Presentation on theme: "I do. We do. You do. Modeling Writing for/with Students Pam Oberembt June, 2011."— Presentation transcript:
I do. We do. You do. Modeling Writing for/with Students Pam Oberembt June, 2011
What It Takes To Be a Writer Deborah Wiles, author, traffic avoider, jazz writer, and zinnia grower, says, “All good writing is from what you know, what you feel, and what you can imagine!!” Turn to your neighbor. What do you think this means?
How do we grow good writers? Nearly every workshop I attended at the National Council of Teachers of English Convention said that we grow good writers by modeling the way, not correcting the errors.
Our goal for today then is… To understand better the importance of modeling To have a turn at writing from a model mentor text
Jeff Anderson, Kelly Gallagher, Penny Kittle Author of Mechanically Inclined: Grammar, Usage, and Style in Writer‘s Workshop (Anderson, 2005), says, “…stray. Stray from the conventional. Stray from teaching students that hunting for errors (Weaver, 1995) is the end-all and be-all of writing.” If we don’t teach students to recognize errors in writing, what do we do? How do we stray? Kelly Gallagher would say, “Kids need a vision for how to create a piece of writing.” Modeling. Modeling is the answer to what we should do. The three authors say, “I do. We do. You do.” That is the model that will grow better writers. I show you. We practice together. You write on your own.
Mentor Texts Anderson, Gallagher, and Kittle think that students should “encounter brilliant text; what we read shapes us, our world, our writing; imitation is power.” These brilliant texts are mentor texts. Mentor texts and our modeling the way becomes the vision for strong writing among our students. Modeling encourages practicing writing techniques; correcting errors encourages fear of correction.
Through modeling… Students build a repertoire of good writing examples (‘what you know’). They read good writing and explore tone and mood, so they begin to see “…what they feel.” And, by practicing the models of good writers, they play with “what they can imagine.” I believe this works with writing of all types – from expository writing to persuasion to poetry to stories.
Let’s Practice We will begin with a piece by Leonard Pitts. As you read the piece, I want you to underline or highlight examples of good writing, especially repetition or parallelism, strong word choice, and comparisons. When we are finished reading, you will discuss among yourselves examples you found. We’ll then open discuss as a large group.
The model… Leonard Pitts’ pieces are full of parallelism and repetition. He also uses comparisons and statistics very well. I would definitely use his pieces to practice any of those skills as well as word choice and strong verbs. Likewise, he has strong one-line openers and closures. We are going to practice modeling just the beginning of Pitts’ piece. One expert calls these sneezes, small bits of daily writing. My example. Our model. Your writing.
Modeling poetry I often use poetry to accompany other pieces of nonfiction or literature. I think modeling of poetry is a strong way to discover creatively what students “know, what they feel, and what they can imagine” about any given topic. For some, it’s threatening until they see models. Then, it becomes more friendly. I’m going to have you model a poem I used this year at Joe Foss. I used it as part of a unit on writing/finding your voice. It could accompany just about anything…or at least the idea could.
Did We Reach Our Goal? Turn to your neighbor. Are you leaving with a better understanding of the importance of modeling and do you have a better idea how that could happen in your classroom? On the back of your planning sheet for the poem, write one thing you will do to better model for your students next school year.