Teaching Narrative Essay Writing Middle School

She conceived of "Headline News." As students entered the classroom on Monday mornings, they wrote personal headlines about their weekends and posted them on the bulletin board.A headline might read "Fifth-Grader Stranded at Movie Theatre" or "Girl Takes on Responsibility as Mother's Helper." After the headlines had been posted, students had a chance to guess the stories behind them.

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"By confronting these gender-based problems directly," says Waff, "the effect was to improve the lives of individual students and the social well-being of the wider school community." WAFF, DIANE. "Romance in the Classroom: Inviting Discourse on Gender and Power." The Quarterly (17) 2.

Back to top Jan Matsuoka, a teacher-consultant with the Bay Area Writing Project (California), describes a revision conference she held with a third grade English language learner named Sandee, who had written about a recent trip to Los Angeles.

A new baby in a family, a lost tooth, and the death of one student's father were the playful or serious inspirations for student writing. "Two or Three Things I Know for Sure About Helping Students Write the Stories of Their Lives," The Quarterly (25) 4.

Says Rotkow: "Our classroom reverberated with the stories of our lives as we wrote, talked, and reflected about who we were, what we did, what we thought, and how we thought about it. Back to top When high school teacher Karen Murar and college instructor Elaine Ware, teacher-consultants with the Western Pennsylvania Writing Project, discovered students were scheduled to read the August Wilson play Fences at the same time, they set up email communication between students to allow some "teacherless talk" about the text.

The writers then told the stories behind their headlines.

As each student had only three minutes to talk, they needed to make decisions about what was important and to clarify details as they proceeded.

Her caption explains that she understands the hurt her "burning" sarcastic remarks can generate. Consider the three writers and construct a dialogue among the four 'voices' (the three essayists plus you)." Levine tells students to format the dialogue as though it were a script. Fish soundlessly weave their way through slippery seaweed Whales whisper to others as they slide through the salty water.

And silent waves wash into a dark cave where an octopus is sleeping.

Though teachers were not involved in student online dialogues, the conversations evidenced the same reading strategies promoted in teacher-led discussion, including predication, clarification, interpretation, and others. Back to top Diane Waff, co-director of the Philadelphia Writing Project, taught in an urban school where boys outnumbered girls four to one in her classroom.

The situation left girls feeling overwhelmed, according to Waff, and their "voices faded into the background, overpowered by more aggressive male voices." Determined not to ignore this unhealthy situation, Waff urged students to face the problem head-on, asking them to write about gender-based problems in their journals.

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