When Reading Leads to Writing Dr. Julie Joslin NCDPI ELA Team Lead February 17, 2012
Text as Muse What is a muse? “the goddess or the power regarded as inspiring a poet, artist, thinker, or the like”
Who is your Muse John Grisham Hank Aaron Lady Gaga Shakespeare Julia Child John Dewey Duke Ellington Gandhi Adele
Texts that inspired you to: • Act ….. • Reflect ….. • Travel ….. • Write ……
“And then I pushed them. • I pushed them with photographs, advertisements, and songs with and without lyrics. I pushed them with recipes, music videos, and each other’s clothing. I pushed them with art, sports, plays, and diagrams for engines and random machines. I pushed them with graphic novels, comic strips and the occasional cartoon. I pushed them with non-fiction and fiction of all shapes and sizes. I pushed them, and the truth is I pushed me too. But, every time students discovered they were experts in a certain kind of text – students who often are not regularly seen as experts – I promised them that their ability to deconstruct that text could be applied to any other kind of text. I promised them that their ability to create that kind of text could be applied to any other kind they need to create. • I know that my students walked away from my classroom believing themselves to be readers and writers. I know that at some point in the year they no longer relied on my belief in them and instead relied on the belief they had in themselves.” • Belinda Foster • “Redefining Text, Redefined Me” • – California English • Vol. 15.2 • November 2009 • page 24 –
Purposefully choosing text • Quality vs. Quantity • No longer a mile wide and an inch deep • Having the end in mind • You have to love it • Worthy of rereading!
Very Important teacher-to-self questions: “Why am I asking students to read this text?” “What Big Idea do I want my students to take away from this text?”
The Big Idea This “big idea” is going to show up in the writing that students will do as the final step in the instruction.
So, how does this “Big Idea” affect the work that students do with the text? • This means that every question… • every activity… • every reread… • every discussion…. • is designed to help build deeper and deeper understanding of the text…. • so that when students come to write, they say, “Hey! I can do this!” (And they’re right!)
What happens in the classroom when you use text as a MUSE? • Students hear the rhythm of fiction. • They taste the distinct flavors of nonfiction. • They witness the logic of a good argument fall - step by step. • They tremble with the thunder of powerful literary nonfiction…….AND
…They read text as writers. “Writers take their reading very seriously. When they read, they discover topics for their own writing. They become interested in new genres and formats. They study authors’ techniques to learn how to improve their own writing. They develop mentor relationships with their favorite writers, aspiring to be more like them.” Shelley Harwayne 2005
Using Mentor Texts Muse Activity Read silently “I Am Offering This Poem” As a teacher, what would be your purpose for choosing this text? How could this poem serve as a muse?
Text as Evidence Bringing students back to the text…..
Text as Evidence • The Common Core State Standards are asking students to “read like a detective and write like an investigative reporter.” • This is a quote from David Coleman, co-author of the ELA CCSS.
Instructional Shift Reading and writing grounded in evidence from the text
How do we return students to the text? • The standards are designed to bring students back to the text for evidence. • This requires teachers to prepare text based tasks. • Let’s look at the “Task Activity”.
“I Am Offering You This Poem” • Let’s go back to the text! • Looking at the CCR Anchor Standards handout, choose a reading and writing standard and create a text based task.
So…… When reading leads to writing, what does it look like?
There are three layers of understanding: What does it say? • The first layer is the literal level understanding. • Questions and activities are designed to build basic understanding of the text (with complex text, this is harder than we might expect for students).
The second layer of understanding: What does it mean? • The second layer of understanding is interpretation. Here, students need to be able to read between the lines to respond thoughtfully to the Big Idea question the teacher has designed – and support it with text evidence.
The third level of understanding: What does it matter? • The third layer of understanding is reflection. Here, students need to consider “What does it not say?” Why is this text important?” returning thoughtfully to the text and the Big Idea question the teacher has designed.
Working With the Exemplar: Linda R. Monk – Words We Live By: Your Annotated Guide to the Constitution – Grade 8 Exemplar Lesson • Look at the Learning Objective on page one • Read silently the text on page three
Students need more than just a pretty face – we need to model. • “The Wizard of Oz would have been a lousy writing teacher.” – Kelly Gallagher • Remember, we all learn by imitation – basketball coaches show kids how to do foul shots, writing teachers show kids how to write.
Questions See Listening Guide… What else do you need to know….?