Writers of Tomorrow, Today
The Writers of Tomorrow aims to build our student’s fundamental writing skills to better equip them for the complexities of college writing. The program builds each student’s writing fitness through a systematic and topical process; beginning with the basics of grammar and moving into effective sentence and paragraph structure. As our students master the foundations of effective writing we challenge each student to analyze and critique assigned texts, resulting in a multi-dimensional writing experience.
I. Sentences (Chronicles of Impact: Identify the Parts of Speech – How do they affect the writing?)
1. Parts of Speech
-Nouns, verbs, adverbs, adjectives, conjunctions, prepositions
Noun: person, place, or thing
Verb: an action
Adverb: describes an action
Adjective: describes a noun
Conjunction: used to link sentences, clauses, phrases, or words
Preposition: a set of words used in close connection with (and usually before) nouns and pronouns to show their relation to another part of the clause
-How do they work with one another?
The parts of speech work with one another to develop complete sentences; however some sentences may not be as complex as others.
2. Subjects and Predicates
Subject: tells what the sentence is about/Predicate: tells what the subject is doing
-How do they work together to form a complete sentence?
Complete sentences must have both a subject and a predicate, if either one is missing the sentence is not complete.
3. Fragments vs. Complete Sentences
-What is a complete sentence?
A complete sentence has both a subject and predicate along with proper grammar and punctuation. Complete sentences also convey one complete thought, whereas run-on sentences attempt to convey too many ideas at once.
-What is a fragment?
A fragment is missing a subject or an action and does not express one complete thought.
-Students should be able to identify fragments vs. complete sentences.
Homework: name each part of speech and provide examples; sentence worksheet where students label the different pieces
II. Simple vs. Complex Sentences (Chronicles of Impact: Identify Sentence Types)
1. Simple Sentences
-Too short to be complete?
Simple sentences, such as: Jeff kicked Bill. – is a complete sentence as it has a subject and a predicate, conveys one complete thought and it also exemplifies proper grammar and punctuation.
-Why does it work?
Simple sentences work as long as they have all of the parts that make them complete. Although they lack detail to make the writing engaging, their structure allows them to qualify as complete.
2. Complex Sentences
-Too close to a run-on?
Complex sentences, such as: Steve and Maggie like to go for a two mile run every Thursday morning. – may seem too long; however it qualifies as complete as it conveys only one idea. Remember run-on sentences try to express more than one idea and seem to have no end.
-Why does it work?
In this case, the sentence works because it has the structure of a complete sentence as well as engaging the reader.
-Which sentence sounds better?
Complex sentences sound better due to their use of details.
3. Importance of Details
-What is a detail?
Details provide the reader with more information about the thought that is being shared – in essence, details allow the reader to have a better understanding as well as a clear picture in terms of the information that is being shared .
4. Adjectives and Adverbs
-Writers who include a sufficient amount of adverbs and adjectives provide their readers with a clear picture.
5. Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How
-Writers should aim to clearly answer a few of these questions. In doing so, writers will construct a more complex sentence that clearly conveys their idea with a sufficient amount of details to answer any questions the reader may develop.
Homework: Sentence growth chart
III. Paragraph Structure (Chronicles of Impact: Identify the Topic and Main Idea)
1. Topic vs. Main Idea
-How are they different?
A topic is a general idea or a broad category in which the writer is writing about. A main idea is more specific and is most commonly in idea or statement that needs to be proven.
2. Topic Sentences
-What is it?
Topic sentences convey both the topic of writing as well as the main idea. It is essentially a road map for the reader as it provides information in regards to what the paragraph is about.
-How to write one
A good topic sentence has the ability to combine the topic as well as main idea into one sentence without providing too much information; however it should provide enough information to guide the reader.
-What purpose does it serve?
Once a topic and main idea have been chosen, students should provide evidence that supports the main idea.
4. Ideas into Complex-complete Sentences
Once students have an idea as to what evidence they are going to use, they should be able to build complex-complete sentences using the sentence skills they learned.
5. Concluding Sentence
-What is it?
A concluding sentence quickly summarizes. When writing one paragraph the concluding sentence will summarize as well as leaves the reader thinking. When writing more than one paragraph the concluding sentence will summarize and transition into the next idea.
-How to write one
Students should be able to summarize their paragraph in a few words and then either leave the reader thinking or transition into the next idea.
