Crafting the Essay. TEXT: Back to the Lake by Thomas Cooley

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1 Crafting the Essay Sample Syllabus TEXT: Back to the Lake by Thomas Cooley WRITING ASSIGNMENTS Daily journal entries 6-8 short writing pieces (approx words each) 4 Essays (approx. 750 words); at least one of which will be taken through the writing process ending with publication in our class anthology. Essay #1 - Descriptive Based on pre-writing activities, write a descriptive essay conveying your personal response to the subject about which you are writing. Your essay may focus on a person, place, activity, or memory. Use sensory detail to make your subject real for readers. Essay #2 - Narrative We tell stories every day, to our friends, parents, and teachers. We tell them orally or we type them and post them on social media. Write an essay that tells a story about a firsthand experience. Bring your reader into the moment with you to witness your experience. Essay #3 - Cause and Effect We analyze causes and effects every day in order to understand relationships between actions and consequences. In this essay, focus on a consequence you have caused, describing the chronology of the action and the predictability of the effect. Essay #4 - Argument When we argue, we are taking a position either for or against something. In order to win the argument, we must support our position with credible evidence. Your evidence could be cited from a reliable source or it could be based on personal experience or a credible example. In this essay, you will argue for something, an issue or an idea, that you can support based on your own experience, examples based on global knowledge and from interviews with credible sources. IMPORTANT TERMS close reading defamiliarization diction frame narrative functional fixedness in media res metaphor mood personification stream of consciousness style tone verisimilitude voice

2 Week 1 Monday Week 1 Establish classroom norms Review syllabus Introduce the genre of literary nonfiction Descriptive writing/essay assignment What are literary features and how do authors use them to create meaning? Lesson 1: Diction and Denotation vs. connotation Showing vs. Telling Generating ideas Pre-writing Close reading and annotation Tuesday Week 1 Reading Workshop /discussion groups Getting to know peers/building trust Adding details Mini-writing Wednesday Week 1 Literary Features, Lesson 2: Syntax r s Workshop Revision entry 1: What kind of writer are you? What kind of reader? What are your strengths and weaknesses? What do you hope to gain from this course? Share and discuss Introductions CTY Honor Code (sign and return); computer policies Review syllabus and answer any questions or concerns What does a writing look like? Together we will create a list of norms that will establish a safe and productive learning environment for our classroom. Read pp 3-9 in BttL and answer guiding questions share with partner. Ice breaker activity What is literary non-fiction? What is it NOT? Pre-assessment (1 hour) Entry #2: In Perfection in the Horseshoe Pit what specific type of diction does Branch use to create meaning? Give at least two examples and discuss the effect of each on your understanding of the essay. Share and discuss as a class class building activity Reading - discuss the elements of the two example essays. Speed dating with the sentences created yesterday afternoon - 5 dates Read pp and student example, pp in BttL. Discuss in pairs. Share with class Groups create a connotation graph line. Each group has a different base word and shares the results on posters. Taking a non-descriptive sentence, teacher generated, and asking the questions that will add details. Class activity Read pp 126,127 - generating ideas Create 5 descriptive paragraphs using the questions generated by your peers during speed dating Using the writing guidelines we generated previously, students will give feedback on descriptive paragraphs entry #3: Read the Read pp in BttL. following sentences. How does the Class discussion and use of descriptive language enhance review of elements in a your understanding of the sentence? descriptive essay Write a sentence describing me :) Use the checklist and the What is syntax? Practice with short advice from to and long sentences and the effect of identify places to revise each. and annotate rough draft - bring 5 copies in preparation for of your rough draft computer lab Create 5 sentences that are non-descriptive, based on your own experiences, etc. to be used Tuesday morning. Remember, NO description yet! Lessons: Being a critical reader and annotation practices Read John Branch, Perfection in the Horseshoe Pit pp and Zora Neale Hurston, How It Feels to Be Colored Me pp Answer guiding questions for discussion groups tomorrow. Choose one of the descriptive paragraphs work shopped earlier and write a rough draft of your descriptive essay - 5 copies for writer s Complete final draft of descriptive essay. Choice reading of essays in chapter 5

3 Week 1 Thursday Week 1 Narrative writing/essay assignment Literary features, Lesson 3: Symbolism Generating ideas for writing Begin writing and peer feedback Friday Week 1 Workshop Literary Features; Lesson 4: characterization Reading Workshop SUNDAY Evening entry #4 What is a story? How do you tell a story? What are the most important features of a story? If you had to choose just one thing to symbolize you - or one important aspect of you- what would it be? Brainstorm for a couple of minutes and then draw the symbol on the card provided. Discuss as a class. Read pp.62-to the top of 68 and student example, pp in BttL. Discuss in pairs. Share with class Read pp Introduction to Autobiography as Haiku Assignment (Three word pieces) begin brainstorming. Entry #5: In An American Childhood how does Dillard use diction and/or syntax to create meaning? Give at least two examples and discuss the effect of each on your understanding of the essay. Share and discuss as a class. class building activity mini-s with autobiography as haiku, choosing the piece that will be expanded for essay assignment Characterization lesson 6 word self-characterization (these will be displayed for the remainder of the session) Finish Autobiograp Dillard hy as Haiku assignment Share with a partner for brief feedback, focusing on guiding questions provided. Discuss model essays, focusing on guiding questions and literary features entry #6: Reflection on first week of class. Share. Read Annie, An American Childhood and Toni Morrison, Strangers Complete guiding questions for discussion tomorrow. Rough draft of narrative essay - 5 copies for Choice reading of essays in chapter 4

