At this point, working tandem with my ESOL teacher, we've given the kids the following mini-lessons to go along with their writing:
1. Who are you writing for? A very limited exercise in Author's purpose, we identified that when we write a story it's usually for someone else to read. So we talked about what we wanted the reader to get out of it. We DID NOT touch on persuasion, my kids aren't ready for that yet. We did say that if we wanted our reader to learn something new, we would be writing for giving information. If we were writing for our reader to enjoy a story (entertainment) then we wanted the reader to get wrapped up into the emotion of the story.
2. What do you want the reader to feel? We talked about how to write a story from the perspective of a BIG EMOTION. We were hoping to get the kids to zero in on a target emotion so that they could write better smaller moment stories. I'd been getting recounting stories of "I woke up, I pooped, I ate chicken, then I drove to the store. I bought chips. I went home. I watched TV. I went to bed. The End." So we made up a quick graphic organizer to keep in their writing folders where they answered what, when where and why questions before writing. What- the emotion. When - age, time of day, year of school, etc. Where- location of moment of big emotion. Why- three bulleted items of what happened to make them feel that big emotion.
The little page I drew up has space for ten different emotions, and they fill in a box or two before going back to the card story they are currently working on. Most of the kids have about two stories in their folders now.
Next up for the mini-lessons is to make a much more specific graphic organizer for a story where we really explore what we want the reader to get out of the story and what connections we want them to make, so that we can stay in the moment better. My co-teacher Mr. Morales is also starting to prep them for putting a problem into their story. we'll be getting to that too.
Enjoy the video!
I know many of you said you were going to give it a try in your rooms. How is it going?