Writing for Audience: The Revision Process in The Diary of Anne Frank
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- Instructional Plan |
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After reading or viewing The Diary of Anne Frank, students will learn that while Anne Frank wrote a diary, she did not write it for herself. By examining her original entries and comparing them to her revisions, one can witness the revision process in action. Students will be able to identify what she revised as well as her intentions behind the revisions. Students will assist one another with these revision strategies and will produce a journal entry for an audience other than themselves.
From Theory to Practice
Students are frequently unmotivated or unable to revise based on comments from teachers from peers because they don't see the purpose behind such efforts. Deborah Dean suggests "in helping students develop the conscious attention to audience that might help them build adaptive writing skills, teachers can provide writing opportunities that shift audiences-both real and fictional-and thus help students develop stances that fit the needs of different contexts" (88).
Common Core Standards
This resource has been aligned to the Common Core State Standards for states in which they have been adopted. If a state does not appear in the drop-down, CCSS alignments are forthcoming.
This lesson has been aligned to standards in the following states. If a state does not appear in the drop-down, standard alignments are not currently available for that state.
NCTE/IRA National Standards for the English Language Arts
- 1. Students read a wide range of print and nonprint texts to build an understanding of texts, of themselves, and of the cultures of the United States and the world; to acquire new information; to respond to the needs and demands of society and the workplace; and for personal fulfillment. Among these texts are fiction and nonfiction, classic and contemporary works.
- 2. Students read a wide range of literature from many periods in many genres to build an understanding of the many dimensions (e.g., philosophical, ethical, aesthetic) of human experience.
- 4. Students adjust their use of spoken, written, and visual language (e.g., conventions, style, vocabulary) to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and for different purposes.
- 5. Students employ a wide range of strategies as they write and use different writing process elements appropriately to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes.
- 6. Students apply knowledge of language structure, language conventions (e.g., spelling and punctuation), media techniques, figurative language, and genre to create, critique, and discuss print and nonprint texts.
- 9. Students develop an understanding of and respect for diversity in language use, patterns, and dialects across cultures, ethnic groups, geographic regions, and social roles.
- 11. Students participate as knowledgeable, reflective, creative, and critical members of a variety of literacy communities.
- 12. Students use spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish their own purposes (e.g., for learning, enjoyment, persuasion, and the exchange of information).
Materials and Technology
- The Diary of Anne Frank (book or movie)
- Writer's Notebook/Journal for each student
- Highlighters for each student
- LCD/overhead projector
- Computers with Internet access
The website of the Anne Frank museum offers biographical information, practical information about the museum, and connections to worldwide educational resources.
This online exhibit created by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum showcases, through sound and images, the short stories, fairytales, essays and the beginnings of a novel written by Anne Frank.
1. Preview the The Diary of Anne Frank: Revised Passages. Identify areas of potential confusion in Anne Frank’s revision and become familiar with the reasons why she revised.
2. This lesson assumes that students are continuously writing in a journal about their lives and experiences. If this is an ongoing part of your class, have students write in their journals for a few days before using this lesson.
- identify elements of revision given an original and revised passage.
- select a piece of their own writing to revise based on audience considerations.
- collaborate with a partner to develop a revision strategy.
- revise a piece of writing based on the audience and using the elements of revision.
- After reading or viewing the The Diary of Anne Frank, provide students with copies of the The Diary of Anne Frank: Revised Passages handout and project it for the class to view as well.
- Before reading the original passage, tell students they will be asked to write a one sentence summary of the event Frank describes.
- Read the original version of the diary entry aloud and instruct students to take a few minutes to write a one sentence summary of the event. Students may be confused as to the actual happenings described by Anne in this passage as she has omitted vital explanatory information. You may need to provide additional clarification and explain to students that they will see additional information in the revision.
- Ask students to share their summary with a partner before asking for volunteers to share their summary with the class.
- As a class, discuss what Anne actually describes here and address the portions that students find confusing.
- Repeat steps 2-5 for the revised passage.
- Guide students to identify the details that have been added in the revised version. Students should use their highlighters to identify these details/new additions. Focus on how the details have affected their overall understanding of the events.
- Prompt the students to discuss the reasons behind such changes. Students should notice that she adds explanatory information about what a “call up” means; she clarifies that her sister was the one that called up, rather than her father as she was originally told; she identifies Mr. Van Daan.
- At this point, students may start to identify stylistic differences as well. Using highlighters, ask students to continue to highlight the differences they see in the revised version.
- Prompt students to share the differences they have highlighted while you record them for the class on the board or chart paper. Students will likely identify differences such as: sensory details, imagery, dialogue, definitions, rhetorical questions, emotive language, and descriptive language.
- Finally, end this session prompting the students to discuss why these changes have been made. Students will probably suggest that the revised version is written for an audience other than Anne Frank herself. Ask students to think about the differences between writing for self and writing for others. As students discuss these differences, write their responses on chart paper or the board for students to refer to later when they do their own writing.
- Begin by asking the students how one’s personal writing changes when the audience is no longer oneself. Lead students to the conclusion that one’s purpose is largely determined by one’s audience.
- Ask students to get out their writer’s notebooks/journals and spend a few minutes skimming through a few entries.
- Pass out and review the Revision Reflection handout. Students should have identified most of the elements in the previous session.
- Ask students to pick one entry that they wouldn’t mind sharing with their partner. Students will then exchange entries and complete the Revision Guide handout. Refer students to the chart paper/board that describes the differences in writing for self and writing for others (from Session One).
- Allow 10-15 minutes for the completion of the handout and subsequent partner discussion session.
- Students will then pick an audience for their revision and make a revision plan. Point out that Anne Frank revised her diary after hearing Gerrit Bolkestein, an exiled Dutch government official, state that he would document holocaust testimonials after the war. Audience suggestions include: the principal, parents, teachers, upcoming middle school students, a younger sibling, an older sibling, a middle school aged student in another country.
- Before the next session, students need to review their partner's comments and draft a revision of the chosen entry. You may also choose to do this step as a separate in-class session before the final session listed (Session Three).
- Begin the session by asking what the revision experience was like. Ask students questions such as the following: What kinds of things did they change, add, and omit? With what did they have difficulty? Did they experience any roadblocks? Were they able to solve them?
- Ask students to exchange their original and revised entries with their partners and ask the partners to identify the elements that were changed from the original piece. Students may wish to use the Revision Guide handout as a guide for helping them look for things in their partner's work that have changed. Students should discuss the improvements made with the entries as well as the problems they experienced.
- The partners should develop a continued revision plan for a third and final draft. Explain to students that they will complete their final draft in the next session.
- Ask students to meet with their partner from the previous session and discuss their revision plan for their third draft. Allow time for the students to make revisions for their third and final draft while you circulate the room providing assistance where necessary.
- After students complete their final draft, they should and complete the Revision Reflection to be turned in for an assessment of their knowledge gained throughout the exercise. Additionally, you may wish to ask students to share their final piece with their classmates.
- Have the students revise the same journal entry for another audience.
- Have the students revise a text message, blog post, email, or status update to get familiar with the 21st century version of revision!
Student Assessment / Reflections
- Ask students to reflect on their writing process by completing the Revision Reflection. As students continue to revise other pieces of writing, look for evidence of the elements of revision such as: use of descriptive language, sensory details, imagery, clarifying information, dialogue, definitions or explanations.