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powerpluswatermarkobject357831064Personal Essay: Grade 5

Writing Unit 2


Session 1

Concept

Writers generate ideas for writing personal essays.

Teaching Point

Writers analyze the content and structure of personal essays.




References

Materials

  • Anchor charts:

  • Examining the Structure of Essays

  • Comparing Narratives and Essays

  • Enlarged copies of the following class-sized essays:


  • The Cool Club,” from Chicken Soup for the Kid’s Soul 2

  • The Power of the Pen” from Chicken Soup for the Preteen Soul

  • Copies of the following essays for each group:

  • My Guardian Angel“ from Chicken Soup for the Kid’s Soul

  • Just Do It!” from Chicken Soup for the Preteen Soul

  • Two-column charts for each group




Notes

  • Spend more than one day for a session if necessary.

  • Create permanent classroom anchor charts by adding new strategies as you go. If you choose to use a document camera to share the anchor charts from this unit, also create classroom anchor charts so students can refer to them later.

  • Use the Conferring Checklist located at the end of this unit.

  • In this session, students will be reading and discussing personal essays in small groups to immerse them in this genre. Plan ahead for group assignments.

Connection

  • Explain that students will begin a new writing unit of study today. They will start by looking at the structure and content of personal essays. In personal essays, the author advances a theme of personal significance.

Demonstration/

Teaching

  • Explain that essays are always organized around a topic or an important idea. Authors present their opinion, or perspective, related to an important idea, and then they argue their position in their essays.


  • Explain that today students will study the important ideas and evidence, or support, for those ideas in essays. They will learn more about forming an opinion, or taking a perspective, in a few days.

  • Share the personal essay, “The Cool Club,” and examine the introduction to identify the important idea. Explain how the body of the essay includes evidence for this important idea.

  • Record the important idea and the evidence on a class-sized Examining the Structure of Essays chart.

Active Engagement

  • Have students help you do this same work that you just demonstrated using the essay, “The Power of the Pen.”

  • Summarize the process for the students.

Link

Writers, you will be working in groups today to explore two other personal essays. You will be reading them to determine the important ideas and the evidence that supports the important ideas. You will be recording this information on a two-column chart for each group.

Writing and

Conferring

  • Conduct small group conferences. Listen to and help students identify the important ideas and understand how the evidence relates to each important idea.

Mid-Workshop Teaching Point


  • Have two or three groups of students share the important ideas and evidence from their personal essays and add them to the class chart. Summarize the thinking the students used.

Share


  • Convene students in the meeting area.

  • Bring closure to today’s workshop by using the Comparing Narratives and Essays chart to do a side-by side comparison of a narrative and an essay.

  • Review each characteristic of narratives using a familiar narrative text as an example. Review each characteristic of essays using an essay as an example.

  • Students should be able to identify texts that are read aloud as narrative or essay and explain why.

  • Explain that although there are differences between these two kinds of writing, there are also similarities. Both kinds of writing are made from ideas and stories. In narrative writing, the story comes forward, and in essay writing, the idea comes forward. A writer could write a narrative or an essay about any given experience.




Examining the Structure of Essays


Titles/Important ideas

Evidence

The Cool Club”

Real friends accept and support you the way you are.

Alison wanted to hang out with the popular kids, until she realized they were not the kind of friends she wanted to have.


The Power of the Pen”

Persistence and patience pay off.

Arlys fought to have a statue honoring Susan B. Anthony moved to a place of honor.

My Guardian Angel”

Don’t take life for granted.

Travis fell into a pool when he was only two years old, but his mom saved his life just in time.

Just Do It!”

If you know something is right, don’t avoid it.

Son knew he needed glasses, but he didn’t tell anyone because he was afraid that glasses would make him look dorky.




Examining the Structure of Essays


Titles/Important ideas

Evidence
























Comparing Narratives and Essays

Narrative


Essay

  • Organized in sequence.

  • Organized around an important idea.

  • Begins with character, setting, and problem.

  • Begins with an important idea and an opinion, or perspective.

  • Characters are developed across the whole text.

  • Important idea is developed across the whole text.

  • Ends with a resolution to the problem.

  • Ends by returning to the important idea.

  • Written so the reader can participate in the experience.

  • Written so the reader can think about the important idea.



Session 2

Concept

Writers generate ideas for writing personal essays.

Teaching Point

Writers brainstorm essay ideas from the important ideas in personal essays.




References

Materials

  • Lucy Calkins Units of Study for Teaching Writing, Grades 3-5, Book 3: Breathing Life Into Essays, Lucy Calkins


  • Writer’s notebooks

  • Anchor charts:

  • Examining the Structure of Essays

  • Comparing Narratives and Essays

  • Possible Essay Ideas




Note

  • Post on the daily schedule or verbally ask students to bring their writer’s notebook and a pencil to the meeting area.

Connection

  • Explain that students will be thinking about the important ideas from the essays they read yesterday to help them come up with their own essay ideas.

Demonstration/

Teaching

  • Review the Examining the Structure of Essays chart from yesterday’s session.

  • Explain that you and the students are going to start thinking about possible essay ideas and jotting them down today and for the next couple of days.

