Thursday, February 26, 2015

Writing About Reading: Digging Deeper

I LOVE this writing unit so students are just having a great time working off our writing menu!  I am so proud of how well they are taking my minilessons and applying them to what we are doing.  I wrote a blog post last year about this unit and you can read about it by CLICKING HERE.

I thought I'd share a few snapshots of my students in action THIS year!  We have two items off our menu that are required...where we compare and contrast two characters (we worked on creating venn diagrams and then crafted two paragraphs where we worked on clear topic sentences, details, transition words and phrases, and a conclusion.  Our second required task is where we pick one key "turning point' event and write about it from two key characters' points of view.  Today we worked back in our book clubs (we are all writing about our book club books) to do some brainstorming!  Groups worked to generate a list of 4-6 key events and the characters they felt could "tell" the story.  Tomorrow we begin drafting our stories!  We used our books and our reader's notebooks to go back and track our thinking--and eventually had everyone pick THE event they felt most compelled to write about.  Tomorrow we begin drafting!

What else are we doing?  During our reader's and writer's workshop, students are selecting from reading and working off the writing menu.  The hum of activity in the classroom is so much fun!

Here is a student mapping out a cartoon he is drawing to show a key event in his book.

This student is finishing publishing her compare/contrast project.
One of my students' favorites is writing a series of diary entries from a secondary character's point of view.
This menu type writing is such a nice break from big huge drawn out projects!  I usually have this unit last about a week and a half.  A few years ago I wrote it up...and it became a best seller of mine!  Here it is if you are interested in taking a peek.

And did you hear?  Teachers Pay Teachers extended their sale one more day!  This is particularly good for me because I forgot to buy some human body clip art I needed!  If you want to check out this resource or others in my store while things are on sale...just click the image below.  Have a great day!


  1. This looks great! I love everything you do for math and I just added this to my cart! We are working on literary essays right now in reading based on our class read aloud (Maniac Magee) and book club books from our Civil Rights study. Looking forward to checking out more of your spin on things!