Basic Writing Class Ideas

Discussion in 'High School' started by Iowa_Teacher, Jul 14, 2009.

  1. Iowa_Teacher

    Iowa_Teacher Rookie

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    Jul 14, 2009

    I am teaching a new class this semester that is for 9th and 10th graders who need extra help with their writing. Does anyone have some ideas on what I should cover? We had to pack up our rooms this summer and EVERYTHING from my classroom is locked away somewhere and I'm drawing blanks when I brainstorm of activities or even what to cover for a whole semester...the hardest part is the 10th graders will be in my English II which is also a writing class (no, I did NOT make this class up--it was created and assigned to me) so I can't overlap ANY activities between classes :help:
     
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  3. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    Jul 14, 2009

    One of the best books written on teaching writing is the aptly-titled Teaching Adolescent Writers by Kelly Gallagher. If you have the luxury of having a class that exclusively centers on writing, I'd strongly recommend Kelly's book.

    Don and Jenny Killgallon's books on sentence composing are great, too - I have the high school level book, but you can get a middle school book if you need to step back a bit.
     
  4. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Jul 14, 2009

    Mechanically Inclined is another nice resource.
     
  5. rachaelski

    rachaelski Habitué

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    Jul 14, 2009

    :yeahthat:

    In Mechanically Inclined, there is a method that really gets kids writing. Write a single word on the board. Tell the kids they need to write for 5 or 7 or 10 minutes straight. Do this as a bell ringer activity. Then, teach a mini-lesson on editing, or sentence structure, or quotations, or whatever. Have the students use their own writing to work on the skill.

    I would also include the 5 steps of the writing process. I believe strongly in teaching by actually having the kids write. With my 7th and 8th graders we will go through the writing process once a week (and the topics will be taken from the free write mentioned above). Kids will select a portion of that freewrite to clean up and go through the writing process.
     
  6. Iowa_Teacher

    Iowa_Teacher Rookie

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    Jul 14, 2009

    Did I mention that I'm not allowed to order a book (no funding for the new class they threw at me) and I personally have no money to buy method books :(
     
  7. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    Jul 14, 2009

    Do you have a professional library at your district office? Perhaps a local university would have copies? You could get a lot out of all of those books just by reading them through. If you were closer, I'd lend you my copies!
     
  8. Iowa_Teacher

    Iowa_Teacher Rookie

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    District library...:) I work at a VERY small school (less than 300 in the HS) and we don't have a district library...it would be nice though :) Thanks
     
  9. Mrs. R.

    Mrs. R. Connoisseur

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    Jul 15, 2009

    Utilize the interlibrary loan program through your local public library. Usually libraries can get almost any book you need through this system.
     
  10. Mrs. R.

    Mrs. R. Connoisseur

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    Jul 15, 2009

    Also, you don't really need a textbook for teaching a writing class. Rather, the kids can create a handbook using composition notebooks-similar to the interactive notebooks that have been discussed elsewhere on the boards.
    Other great resources for planning writing courses are Study Driven by Katie Wood Ray and Write Beside Them by Penny Kittle (a high school teacher who teaches a strictly-writing course). Both are awesome and readily available.
     

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