- PHG reading and warm-up exercises
- 2-column log on policy statement, etc.
- DON'T FORGET TO COLLECT THE HOMEWORK!
- To connect the four writing elements to grading in CO150 and
practice evaluating some samples.
- To discuss writing as a process.
- Read PHG on Observing and Remembering (pp. 53-60; 103-112).
- Pick a time or incident in which language played an important
part in your life. Then, read the prewriting strategies in p.
125 of the PHG and try using each of them to draw out your memories
and impressions of that incident. (About 1/2 page apiece.)
- Daily on writing process (see below).
- Sample paragraphs and essay for practice grading.
- Handout on CO150 general grading criteria.
- Start the class with the following writing prompt:
Based on the reading on "Writing Myths and Rituals" you did for today,
describe your own ideal writing situation. What helps you write
Then, spend some time thinking about writing in general. What are the
elements any piece of writing should have in order to be effective?
Give your students about five minutes to write and then bring
them together for a discussion. Start by getting some responses
about writing rituals, things that make people more comfortable.
Emphasize that these rituals aren't just silly--they're important
to get the ball rolling in any writing situation, and to help
get any writer past the "blank page" syndrome.
- Then, ask how many students have experienced that same syndrome,
that feeling of freezing up when you've got a blank piece of paper
in front of you waiting for you to fill it with an organized and
coherent essay on the first try. You'll likely get a lot of affirmative
responses. This is perfect, since you can couch the whole idea
of writing as a process as the solution to the blank page syndrome.
- A good way to explain why that "blank page" syndrome
happens is by generating a list of "elements of good writing"
on the board, based on the students' writing from the beginning
of class. They'll likely come up with a lot of responses about
grammar, mechanics, organization, etc. Try to fill up as much
of the board as possible. From there, the "blank page"
syndrome is easy to explain: when you sit down to write an essay
perfectly from beginning to end on the first go-through, you're
thinking about the ENTIRE list of elements on the board all at
once. A tall order for anyone! This is why it feels hard--no
one can keep track of that many things at once. It's like trying
to build a car from fender to fender all at once, rather than
building it one component at a time. The good news is that you
don't have to.
- This is the perfect spot to introduce writing as a process--instead
of trying to keep track of all of these elements at once, the
key is to take them on one at a time, in whatever order they're
appropriate. Emphasize to your students that the writing process
has three basic elements--prewriting, drafting, and revision--but
that those elements don't always necessarily come in that order.
A writer's process might start with prewriting, then move on
to drafting, then go back to prewriting to solidify some ideas,
then on to more drafting, then revising, back to prewriting again,
etc. The key is to find which element to work on at any given
time, and only to work on one elements at once. (25-30 minutes
- Next, make a transition to an explanation of how the writing
elements you discussed last time are used as grading criteria.
(See the handout following this lesson.)
- Once you've explained this, use the sample paragraphs (following
this lesson) to have your students practice using those criteria.
Put the samples on the overhead and have your students grade
them (individually or in groups) and explain why they graded each
paragraph as they did. (20 minues)
- Finally, do an activity to start learning your students names
(and to have them start learning each others'). A good way to
do this is to have your students pair up, interview each other,
and then introduce one another to the class while everyone else
writes down the name and information about the person being introduced.
If you feel as though you're running out of time, simple go around
- Give the assignment for next time. If you have time left,
go over the questions, etc. about the course policy statement.