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Teacher's Notes for ShareSpace

Page history last edited by Keith Schoch 8 years, 6 months ago

Mr. Schoch

Grade 6 ELA



The following table lists sixth grade student writing projects completed via online digital portfolios hosted at PBWorks.





Avatars 09/27
Using one of the Avatar Creators at Cool Tools at Schochsite, students created and uploaded an avatar which would later be used as an identifier on Edmodo. This allowed them to practice the steps necessary in uploading and indexing an image or file, a skill which is essential for many online applications. Student example.
Difficult Choices 09/29 Each student was challenged to create an original narrative using this sentence: It was a difficult choice to make. Content, form, length, etc. were left up to the discretion of the individual writers. Some attempt was made at peer editing. Final revised drafts were completed in Word. Student example.
I Don't Understand Why Poem
Using a poetry prompt generator from ETTC, students created an "I Don't Understand Why" poem. Students then used Bubblr to integrate images and words to create a slide show of this poem. Some students chose to keep the original poem format while others deleted it. One problem with Bubblr is that it relies on Flickr images, which can be renamed or deleted from accounts, thus leaving "holes" in presentations. We discussed how the Internet constantly reinvents itself through the whims of its users. Student Example.
Original Story 10/05 Using brainstorming ideas from their Writing Notebooks, students chose one topic upon which to write a narrative. This served as somewhat of a benchmark against which future writing efforts could be measured. Student Example.
Hiking Trip Story
Students completed a story starter about a hiking trip that goes wrong. The teacher's portion ends with the line "If he only knew." The main focus here was upon learning to create paragraphs in narrative writing; the actual story starter, in fact, was written as an unedited brick of text. If a student wrote an awesome ending, that was truly icing on the cake.
The Boys Get Even Story
Students completed a story starter about a feud between boys and girls at a summer camp. The teacher's portion ends with the line "Our chance came the very next day." The main focus here was upon learning to create paragraphs in narrative writing. The ending should have reflected the boys' attempt to get even with the girls.
FLIRT Practice 11/02 Exercise for sentence variety. FLIRT = First word, Length, Inversion (changing order of phrases and clauses), Repetition (either deleting it or using it for effect), and Types (of sentences, such as statements, commands, etc.).
Norman Rockwell Story 12/08 After completing a reading assessment about a boy's visit to Norman Rockwell's studio, students viewed and discussed several Norman Rockwell illustrations. Students wrote an original story based upon a Rockwell painting of their choice. Student Example.
Participial Phrase Poem 12/22 A participial phrase begins with a verbal in the past tense or -ing form, and acts as an adjective, not a verb. Students wrote participial phrase poems based upon a topic of their choice. The teacher's model, Squaring Off, uses a participial phrase at the start of every stanza. "Squaring Off" also also contains many poetic elements which were discussed in an earlier lesson on Edgar Allan Poe's "Raven." Student example.
What If Story
Using Otto Grows Down as a model, students wrote an original "What If" story, with very limited guidance and few parameters. The emphasis was upon imagination and good story telling. Lesson plan here. The teacher's own model, Cheerleading Challenge, was shown in an effort to demonstrate how students should "cut to the chase" and get into the story as quickly as possible. Student Example.
Persuasive Opening Practice 01/11 As a group, students completed this exercise on writing an opening paragraph, based upon the model students use in class (from Write Source book).
Persuasive Closing Paragraph 01/13 Exercise on writing a closing paragraph, based upon the model students use in class (from Write Source book).
Owl Essay 01/18 In an introduction to persuasive writing, students wrote an essay arguing that the owl should be featured in the fictitious HOWL (Hunters of the Wild Lands) Museum. This was later used as a model for the Predator Essay (below). This was the first time that students used the persuasive template from a Google Draw doc.
IBD Letter 02/02 After reading Island of the Blue Dolphins, students watched the film version. They then wrote letters to the original movie production company in order to persuade them to remake the movie.
Nonfiction Prezi 02/07 Earlier in the month students had created a Fabulous Fact Folder, based upon a nonfiction topic of choice. Students used information from that project to create their Prezi. This date reflects the date it was uploaded to ShareSpace; it was actually completed on Prezi a week earlier.
Predator Template 02/07 Students used a Google Draw template to organize information when researching facts for their assigned HOWL Museum predator. (archived lesson)
Predator Persuasive Essay 02/23 To practice persuasive writing skills, students were told that the HOWL (Hunters of the Wild Lands) Museum was seeking nominations for predators to be included in their exhibits. Students were then assigned predators for research. Students organized initial ideas on a Google Drawing doc template, and drafted their work directly into the wiki. The essays which appear here were completed in two periods, from prewriting to writing to peer editing. Most were later revised when rewritten for printing in conjunction with an image.
Pet Peeves 03/02

Using a combination of persuasive and expository writing, students wrote about a personal pet peeve. The lesson plan for this very popular writing activity was found on the New York Times Learning Network. This Student Example is a rough draft only, which was later tweaked and printed in Word; you can see that it includes some notes at the top of the page which were taken during our discussion of the components of the three studied essays which appear below. Other sample Pet Peeve essays from that series:

