Thursday, September 18

Day 8 (Thursday, September 18)

Lesson Objectives
Students will

Connection to Course Goals. Today’s class emphasizes the writing process as a series of conscious rhetorical choices, which will help students approach the Letter with purpose, audience, and context in mind.


Reread the articles in the secondary pool and reread the assignment sheet so that you can address student questions and any potential misinterpretations.


Assignment sheet
Overhead transparencies:


Students have made many of the rhetorical decisions necessary to draft the Letter, such as choosing a subject (article) and an audience.  They may be uncertain about how to begin writing the Letter, so today’s class will focus on that.


Attendance and Introduction (2-3 minutes)

Take attendance and introduce class as usual.

Discuss students’ choice of articles (8-10 minutes)

Ask students to share which secondary articles and audiences they chose, and why.  Help students see connections among subject-audience-purpose in their article choice.

Transition. Write a transition here that will connect this activity to the next.

Review the assignment goals (8-10 minutes)

Ask students to take out the assignment sheet, and spend time reviewing the goals of the assignment.  Review the grading criteria, too, but don’t put too much emphasis on them because worrying about grades can hinder some students’ writing processes—especially if they didn’t do as well as they’d hoped on the Academic Summary. 

Transition. Write a transition here that will connect this activity to the next.

Conduct a pre-workshop (15-20 minutes)

Put instructions on the overhead that will lead students through a pre-workshop in which they will get feedback on their Audience Analyses.  Explain the instructions and then arrange students into groups of 3 or 4.

Tip. Although it’s not entirely necessary for all students in each group to have read the same secondary articles, they might think so—so plan on figuring out who read what prior to forming the groups.

Writing a Letter Pre-Workshop

In a small group, take turns sharing audience descriptions.  Group members can help the writer by asking for more description of the audience and by offering ideas about how the writer can shape his/her letter to best meet the needs of the chosen audience.

After everyone has shared, discuss the assignment generally, and come up with one question to ask the class as well as one piece of advice to share with the class.

After groups have finished discussing, ask each group for their question and their piece of advice.

Transition. Write a transition here that will connect this activity to the next.

Write and discuss outlines (20-25 minutes)

With their rhetorical choices fresh in their minds, students can write an outline that will help them begin drafting.  This can be a bulleted list, a “mind web,” or something else, as long as it will help students remember what they want to say and how they want to structure the Letter.

Tip. Students can each do something different—whatever works best.

Give students 8 or 10 minutes to do this, and ask a few of those finished first to write their outline on the board.  Then, talk through each outline.  There’s no need to evaluate it; ask the class something like, “Will this outline help Danny accomplish the assignment goals?” If so, ask them why.  If not, ask what changes Danny might make to his plan.

“Plan B”

Think through and write down your “if time” and “if I run out of time” ideas here.

Transition. Write a transition here that will connect this activity to the next.

Assign homework and conclude class (5-7 minutes)

Take extra time today to reiterate the importance of 1) being present on Tuesday and 2) being prepared with THREE copies of a complete draft (“complete” here means containing a beginning, middle, and end—it does not mean “finished”).  Remind students of your workshop policies.

Homework for Tuesday

Tip. Whatever your workshop policy, it should encourage accountability in measurable ways, just as quizzes or WTLs hold students accountable for reading assignments.

Connection to Next Class

Today's class helped students organize their ideas and "pre-write." Next time students will workshop the drafts they write for homework based on the outlines they created today.