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Lesson Plan

Professional Writing in Action! Publishing Student Reviews Online

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Professional Writing in Action! Publishing Student Reviews Online

Grades 11 – 12
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Nine 50-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Marcea K. Seible

Marcea K. Seible

Waterloo, Iowa


National Council of Teachers of English



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From Theory to Practice



In this lesson, students will develop their reading, critical thinking, and persuasive writing skills by writing reviews for publication on Amazon.com. Using Charlotte Perkins Gilman's The Yellow Wallpaper to write a review as an in-class exercise, this lesson prepares students to write their own reviews of other texts by following online guidelines for producing and publishing. The lesson emphasizes the writing process and develops students' writing skills to include both academic and professional writing. It may also be expanded to include video reviews as well as reviews of products, technology, movies, and other items (all of which are featured on Amazon.com).

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Knowledge of multiple literacies is a must in today’s reading and writing classrooms. When teachers incorporate lessons using blogs, wikis, websites, videos, and social networking sites, they are teaching reading and writing in our modern age, and in the process maintaining student interest. As Cathy Fleischer writes, “Students seem more connected to literacy activities when they can find things to read and write that connect to the issues and concerns that are part of their larger lives” (Fleischer 6). This lesson uses writing for online publication to engage students in the process of reading texts critically for plot and meaning, analyzing its audience, writing a review about it, and following the formatting conventions needed to publish that review in an online medium. The result is context-specific writing in the classroom that “provides an awareness of genres that is transferable to genre understanding outside of the classroom” (Dean 29).

Further Reading

Dean, Deborah. Genre Theory: Teaching, Writing, and Being. Urbana, IL: NCTE, 2008.

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Fleischer, Cathy.   Reading & Writing & Teens: A Parent's Guide to Adolescent Literacy.  Urbana, IL: NCTE, 2010.

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