4 Week 2 Monday - Week 2 Literary features, lesson 5: Tone and Mood Conferences entry #7: If there is no struggle there is no progress. ~ Frederick Douglass. Reflect on your writing process. Do you have any struggles? If so, what are they and how do you think you can overcome them? Have you overcome any struggles? If so, how did you do it? Tone and Mood lesson r s Workshop final draft of narrative essay Read pp in BttL Conferences with instructor Tuesday Week 2 Introduction to the cause and effect essay Literary features, Lesson 6: Imagery/pre-writing Continuing to build trust Brainstorming/prewriting entry #8: Write about a time rough draft of cause and that being late caused a problem for effect essay you or benefited you. Draw-What-I-Write Each student draws a simple picture, working alone away from classmates. Students will write a detailed paragraph describing the picture and the process of drawing it. Students then work in pairs, exchanging written descriptions. Partners then try to reproduce the drawing using only the paragraph. We will then compare the original drawing with the drawing based on the description. Class discussion on the consequences, good and bad, of the use of details or the lack of details. Class building activity Group brainstorming: jot thoughts. Students will be given a topic and jot an idea on a sticky note, placing all ideas into the center of the table as quickly as possible. Students will choose three ideas generated within their group, either their own or someone else s, and write a paragraph on each. One of these paragraphs will be the basis for the essay assignment. Read Dan Barry, Cancer s Oddest Effect and Shirley Jackson, The Lottery. Answer the guiding questions for participation in reading. read pp Reading with a Critical Eye Wednesday Week 2 Literary features, lesson 7: Structure entry #9: Write a paragraph based on the following sentence: The last time I this is what happened. Lesson on structure Read pp Self-revision Second draft of essay - 5 copies for writer s

5 Week 2 Reading Close reading Class-building activity Read pp. 455-top of 463 Reading Choice reading of cause and effect essays in chapter 11 Thursday Week 2 Literary feature, Lesson 8: Irony Computer lab Close Reading Friday Week 2 Continuing to build trust How to argue; the argument essay pre-writing peer feedback SUNDAY Evening entry #10: Language exerts hidden power, like the moon on tides. ~ Rita Mae Brown. What do you think this quotes means? How does this quote reflect your own reading and writing experiences? Be specific. Irony lesson entry #11: Always keep your composure. You can t score from the penalty box; and to win, you have to score. ~ Bobby Hull. How does this quote translate to the art of debate or persuasive writing? class building activity Anticipation guide to argument writing; debating the issues Choose two issues from our debate or another of your own idea not represented in the debate (see me for consultation). Write a paragraph for each, understanding that you will choose one to expand into an essay. partner feedback Final draft of cause and effect essay Rough draft of argument essay Jig Saw Activity: Read pp Sunday Evening Read Barack Obama, A More Perfect Union and Sojourner Truth, Ain t I a Woman? Answer guiding questions

6 Week 3 Monday Week 3 Continue to build trust entry #12: class building exercise lesson on use of details to support argument Literary feature, Lesson 9: It s all in the DETAILS Why do we argue? Self-revision Revise essay Choice reading of essays in chapter 12 Reading Ted Talk: Dan Cohen - for argument s sake Read student sample essay; discuss Revision Tuesday Week 3 Continue to foster trust in the classroom Wednesday - Week 3 Self-revision entry #13: Consider the Based on your argument essay you chose to read last night. essay, write a script for a What is the argument and the two-minute Ted Talk position of the author? How does the With a partner, focus on author support it? Was there a the art of oral presentation counter-argument? Was it effective? using the guidelines How so? handed out, and practice Students will discuss journal entries presenting your Ted in groups Talk Class-building activity entry # 14 : Free Write Block label cut paste exercise revise draft final draft of argument essay Read pp ; Billy Collins, Fishing on the Susquehanna in July. Answer guiding questions for discussion

7 Week 3 Thursday - Week 3 entry # 15: Write a poem Revise: final draft finish any Ted Talks not using at least one of the literary presented this morning features we focused on to help you writing round-table - share create meaning for you readers. with class Continue to foster Share with class (voluntary) trust in the share favorite writings class building exercise classroom Final Workshop Ted Talk presentations Oral presentations Class Story of our time together Friday Week 3 Share work Wrap up Hand out anthology entry #15: Reflect on your experience in this class - the good, the bad and the ugly :) Share wrap up Last Day No Planned activities Last Day No Planned activities

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