We have been working on personal narratives the last few weeks. I decided that I wanted to show my kids several excellent essays written by 4th graders, but I wanted them to dig deep into them instead of just doing a cursory reading. That led me to the STAAR Released Test from last year and the resources available on the TEA Writing Resources page. I was very happy to find documents for personal narrative and expository essays with 4 examples of essays that scored from 1-4.
I took the essays that received fours and typed them up. I broke them into chunks in the document. Then I printed out enough copies for my kids to work in partners (9) and we were ready to work!
I instructed my kids to read each piece and then work together to put it in the correct order. They needed to pay attention to order words and other clues. The first time we did this I had them glue the pieces, after I checked to make sure the order was right, on a small manila sheet. Then they had to explain their decision making process on a separate sheet of notebook paper. We went over the order and discussed things we noticed.
This is the second attempt. They were given a large sheet of manila paper this time and were instructed to write their reasoning around the pieces.
I liked what this group had to say about their reasoning.
I plan on doing the same thing for expository when we switch back soon.
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Do you do something similar? Any ideas on how I can make this better?