. Again, they are not yet in pairs. You are leading this whole group session. 
  4. When you finish the article or discussing a non text-based topic or issue, and they have listed CDs on their individual sheets, assign the pairs. 
  5. Their task: Reread the prompt and decide as a pair which CD or CDs is the best. 
  6. Different Types of Writing (Day 1)
  1. Response to Literature: Have them gather their CMs and determine TS, CM1, and CM2; they both complete their own sheets; have them move their information to the Tchart.
  2. Argumentation: Have them create a thesis "for" and a thesis "against;" have one student list the reasons "for" (at least three in blue); the other lists the reasons "against" (at least three in blue).
  3. Expository: Move their CDs to the Tchart; together, they determine a working TS; have one work on the CMs for the first CD; have the other student work on the CMs for the second CD. Then, they both create their revised TS, their CM, and their CS.
  4. Narrative: Paired writing for personal narrative doesn't work well for me, but it does for fictional narrative. If you are working with personal narrative, I would go straight to independent writing. With fictional narrative, however, have the students determine their Topic (p. 69) and their concrete example; then, create the character.
  • Different Types of Writing (Day 2)
  1. Response to Literature: WOW charts and WOTS chart. Have each one take one of the words and WOW it: one on the left side of the page; the other on the right side of the page. You must help them by making sure 1) the synonym in "Box 2" has the same tone as needed for the CD selected; 2) the clouds have phrases; and 3) the clouds are not simply definitions. (Rest up for this day; you won't be sitting.)
  2. Argumentation: They select one reason (on the pro side or the con side) and identify which CDs they are going to use; they go to the Tchart and complete the Tchart. If you are expecting counter argument and refutation, tell them to wait until the end to complete that section.
  3. Expository: Go to the shaping sheet. Tell them, "Do not copy; move and improve as a team the material, using other ideas." Give them your three editing rules. Remember mine?
  4. Fictional Narrative: setting, back story, conflict
  • Different Types of Writing (Day 3)
  1. Response to Literature: Shaping Sheet and Final Draft (See 7.3 above for Shaping Sheet.)
  2. Argumentation: Shaping Sheet and Final Draft (See 7.3 above for Shaping Sheet.)
  3. Expository: Shaping Sheet (cont'd) and Final Draft (See 7.3 above for Shaping Sheet.)
  4. Narrative: beginning, middle, end paragraphs and resolution -- Final Draft (They might need a 4th day.)
  • Day 4-5 (Independent Writing)
  1. Give them the second half of the prompt and have them perform all steps today and tomorrow.
  2. All steps are done in class: Test Grade

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