- Reading from PHG on Myths, Rituals, and Processes.
- Reading of initial course handouts
- Prewriting exercises.
- To introduce the concept of writing as a process.
- To Introduce and begin prewriting for the Literacy Essay.
- Read PHG on Observing and Remembering (pp. 53-60; 103-112).
- Prewrite on the ideas you began generating for your Literacy
Essay today in class.
- Draft the Literacy Essay. Your draft should be 2-3 pages
long (handwritten length). Do your best to incorporate the elements
of the assignment on the assignment sheet with the general writing
elements we discussed last time. Bring a photocopy of your draft
to class to exchange with a classmate.
- Daily on writing process.
- Literacy Essay assignment
- Instructor's own "Literacy Essay."
- Start the class with a quick recap of the homework from last
time. A good way to do this is to talk about the "blank
page syndrome" (I usually ask about how many people have
sat down to try to write something, beginning to end, and simply
choked up.) That syndrome is usually the result of trying to
think about too many things at once: your idea, how to communicate
it to an audience, sentence structure, grammar, etc. (if you feel
you have time, it can be effective to have students list these
things on the board to show them how many different things are
really going on in their heads when they're trying to write).
Finding your ideal writing situation and conceiving of writing
as a process in which you only work on one element at a time,
prewriting, drafting, revising, returning to prewriting to solidify
ideas, then going back to drafting, etc., is the way to get past
that blank page syndrome. If you feel you have time, you can
start this discussion by asking your students what their ideal
writing situations are and what they believe are the most important
processes or concepts involved in writing. (5 minutes).
- Then, quickly go over the most important points of your policy
statement (attendance, percentage value of papers, office hours,
etc.) and field any questions that came from the homework. Then
collect the homework. (5 minutes).
- Take five minutes to have your students go around the room
and introduce themselves (have them give their name, major, place
of origin, and something about themselves that will help the rest
of the class remember their names). While they're doing this,
send around a sheet for names and phone numbers. Reproduce this
for everyone for next time. (5 minutes).
- Then, spend the rest of the class introducing and helping
your students generate ideas about the Literacy Essay:
- You might start out with an exercise that helps connect the
assignment with the course (for instance, asking your students
to try to define "literacy"), or simply by having students
read the assignment sheet aloud and freewrite about the main purpose
and elements of the assignments along with any questions that
come to mind.
- Once you've gone over the assignment itself, start a discussion
about the possibilities for subject matter. Start by reading
your own literacy narrative aloud, and then take some suggestions
from the class about other kinds of instances they might talk
about. It's possible to fill a lot of time just discussing people's
experiences with language, so either watch the time on this closely
OR, if you feel this discussion is really valuable, assign all
or part of the rest of the activities in this lesson as homework.
- Then, discuss prewriting strategies. Start by connecting
the assignment to the four elements: what sort of focus, development,
etc. will you need to adequately communicate this experience to
other members of the class (When you discuss development, be sure
to bring in the Observing and Remembering material that they read
for this class from the PHG). How do you find that information?
Introduce the idea of prewriting as a way of finding the focus
and detail you need without having to come up with a complete
- Give the drafting assignment for next time.
- For the remainder of the class, have students try some prewriting
strategies to find an incident to write about in their Literacy
Essays and to begin remembering details about that incident.
To speed the work along, have the following prompt on an overhead:
"For the rest of the hour, your job is to begin to find a an incident
you can use to focus your Literacy Essay, and to begin generating the
detail you need to communicate that incident and its implications to
your audience. Start by working with any of the prewriting exercises on
pp. 125 of the PHG. If you work with one for ten minutes and it
doesn't seem to get you anywhere, try a different one. KEEP GOING UNTIL
YOU HAVE SOME IDEAS YOU CAN WORK WITH."
- While your students are writing, make the rounds to field
questions, encourage your writers (who'll be a little nervous
about having to produce a draft), and push them to keep working
with the prewriting techniques. Be gentle about it--but keep
everyone moving. If anyone stops writing, have him/her try another