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Teacher Resources by Grade
|1st - 2nd||3rd - 4th|
|5th - 6th||7th - 8th|
|9th - 10th||11th - 12th|
Making the Cut: Revising Memoirs by Detecting Clutter and Confusion
|Grades||6 – 10|
|Lesson Plan Type||Standard Lesson|
|Estimated Time||Two 50-minute sessions|
MATERIALS AND TECHNOLOGY
- Technology to display slide presentation—some options include
- Document camera or projector
- iPads with the Educreations app or another slide presentation app
- Low tech option: printed photographs and scissors
- Student rough drafts
- Slide presentation: Vienna
- Slide presentation: Amusement Parks
- Zinsser Quotes
- Graphic Design Notes
- Self-Assessment Reflection
- Narrative-Cutting Rules Examples
- Sample Memoir: “The Unexpected Dangers of Roasting Marshmallows”
- Write Source
Student writing models are organized by grade level and genre; see memoir examples under the “personal writing” category.
- Scholastic’s Write It
Student writing models are organized by genre; see memoir. This link connects to the critics’ picks; you can also click on “memoir” on the right side of the webpage to access additional student examples for revision practice.
- Teen Ink: Top Voted Memoirs
Teen Ink provides electronic access to the student-created memoirs in their print magazine. These could be used as mentor texts or for revision practice.
National Writing Project: Revision Resources
The NWP provides a rich collection of full text articles on revision.
Annenberg Learner “Write in the Middle: A Workshop for Middle School Teachers”
“The Power of Revision” is a one-hour video workshop with three classroom examples (the second specifically addresses memoirs/personal narratives) and concluding thoughts by Linda Rief.
YouTube interview with Steve Graham
This professional development lecture (40 minutes) introduces key research in writing instruction, Self-Regulated Strategy Development, peer revision, etc.
- Use one of the sample slide presentations (Vienna or Amusement Parks) or create one using a set of pictures that includes a few imperfect shots (blurry, off center, random subject, duplicates, and so forth).
- Make copies of the Graphic Design Notes handout for use during the slide presentation.
- Print the Zinsser Quotess (on the board or one per student).
- Make copies of the Sample Memoir or write a memoir to model revision.
- Make copies of the Self-Assessment Reflection.
- The revision tool explained in this lesson is particularly relevant after students have written and revised rough drafts using revision tools designed to expand detail. The memoir chapter from Nancie Atwell’s In the Middle or one of the following ReadWriteThink resources provides helpful preparation:
- Memories Matter: The Giver and Descriptive Writing Memoirs: Lisa Gaines provides seven lessons using The Giver as a scaffold for teaching the personal narrative writing process.
- Bio-graph: Graphing Live Events: Susan Spangler integrates math and writing to help students brainstorm possible memoir topics.
- She Did What? Revising for Connotation: Traci Gardner helps students actively engage in word choice as a revision tool.
- Show-Me Sentences: Lawrence Baines scaffolds instruction for the revision tool “show, don’t tell.”
- Having My Say: A Multigenre Autobiography Project: Scott Filkins uses a published autobiography as a model for weaving students' memoirs with larger real-life events.