 No More Cheeks to Turn

Raucous at the Movies

I See London


Winning is Everything 03/09
Students wrote Agree/Disagree responses for both sides of the statement "Winning is Everything." They then watched a terrific video, and an even better related video (minus the ending commentary) and discussed how this supported one argument or another. Finally, students wrote a persuasive essay supporting or refuting this statement. Students were asked to check out the Is Winning Everything Teacher Notes. Students scored their peers using this scoresheet (the teacher modeled the process, using a student writing sample from the previous year), and the scoresheets helped with final revisions before the teacher assigned a grade. Talk Us Through It, Charlotte was used as a poetry extension. A recent study on letting children fail might also be shared with students.
Elements of Nonfiction 03/16 Students uploaded a copy of Elements of Nonfiction to Crocodoc. They then used the Crocodoc site (and the article Swiss Create ‘Janitor’ Satellite to Clean Up Space Junk) to complete the form. The form was then uploaded to ShareSpace in edit mode for later teacher comments and student corrections. (NOTE: I contacted Crocodoc, and the site administration gave us a thumbs up to create students accounts which will provide students with a list of all their uploaded documents).
Hero Project 03/20 In preparation for the Dan Greenburg Author Visit, students read Greenburg's autobiographical story. Students then created their own hero at Hero Factory or the Marvel comics site. Once the original superhero was created, students downloaded the image or took a Greenshot for inclusion in their ShareSpace. Students then visited the Newspaper Clipping site to create the headlines and a brief story about their characters' adventures, origins, etc. Students who had additional time used their hero image in a fun way at Photo505.

Compare/ Contrast


  Students used their Writing Notebooks (hard copy, offline) to generate lists of Camp Rules in Devil's Arithmetic. They also produced a list of Rivka's Rules (Rivka is a prisoner who helps others to survive), and discussed the differing content of these lists. Students then generated lists on the intent (intended outcome, purpose) of each list. These lists were used to draft a Compare/Contrast Essay in the Whole-to-Whole, or Block, format. Teaching resources included a media presentation and hard-copy graphic organizer from ReadWriteThink, and an outline from ESLBee. In crafting their own graphic organizers, students deconstructed this Vacation Essay into a Venn Diagram. Homework for 3/23 provided students with tips to avoid common trouble spots.
Compare/Contrast Essay of Choice   Students used this template to create a Whole by Whole essay on a topic of their choice (restaurants, movies, books, plays, classes, sports, stores, foods, games, bands, vacation spots, etc.). The template was accessed by using the Template option when students created a blank page. The teacher's filled-in template gave an idea of how short the notes should be in the organizer.
Holocaust Persuasive Essay 04/13 Students read The Devil's Arithmetic by Jane Yolen during the third marking period. At the conclusion of the marking period, they had the opportunity to hear from Maud Dahme, whose family hid from the Nazis for three years, barely escaping the horrible fate that befell the rest of her extended family in the concentration camps. Students then began brainstorming ideas for a persuasive essay on "Sixth graders should (or should not) study the Holocaust." Students were presented with some teacher selected resources and videos (http://rlasharespace.pbworks.com/w/page/52662873/Holocaust%20Education), interviewed adults on their opinions, and also "crowdsourced" their opinions at the debate site Barkles (http://www.barkles.com). During a double-session class, students brought it all together to write a five to six paragraph persuasive essay in their online digital portfolio (http://rlasharespace.pbworks.com). NOTE: Barkles closed its site in late May.
Telescopic Text 04/14 Using the Telescopic Text site (see instructions here), students created stories that slowly "unfold" as the reader clicks on hypertexted words. The idea was to have the story either elaborate or diverge or both. This student example shows a piece that pretty much controls what the reader should click next; other samples allowed multiple interpretations depending upon which words were chosen first.

Reflections on Death

(Original Poems)

05/31 In connection with The Outsiders and other classroom novels that involve death, students read and discussed five poems that are featured here, including "Carrion Crow." in conjunction with a discussion on why all of our classroom novels involve death. Students completed a discussion page on those poems, and then wrote original poems about a character's passing. This Student Example is an unedited first draft.
In addition to planned persuasive and nonfiction reflection pieces, the following are possible upcoming projects (UPDATE: some were completed off-line in written form): 
Fairy Tales
500 New Fairy Tales Discovered in Germany
Bird Poems
Based upon Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven," Paul Laurence Dunbar's "The Sparrow," and Edwin Morgan's "A Gull." Somewhat like this Seagull lesson plan. Each student will research a different bird, learn its characteristics and literary tradition (if any) and then write about a chance meeting with that bird.
Metaphor Poems   Poems which address abstract verbs by personifying them or attributing metaphorical qualities. Time is one such example.
Fork Stories   Students will write stories that fork, or have alternate plot lines, ala the old Choose Your Own Adventure books. Add-on pages will allow the story to branch off in numerous directions. Students will most likely plan this out in https://bubbl.us/.
Dinner Party   Who would you invite to a dinner party?




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