Monday, March 30, 2020

Distance Learning Lesson Plan #1 - Annoying Personality Traits

With the corona virus outbreak closing schools throughout the world - including the ones where I live (just outside Atlantic City, New Jersey) - teaching has become a full-time or part-time job for both parents and teachers.

And while it's true that our children may not learn as much at home as they'd have learned at school, it would be great  if they made some lasting home/school memories and academic strides while in quarantine like the ones suggested here:

1) Hold discussion-worthy conversations with family members at home or with friends virtually. 

2) Commit to a specific block of time every day for reading, analyzing, and savoring self-selected books or teacher-recommended texts. 

3) Create stories and essays they will look forward to writing and sharing.

With these goals in mind, this is the first in a series of week-long ELA lessons.

The essay-writing lesson plan above, Annoying Personality Traits, starts out by having students involve family members and friends in an interactive story-swapping session and ends up with students creating a rough draft of an essay (with an optional exercise that will help young writers revise their own pieces).

Copy this interactive prewriting sheet, and have students follow the directions at the beginning of this post.

Click on the pre-writing sheet to copy and print. *SOURCE: Essay Writing Made Easy

Extension #1: 

Have students list the first word of each sentence in the three paragraphs they drafted this week (e.g. Paragraph About Trait #1: There - I - Whenever -  I - Sometimes - I - Complainers - They). Instruct them to find one sentence which started with the same word as another sentence in the paragraph and reword it.

SOURCE: Revising and Editing Strategies That Change Writers

 Extension #2: 

Have students add an opening paragraph and a closing paragraph to complete the draft of the essay.

We know that fighting this pandemic is a top priority right now,but keeping middle school students engaged with assignments that help them grow as readers and writers while they are home is also a worthy goal. The last thing we want to do is to give kids assignments just to keep them busy. They will know the difference. 

Read Distance Learning Lesson 2 on Scary Story Narrative Writing here.

Until next safe...stay committed...and inspire children with who you are.

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