Homework: Paragraph Building Worksheet
1. Determining the Main Idea
-Review main idea
-What are they?
Transitions are words or phrases that link one subject or idea to another within the writing. Using transitions creates a streamlined writing piece that essentially flows and easily moves from one idea to the next.
-How/When to use them
Transitions may be used within paragraphs. Most commonly they are found in concluding sentences.
3. Revise Each Sentence
Review sentence structure
4. How to Rewrite and Fix Mistakes
After deciphering the problems review proper sentence and paragraph structure. Does the writing piece align with the requirements? What is missing? Should something be added?
Homework: revise previous paragraph homework using new tools and label what tools were used; which paragraph sounds better, why?
V. Essay Structure (Chronicles of Impact: Identify the Argument)
1. How is an essay different from a paragraph?
-Essays are extremely similar to paragraphs, their only difference lies in the fact that essays require more information resulting in multiple paragraphs working together to convey one idea and provide examples
The bigger picture – more room to explain
2. Thesis Statements
-What are they?
Thesis statements are 1-2 sentences found in your introductory paragraph that contains the focus of the essay as well as informs the reader as to what the essay is going to be about. In essence, the thesis statement is your argument.
-How to write a strong thesis statement:
Before you develop an argument on any topic, you have to collect and organize evidence, look for possible relationships between known facts (such as surprising contrasts or similarities), and think about the significance of these relationships. Once you do this thinking, you will probably have a “working thesis,” a basic or main idea, an argument that you think you can support with evidence but that may need adjustment along the way. Thesis statements should also aim to answer three questions: 1. Do I answer the prompt question? 2. Have I taken a position that others might challenge or oppose? 3. Is my thesis statement specific enough?
Homework: write 3 thesis statements for any topic(s) of your choice, pick one and apply essay builder
VI. Introductions and Conclusions
1. What is an introduction?
An introduction aims to gain the readers interest while showing what the text is going to be about
2. Hook/Global Statement
The global statement is a technique to hook interest in the opening paragraph of an essay by beginning with a broad and thematically relevant sentence before narrowing down toward a thesis.
3. Between the Global Statement and Thesis
Depending on the type of writing assignment, students can fill the rest of their introduction with the following patterns: historical review, anecdotal, surprising statement, connection to a famous person, or declarative
4. Thesis Statement
Refer to previous lesson
-What is a conclusion?
Students should be able to summarize without directly restating their thesis or sounding redundant. Instead students should reiterate what was said in the thesis statement in efforts to suggest to the reader that they have accomplished what they have set out to accomplish.
6. Concluding Sentences
Ask a provocative question; use a quotation; evoke a vivid image; call for some sort of action; end with a warning; universalize by comparing to other situations; suggest results or consequences
Homework: write an introduction and conclusion for the thesis statement chosen in the previous week
VII. Summaries (Chronicles of Impact: Read and Summarize)
1. What is a summary?
Summarizing refers to any information from others that an individual presents in their own words – keeping in mind the author’s purpose and setting aside opinions/biases.
2. How to write an effective summary
The key to an effective summary lies with the balance between what the author is saying along with the writer’s own focus. Good summaries are written when writers can set aside their beliefs and place themselves in the shoes of someone else. Writing a good summary not only represents the author’s view accurately; but it also fits into the writers composition’s larger agenda.
Homework: read a current event and summarize
VIII. Other Types of Writing (Chronicles of Impact: Read and Identify)
Various types of writing style exist. Depending on the audience or the message that is trying to be conveyed writers should be able to determine what style of writing should be used in order to properly convey their message.
1. Expository: writing to describe
2. Narrative: creative writing
3. Argumentative: engaging in the argument and trying to debunk it
4. Persuasive: persuading an audience by using emotion
Homework: Pick one of the various types of writing and write at least 5 paragraphs.
IX. Writing Project
-Each student will be given a list of possible projects in week two they will be asked to choose one and work on it each week in addition to the assigned homework.
5 minutes: Review previous lesson or chose a journal prompt and conduct a 10 minute quick write
15 minutes: Chronicles of Impact lecture
20 minutes: Writers of Tomorrow lesson
10 minutes: Return to Chronicles of Impact and apply the day’s lesson to the video/writing piece
5 minutes: Learning Log – What did you learn today?
5 minutes: Assign and explain homework