Posts tagged activism
Activism Research Plan: Pacing, Strategies, and Mentor Texts!

Arthur O’Shaughnessy in his 1874 poem “Ode” wrote: “Yet we are the movers and shakers/Of the world forever, it seems.” I love the term “mover and shaker” because it reminds me of dancing, but what it really lends is to people who make an impact on the world. It is no secret that one of my favorite units to teach is research. I love the choice, the process, and the hard work it takes to produce the product. I also love seeing middle schoolers wrap their brains around the formatting of this project (MLA), and how they get excited about solving problems. One of my favorite things, after all, is to solve problems.

The MLA Research Paper unit I do each winter going into spring focuses on activism. Students identify a problem in their school, community, or world and then research that problem, Inevitably, they see causes, effects, and hypothesize solutions as well. This post will walk you through some mentor texts and resources, strategies, and pacing of the overall unit.

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All About Narrative Writing: Pacing, Strategies, and Mentor Texts!

I am pretty sure that October may be one of the toughest months to teach in considering that it consists of conferences, the end of the first marking period for my middle school, the flu starts circulating, and it is my birthday month. The last part is not a bad thing, I just find it easier to resent less “me time” with all of the to-do lists piling up. I have been sharing my mentor text work on the blog, but I also wanted to take a minute to share how I completed our personal narrative writing units this year so far, and also the changes I made from previous years. What you take away from this may be a sneak peek into how I teach personal narrative writing or how perhaps you can spice up a unit with some mentor text writing.

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Where Have I Been? Joy Writing With Them (Part 1)

I started to write this post and something distracted me. I looked at my calendar and then back to my blog post. Calendar-blog-calendar-blog. Where did the month of May go? I am amazed at the utter loss of time and also trying to balance that feeling that almost all teachers I know get in the month of May. You know the feeling. We look at each other with empathy. We make jokes. We give words of wisdom on social media and to each other in person. We try to see the light at the end of the tunnel that is summer. However, especially with state testing in May for many of us, it can get difficult to find joy. 

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Using Where I'm From Poems to Get to Know Your Writing Self

The only thing I remember of my grandmother is her hands. I was four when she passed away, but I am also said to be just like her. If you hold up her 15-year-old school portrait and my 15 year-old school portrait, they are mirror images. Besides the physical make up of our bodies, we are also said to have the same mannerisms....grit, determination, and being way too stubborn. Our story is many peoples' stories. One of the reasons I love talking about writing is the commonalities we have in being human. Now, I won't ever know my grandmother, but I use the stories that I hear to get to know her on a deeper level. 

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The Essential Guide to a Compare and Contrast Essay: Introduction to the Series (Topic and Claim)

The assignment? A compare and contrast essay. The goal? Survive. While this seems dramatic sometimes, most of my students are really excited about their creative writing assignments that involve creating their own dystopian worlds. However, many are not as excited as the complementary assignment of a compare and contrast essay with comparing our modern American Society with the Uglies Dystopian Society. I have a secret...I may be more excited about the academic formal paper (and you know I love creative writing). This will be the introduction to a five-part series about how to craft a Compare and Contrast essay with a focalized topic.

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