At the onset of this two-week, independent writing session, inform students that they will be held accountable for completing this project. One-on-one feedback and whole group constructive will serve as ongoing support. Students are encouraged to share their need for assistance should it be required; soliciting help from classroom peers and/or the instructor is welcomed. Should they encounter writer's block or face some other challenge, students are urged to express the need for support. By so doing, they reveal that they are able to advocate for themselves like students on route to college. My students buy into this notion, and are eager to participate in the writing activity. Using much imagination, each student goes on to create a zany narrative based on the facts they have researched regarding their insect specimens of study. Students are advised that their story should include an engaging beginning, a well-defined setting, and character with transitional consistency throughout.
Storyframes to the Rescue
. To assist in preliminary planning, have students complete a Snapshot Story Shirt outline (see Exhibit 1). This framework will help students zero in on key story elements. Students are expected to create an engaging beginning, middle and story ending, making use of the elements highlighted in the outline. The story will be crafted both in class and at home for an approximate two-week period, with deadline extensions granted upon request. Within that allotted time frame, students will craft, draft, edit, and finalize their zany story creation. Completed stories will be shared in class during a special Authors' Tea: parents will be invited to join in the read aloud celebration. Final grades will be allocated based on the following: