The purpose of this lesson was to encourage students to write narratives that will captivate the reader's interest. To do this I wanted them to analyse samples of writings using a rubric. The process allowed them to have a look at how teachers would be marking samples. It also gave them an insight into what they usually miss doing when writing as they were not aware of the progressions in the rubric. Now when having looked at the rubric, most of them have set a higher goal for themselves and are trying to achieve it.
The lesson is done in 2 sessions. Session 1 is on how good planning leads to good writing. The focus is mainly on collaborating ideas to give more depth to writing. The second session is on using a rubric to analyse writing.
Click here to view this lesson.
Through this lesson I have tried to extend students’ writing by encouraging them to write captivating stories for their audience. Till now most students in my class have been writing narratives without much detail. One of the reasons why I do not see the trend changing is because I need to focus more on vocabulary that children need for their writing. An attempt has been made to collaborate so that students get more ideas of each other to write a detailed narrative. I have also tried to extend them by using dialogue in their narratives.
At the end of the lesson, some students used the dialogue and some forgot, so I reminded them to use the dialogue they had written in their plans.
My students still need a lot of practice to fluently use appropriate dialogue in the correct place, in their writings. At present, they are randomly inserting dialogue anywhere they please. So I will read them books during Teacher read time. The purpose will be to draw their attention to how the author uses dialogue to enhance meaning. I would do this through a strategy known as 'think aloud'.
The second part of the lesson mainly captures their understanding of how to use the rubric and be able to analyse and give feedback to their buddies and themselves. To begin with, students have used three elements of the rubric. These are:
- Captivating audience’s interest
- Character and setting.
I was pretty pleased with the group of students who had their first attempt at analysing a piece of writing written by one of their classmates. I did not disclose the name of the student whose writing I had used for the purpose of moderation.
It was interesting to see how they collaborated and discussed with each other when moderating the sample. They all decided on a mark and gave reasons on why they think that mark should be given. This was a moment when I felt very successful as a teacher. I was proud of them. This exercise has also given me an indication that some of my students are ready for further extension.