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Reviving the Essay: Bringing Writing Back to Life for Students AND Teachers

ACAMIS EAL Conference--Stephen and Kayla Briseño, April 2013

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Transcript of Reviving the Essay: Bringing Writing Back to Life for Students AND Teachers

Short lists of ideas to get your brain moving
and help you start writing!
Write down three things that really, REALLY annoy you...
Pet Peeves
When students don't turn in their homework on time.
When people smack their gum really loudly.
A time when something happened at school that you could barely take.
Frustrating School Moment
When my 8th grade science teacher started yelling at me and gave me detention for no
Write down three things that you would like to know about.
I've always wondered about...
I've always wondered how space travel works.
I've always wondered how to make a guitar.
Write about a time when you were being mean to someone else.
being mean
When I demanded money from my friend to buy me a Coke.
Write about a time when you or a friend broke the rules.
rule breaker
When my brother and I broke into
our neighbors house without permission.
When I was going over the speed limit
and a police officer gave me a ticket!
Write about a time when you did something bad, but you didn't care!
No regrets
When I stole money from my mom's
purse to buy a new video game!
Write down three habits that you have that you wish you could change about yourself.
Something has to change...
I wish I didn't bite my nails.
I wish that I could study better.
for each prompt, write a short response.
Make sure your answer is specific.
where were you?
answer each question in one sentence only!
What happened first?
what happened next?
what happened last?
What did you learn or realize?
Share by reading out loud your kernel essay
to your table.
Turn and Talk
Kernel Essay #1
Kernel Essay
Reviving the Essay
Bringing Writing Back to
Life for Students AND Teachers
Title Card
Objectives--Session 1
Our Goal for Today...
Learn how to walk students through
the writing process in a meaningful and painless way by using
Sentence Stems
Kernel Essays
What are some challenges our students face about writing?
How can using the "Levels of Experience"
improve student writing?
Levels of Experience
Text Structures
How can using text structures and flipbooks help your students as they brainstorm and draft?
students know
= Authentic Writing
statements about life that are
true for almost everyone;
show us something true about the world
and how it works
Some people sacrifice a lot
for others.
If what you've written...
simply describes the picture...
tells people what to do...
Let's practice!
What do we do with truisms?
Pick one of the following:
Write about your favorite dessert.

Write about your favorite season.

Write about your favorite sport.
Which one is more effective?
Do you have a favorite dessert? Well, I do.
My favorite dessert is brownies. Now, I'm
going to tell you why I like brownies. There are
three reasons why I love brownies. The first
reason is the texture. The second reason
is the rich color. The final reason is the flavor that clings
to the roof of your mouth.
As I sit on my couch, watching TV, I start to smell something
heavenly. I turn around, "Hey, Kayla...what are you making?"I ask.
"Just brownies," she responds.
Brownies--crispy, gooey, warm, chocolatey brownies. There is nothing better in the whole world than freshly baked brownies.
As I pick one up, I can feel the warmth spreading across my hand. The brownie steams as I break it in half, and I see the chocolate frosting ooze like lava from a volcano.
I savor each bite and think, "Mmmmm.....brownies..."
Mystery Leads
Thoughtshot Leads
Talking Leads
different ways to start a story
These leads jump into the middle
of your story and leaves the reader wanting more.
And suddenly everything stops.--Alison J.

Every so often I dream of that dead dog.--Stephanie V.

That was the day that Hunca Bubba changed his name.
--Toni C.

His boot felt empty without the knife in it.--Barry L.
this lead starts with a thought
from inside your mind.
Mother taught to be polite to dragons, although I didn't know why. --Patricia W.

As a boy, I always wondered where my mother was from--where she was born, who her parents were. --James M.

If I can only reach it, I thought, I might make it out alive. --Matthew B.
this lead starts with someone talking, (but make sure it's not boring!)
"Where is Papa going with that ax?" said Fern to her mother as they were setting the table for breakfast.--E.B. White

"Hand over all the money in the safe," the man in the mask asked quietly.--Matthew B.

"IS IT DEAD?!?" Sarah screamed.
"I don't know, but I don't want to find out," her mom stated, as she put her gun back in her pocket.
What struggles do our
students face with revision
and editing?
Leads that start with a detailed description of what you saw or heard in a specific moment
Snapshot Leads
High above the windblown city, a drop of falling rain was caught by an icy blast and puffed into a feathery flake of snow. --Neal Shusterman
Slowly, carefully, the doctor took the stitches out of my hand, tugging at my skin until it came loose. The thread that was once keeping my skin together looked like a dark spider web as it lay on the tray. --Allistair M.
Session 2 Warm Up
I was really excited when
my Mom bought me an iPad.
Where your feet were
What you saw
What you thought
= Ba-Da-Bing
I was standing in the Apple Store in the IFC mall when I saw my mom pull out her credit card, and I thought "I finally have one!"
Some helpful Truism starters are...
I've learned that sometimes...
I realized...
Not everyone...
Some people...
Let's Try It
Pick ONE of the following sentence
and make it into a Ba-Da-Bing!
I took a sick day.
I failed the test.
My grades are due.
I was standing in the hospital room, watching Johnny die, and I thought, "Please, anyone but Johnny!"

Who am I?
Exploding a Moment
How do you get students to add more details
without sounding lame?
How can ba-da-bings help
students organize ideas
and create better sentences?
Look for a specific moment in your story.
Write an entire page about that moment--even thought it may have lasted two seconds--in slow-motion.
Don't write big letters to fill the page.
Use your revision questions in your notebook for help.
Slow Motion Moment
students believe
Writing Across the Content Areas
Getting Students to Write in a Meaningful, Engaging Way
Choose a Historical Moment
The Election
The Invention
of the Light Bulb
The Assassination
of JFK
Signing of Declaration
of Independence
9/11 Attacks
Kernel Essay
a short, quick essay
to see if we have something
worth writing and a simple way
to organize our thoughts.
A Memory Reflection
Where were they?
(Thomas Edison)
(Benjamin Franklin)
(NYFD Fireman)
What happened first?
What happend next?
What happened last?
What they (or I) thought?
How can using kernel essays/structures
and flipbooks help students
when they write for your content area?
Look at the Science Fair
Project Abstract in your
How can using cubing help
your students write more
and write better?
Sentence Stems
Forming Interpretations:
What this means to me is...
I think this represents...
The idea I’m getting is...
One question that this text answers is... One question that this text addresses is...

I lost track of everything except...
I need to reread the part where...
I know I’m on the right track because...
A term or idea that was unclear to me was...

Revising Meaning:
At first I thought _____, but now I...
My latest thought about this is...
I’m getting a different picture here because...
I like/don’t like ____ because...
This could be more effective if...
The most important message here is...
One big difference between this and ___ is...
Reflecting and Relating:
So, the big idea is...
A conclusion that I’m drawing is...
This is relevant to my life because...
This author is trying to make me (see, feel, know, do) ...
It makes a difference that this text was written because...
Analyzing the Author’ s Craft:
An important for me is...
This word/phrase stands out for me because... I like how the author uses ____ to show...
How can using R.A.P.
and Sentence Stems
help your ELLs?
There are always consquences
to our actions.
The 11-Minute Essay
An insight about
life (truism)
One illustration (example)
from literature
One illustration
from a movie
An illustration
from history
I wonder...
The 11-Minute Essay
Exit Ticket
What's one thing you plan
on taking back to your classroom?
Today's Goal
Learn simple tips
to help students organize their
Like this
Full transcript