As a member of this Online Book Club, you are expected to post to the book blog at least once per week between now and July 11 -- that's six weeks. You should finish your book before then, and you will meet during the Institute in your groups to extend the discussion and plan how to present the book to the others in the Institute.

Search This Blog

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Transitional Writing (ch. 3)

Chapter 3 was a nice explosion of CCSS possibilities. Murphy and Smith explored a number of demands and simply demonstrated how teachers have met those demands with variety and versatility to engage both students and - arguably - the content more effectively. But the item that stood out to me was less expansion and more connection.

On pg. 47, the authors introduce Jim Moffett's idea of using investigative writing as a bridge to informational writing from narrative writing. In order to mitigate the severity of transition between the two genres, wading into investigative writing allows students to gather and write stories as evidence and data to be applied in an informational way. "It captures the idea of writing across a range without having to put boxes around different kinds of writing. One kind of writing can actually support another, and indeed it can flow into and be incorporated into another" (47). The elimination of the boxes would also help the students integrate new skills with established ones, allowing for a more holistic mindset for writing.

I've had some success with investigative writing in my 9th grade class where I introduce freshmen to the high school research paper. I ask the students to write about a school or student-related topic - something that could potentially inspire some sort of revision to their student experience. In doing so, I allow (and therefore require) students to seek out and acquire first hand information, be it an interview, a survey, an observation or an experiment. The investigative component usually assuages the more difficult drills of contextualizing, deploying, and connecting textual or source evidence. It's worked alright thus far, but I think structuring my units so that my investigative component is actually a transition from a prior unit will increase the effectiveness.

No comments:

Post a Comment