Monday, November 21, 2005

Lesson Plan: Literary Responses with Blogs

Ohio Content Standards

Grade 6
  • Writing - Writing Process - Write responses to literature that extend beyond the summary and support judgments through references to the text.
  • Reading - Reading Process - Apply self-monitoring strategies to clarify confusion about text and to monitor comprehension.
  • Reading - Reading Process - Use criteria to choose independent reading materials (e.g., personal interest, knowledge of authors and genres or recommendations from others).
Materials & Technology
  • Independent Reading Book for Students
  • Printouts of Writing Prompts and Rubric
  • Blogs

In addition to the novels we read in my 6th grade language arts class, each student is required to read two books independently each quarter. Along with the reading, I have students respond to prompts in their blogs that require them to make references to their books. Each entry is graded according to a rubric that is introduced to the kids before they begin writing.

  1. Teach a lesson on how to choose a book for independent reading that is based on the reading process content standard above.
  2. After students have selected a book and started reading, go over the writing prompts with them, being sure to clearly discuss your expectations. I only require students to write a paragraph in these entries.
  3. Make sure students know what you mean when you say "examples from the novel." I'm not interested in page numbers or actual quotes; I just want to students to know that their paragraphs are incomplete until they have referenced the book in some way.
Student Examples

I have yet to give a grade for these entries. As you can see when you read them, they don't all follow the rubric. Writing in blogs is new for my kids and I haven't had the time to give as much feedback as I would like. My goal for the blogs is to begin giving feedback with each entry so that I can later evaluate them as I would a portfolio--one grade for a series of entries, instead of a grade for each entry.

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