- MSDE Admin, Audrey Ruoff, Kathleen Maher-Baker
- English Language Arts
- Material Type:
- Lesson Plan
- High School
- Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 United States
- Media Formats:
- Downloadable docs, Text/HTML
NPR "A Daughter's Struggle with Learning to Read"
NPR "Turning the Page on Illiteracy, Adults go back to Class"
Excerpt from "Superman and Me" by Sherman Alexie
Debriefing Questions for "Superman and Me"
Guided Debriefing Questions for "Superman and Me"
Accessible Debriefing Questions for "Superman and Me"
Group Presentation Rubric for adaptation
Analyzing Literacy Narrative Prompt
CCSS Aligned Rubric for Analyzing Narratives
Literacy Narrative Analysis Alternate Rubric (Rubric A)
Accessible Literacy Narrative Analysis Alternate Rubric (Rubric A)
Style Analysis Notes
Accessible CCSS Aligned Rubric for Analyzing Narratives
NPR "A Daughter's Struggle With Learning to Read"
NPR: "Turning the Page on Illiteracy, Adults go Back to Class"
NYT Writers on Writing
Style Analysis Notes
"The Joy of Reading and Writing: Superman and Me"
"Write Till You Drop" by Annie Dillard
Grade 11: Writers on Writing (Remix) Days 3 to 5
The Writers on Writing Unit engages students in reading, analyzing, and creating literacy narratives, or stories about learning to read and write. The unit begins by asking students to view and read literacy narratives, and to analyze author’s literacy narratives through annotation, discussion, and writing a formal analysis essay. As students go through the narratives, they are asked to analyze author technique and purpose, paying close attention to style, syntax, and organization in preparation for writing their own authentic literacy narratives and ultimately creating digital storytelling projects about those narratives. By the end of this unit, students will have composed analysis writing, creative nonfiction, and multimedia stories. They will have had the ability to select certain reading assignments, to work in groups and with partners to brainstorm, edit, and revise, and they will have had guided writing lessons on composing strong sentences.
Days 3 to 5 Overview:
These plans are for Days 3 to 5 of the Writers on Writing Unit. On day 3, students listen to podcasts about different perspectives on struggling to read. They then complete a pre-assessment, reading and analyzing a literacy narrative with guided style analysis notes. Students will then review the pre-assessment activity in preparation for reading their own selections of professional literacy narratives on day 2. The lesson will culminate with students writing an analysis of a professional literacy narrative.
Image source: "Idea" from Pxhere.com
Section 1: Listen to Podcasts about Learning to Read
Use this as an alternative to in-class listening and discussion when appropriate.
Listen to the two NPR podcasts on struggling to learn to read as a child:
and as an adult:
Discuss the attitudes toward reading in each story, and student attitudes toward reading. Answer the question:
How does a person’s attitude toward reading impact that person’s life?
Section 2: Sherman Alexie "Superman and Me" Preassessment
As a pre-assessment, students will do a close read of Alexie’s article and literacy narrative “The Joy of Reading and Writing: Superman and Me.” Before reading, ask students to predict his attitude toward literacy based on the title. During reading, students will identify and comment on the narrative pattern(s) Alexie employs, as well as the stylistic elements he uses in his writing. Ask students to annotate the text for stylistic elements, author technique, and purpose. Remind them to select a mentor sentence from this assignment and other readings to continue to monitor progress from Lesson Seed 2. Teachers may want to do a brief review of stylistic, literary, and rhetorical elements including anecdote, comparison, juxtaposition, reflection, repetition, metaphor, and analogy before students begin close reading. They can use the Style Analysis Notes as a guide during this discussion and subsequent discussions.
Accessibility: This text is not available online in screen reader accessible format. Use a selection from the NYT Writers on Writing series linked in this lesson to select an alternate text or use a selection available in district textbooks and resources.
This task uses the guided debriefing questions, but you can easily "remix" and modify this lesson to use the debriefing questions for more advanced students or the accessible debriefing questions for students who need screen readers.
Read and annotate the following text carefully. As you read, identify and comment on the narrative pattern(s) Alexie employs, as well as the stylistic elements he uses in his writing. Ask students to annotate the text for stylistic elements, author technique, and purpose. Select a mentor sentence from this assignment on which you can model a setence of your own later.
Use the Style Analysis Notes as a guide during this discussion and subsequent discussions.
After reading, answer the guided debriefing questions and prepare to discuss with the class.
Section 3: Select a Professional Literacy Narrative
This task allows students to choose a narrative from the New York Times series Writers on Writing. Students should use these additional literacy narratives to continue to review author technique and purpose, pointing out elements of structure, content, and style that could be particularly useful when composing student narratives. Teachers can either select specific narratives to assign or allow students to select their own narratives.
Visit the New York Times series "Writers on Writing" and select an author of your choice. Read the literacy narrative by this author and review author technique and purpose, elements of structure, content, and style that could be particularly useful when composing your own narrative. Use the Style Analysis Notes as a guide when needed. Make sure to pick at least one mentor sentence to use as a model for your own writing.
Section 4: Culminating Activity: Analyze a Professional Literacy Narrative
As a culminating activity, students will independently close read and write an in-class analysis of Annie Dillard’s “Write Till You Drop” using Literacy Narrative Analysis. Teachers might consider a different text or an excerpt of this text depending on student reading levels and accommodations.
Closely read and annotate Annie Dillard’s essay “Write Till You Drop” and identify the narrative pattern(s) and literary techniques Dillard uses. Comment on her writing style, and on the effectiveness of the patterns and techniques she uses in conveying the significance of her experiences with reading and writing. Make your annotations directly on the text if you have a copy, or take careful notes with paragraph numbers and direct quotations if you do not.
Write an essay explaining how the patterns and techniques Dillard uses convey the significance of her experiences with reading and writing.