  • Demonstrate how to focus in on one important idea from the chart, think about what this idea means to you, and recall when an experience related to this idea occurred in your own life. Also suggest that students consider observations, facts, events, and quotations as evidence that can support the important ideas in essays.
  • Begin a T-chart on the board with the title Possible Essay Ideas and the headings Important ideas and Evidence from My Life or the World. Write the important idea in the box and a few words that tell about the experience, observation, fact, event, or quotation next to the first bullet on the chart. Then see if you can think of two more experiences, observations, facts, events, or quotations related to the same important idea and record them next to the second bullet on the chart.


Active Engagement

  • Have students create a T-chart with the same title and headings on a clean page in their writer’s notebooks.

  • Give students time to think of three experiences, observations, facts, events, and quotations related to the same important idea and then share their ideas with a partner.

  • Have a few students share their ideas with the class. Explain that students should listen carefully to the ideas of other students because they often spark memories of other experiences, observations, facts, events, and quotations that can be used as evidence to support the important idea.

  • Have students jot down the important idea and the evidence on their T-charts.

  • Have students continue to do this same work using one more important idea from the chart.

Link

Writers, today you will continue this work independently. You will look at two other important ideas listed on the Examining the Structure of Essays chart, think about experiences, observations, facts, events, and quotations that can be used as evidence, and jot down these ideas in your writer’s notebooks. Talk about your ideas with a partner today. Your ideas might spark memories for others, and their ideas might spark memories for you.

Writing and

Conferring
  • Conduct individual conferences to support students’ efforts at thinking of their own ideas related to the important ideas.


Share


  • Convene students in the meeting area.

  • Bring closure to today’s workshop by having several students share essay ideas from their notebooks. Summarize the thinking the students used.

  • Have students recall and share one thing that they learned.




Possible Essay Ideas


Important ideas

Evidence from My Life or the World

(Personal Experiences,

Observations, Facts, Events)

  • Real friends accept and support you the way you are.

  • My sister’s friend has a disability, but they have always been best friends.

  • A good friend of mine is always there for me, even when I make mistakes.

  • My mom’s friend cooked every day for us while my mom was in the hospital.

  • Persistence and patience pay off.







  • Don’t take life for granted.







  • If you know something is right, don’t avoid it.







Session 3

Concept

Writers generate ideas for writing personal essays.

Teaching Point

Writers brainstorm essay ideas from the important ideas in narrative texts.




References

Materials

  • Lucy Calkins Units of Study for Teaching Writing, Grades 3-5, Book 3: Breathing Life Into Essays, Lucy Calkins

  • Writer’s notebooks

  • Anchor charts:

  • Comparing Narratives and Essays

  • Possible Essay Ideas

  • Smoky Night, Eve Bunting (don’t judge others unfairly)

  • Mr. Peabody’s Apples, Madonna Ritchie (don’t spread rumors)

  • Brave Irene, William Steig (be persistent in the face of obstacles)

  • Charlotte’s Web, E.B. White (good friends stick together)




Note

  • Post on the daily schedule or verbally ask students to bring their writer’s notebook and a pencil to the meeting area.

Connection


  • Remind students that they have been studying personal essays to determine the important ideas and to generate their own possible essay ideas. Another source for collecting entries that can become essay ideas is narrative text.

Demonstration/

Teaching

  • Explain that narratives often have important ideas, too, and that essay writers sometimes focus on an important idea from a story to help them think of possible essay ideas.

  • Demonstrate how to focus in on an important idea from one story, think about what this idea means to you, and recall three experiences, observations, facts, events, and quotations that can be used as evidence to support this important idea.

  • Record the important idea and evidence on your Possible Essay Ideas T-chart.

Active Engagement

  • Explain to students that this important idea might remind them of experiences, observations, facts, events, and quotations, too. Give students time to think about what this idea means to them and share their ideas with a partner.

  • Have two or three students share their ideas with the class. Remind students to listen carefully because these ideas might spark other memories.

  • Have students open their writer’s notebooks and add the important idea and the related experiences, observations, facts, events, and quotations to their T-charts.

  • Have students continue to do this same work using one other narrative. Write the important idea from a familiar narrative on the Possible Essay Ideas chart and have students jot down this evidence in their writer’s notebooks.

Link


Writers, today you will continue this work independently. You will look at two other stories, think about the important ideas, and recall related experiences, observations, facts, events, and quotations of your own. Then you will jot down these important ideas and evidence in your writer’s notebooks. Talk about your ideas with a partner today. Your ideas might spark memories for others, and their ideas might spark memories for you.

Writing and

Conferring

  • Conduct individual conferences to support students’ efforts at thinking of their own examples related to the important ideas in stories.

Mid-Workshop Teaching Point

Writers, as you read other narrative texts, consider the important ideas in those stories, too. You may want to add these important ideas to your Possible Essay Ideas chart and see if you can think of related evidence to support the ideas.

Share


  • Convene students in the meeting area.

  • Bring closure to today’s workshop by having several students share essay ideas from their notebooks. Summarize the thinking the students used.

  • Have students recall and share one thing that they learned.



Session 4

Concept

Writers generate ideas for writing personal essays.

Teaching Point


Writers brainstorm essay ideas from the important ideas in their writer’s notebooks.




References

Materials

  • Lucy Calkins Units of Study for Teaching Writing, Grades 3-5, Book 3: Breathing Life Into Essays, Lucy Calkins

  • Writer’s notebooks

  • Anchor charts:

  • Comparing Narratives and Essays

  • Possible Essay Ideas




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