ELA.W.9-10.1a

Common core State Standards

  • ELA:  English Language Arts
  • W:  Writing Standards 6-12
  • 9-10:  9th & 10th Grades
  • 1a: 
    Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts,
    using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.

    a. Introduce precise claim(s), distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or
    opposing claims, and create an organization that establishes clear
    relationships among claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence.


    b. Develop claim(s) and counterclaims fairly, supplying evidence for each
    while pointing out the strengths and limitations of both in a manner that
    anticipates the audience's knowledge level and concerns.

    c. Use words, phrases, and clauses to link the major sections of the text,
    create cohesion, and clarify the relationships between claim(s) and reasons,
    between reasons and evidence, and between claim(s) and counterclaims.

    d. Establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone while attending to
    the norms and conventions of the discipline in which they are writing.

    e. Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports
    the argument presented.

Download Common Core State Standards (PDF 1.2 MB)

|
ELA.W.9-10.1b

Common core State Standards

  • ELA:  English Language Arts
  • W:  Writing Standards 6-12
  • 9-10:  9th & 10th Grades
  • 1b: 
    Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts,
    using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.

    a. Introduce precise claim(s), distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or
    opposing claims, and create an organization that establishes clear
    relationships among claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence.

    b. Develop claim(s) and counterclaims fairly, supplying evidence for each
    while pointing out the strengths and limitations of both in a manner that
    anticipates the audience's knowledge level and concerns.


    c. Use words, phrases, and clauses to link the major sections of the text,
    create cohesion, and clarify the relationships between claim(s) and reasons,
    between reasons and evidence, and between claim(s) and counterclaims.

    d. Establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone while attending to
    the norms and conventions of the discipline in which they are writing.

    e. Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports
    the argument presented.

Download Common Core State Standards (PDF 1.2 MB)

|
ELA.W.9-10.5

Common core State Standards

  • ELA:  English Language Arts
  • W:  Writing Standards 6-12
  • 9-10:  9th & 10th Grades
  • 5: 
    Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing,
    rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on addressing what is most
    significant for a specific purpose and audience. (Editing for conventions should
    demonstrate command of Language standards 1-3 up to and including grades
    9-10 on page 54.)

Download Common Core State Standards (PDF 1.2 MB)

Small Group Writing
Lesson Objective: Make small group writing effective and meaningful
Grades 9-12 / ELA / Writing
ELA.W.9-10.1a | ELA.W.9-10.1b | ELA.W.9-10.5

Thought starters

  1. How does small group discussion prepare students for their writing task?
  2. What role does reading aloud play in the revision process?
  3. How does this strategy make work more manageable and effective for both teachers and students?
44 Comments

I found the Small Group Writing video very informative and a protocol that I would like to see teachers try in a classroom. Since the groups are only comprised of three, or just two students, each student will have time to share and participate in the small group writing. The teacher read the prompt aloud so that all of the students could hear the writing expectation, and then allowed the students to discuss that prompt and have a pre-write discussion. Though students do a lot of writing via social media, academic writing takes more forethought and thinking aloud is a good vehicle to prepare students for the writing process. In the video, students discussed what evidence was need to prove the thesis prior to writing, and each student contributed. I found it interesting that only one student took notes and wrote the communal first draft while the other students dictated. I am assuming that the role of the scribe would rotate so that each student would have the chance to be the scribe giving them the experience of doing the actual writing.

Having the scribe read the first draft of the communal writing aloud let the members of the group hear what their writing sounded like and how it flowed. This is a great alternative to just having the students each read the first draft as the read aloud was far more engaging and allowed students to give feedback on the first draft and edit together prior to handing in the draft to the teacher for feedback. The idea of having the teacher give feedback to students on the group writing project is certainly more manageable for the teacher, and less intimidating for the students. Students would be able to review the teacher feedback as a group and again verbalize their thinking on how to improve the writing prior to completing the published piece.

 

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Love the idea of students working in small groups to construct a piece of writing. Students discussing their perspectives, agreeing upon ideas to write about and finding evidence to connect their thinking brings writing to life. This video demonstrates the importance of shared responsibility as a tool for enhancing student performance a collective responsibility.

 

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The small group discussion prepares the students for the writing task by introducing them to some related questions about the task. They then in groups of 2 or 3 answer the questions about Of Mice and Men. They start to talk about what they think the purpose of the book was and are already talking persuasively and trying to prove their point. The read aloud plays a dynamic role in the revision process because one or all students can read it and find the mistakes and what doesn’t sound right and add and delete words or sentences to their essay. It is a great group activity because one student takes notes and writes the first draft then another student does the read aloud and revisions so all group members are involved. This was of teaching the writing process is more manageable for the teacher because you get less essays to grade so you can really focus on giving the groups feedback. It is also more effective for the student because it is easier for them to verbalize their opinions and then verbalize the writing. It makes a normally big, scary writing task manageable.

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Small group discussion prepares students for writing because it gives them an opportunity to hear their ideas out loud and listen to other’s ideas about the same topic hence, building perspective and evaluating their own ideas when compared to their partners.   As the teacher mentions in the video thinking about what you want to write is one thing but getting those ideas down on paper is quite another.   Talking about the ideas with a partner really facilitates that process in many ways. When students were reading their papers to each other or having them read by their partners they could hear where a different word would make more sense and/or if the message needed to be clarified.   Peer editing is a way to make the work manageable because it means that the students will receive feedback on their writing multiple times before the teacher has to look at it.  Peer editing helps each student build proficiency in writing when they are giving feedback or receiving it.   

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Small group discussions allow students to discuss what they will be writing about from multiple angles. Different students will bring different perspectives (along with different evidence) to the table. This will allow students to brainstorm and plan with a far wider lens - therefore preparing them on a much deeper level to dive into their first draft.

As noted in the video, students actually catch mistakes when reading aloud. They will realize when something doesn't "sound right" and they will have the opportunity revise with their group.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE the last minute of this video when the teacher mentions only collecting 6-8 essyas at the end of class. Not only does this save her time, but it also allows her to provide more meaningful and specific feedback to the essays she has. As a former teacher who spent hours grading essays, I know how diffcult and time-consuming it can be. In addition, it's true, the more you have to grade the less specific you can be with your feedback. Quality over quantity is so evident here. Why not grade fewer essays, save yourself some headache, AND provide students with feedback that is relevant and meanignful and will help them become better writers!

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I also loved the idea of using a few essays to model how to provide meaningful and specific feedback so that students gain more confidence in the writing process and peer editing.

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It prepares students by allowing them to discuss the reading

Reading it out loud allows the writing to hear how it sounds and aids in the proof reading process.

This makes the writing less intimidating for students and the teacher has less to grade; making the feedback more meaningful to students.

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Transcripts

  • 01:00:04;24 – 01:00:13;26
    [Introductions]
    Hi my name is Jennifer Rosenzweig and I’m a ninth and tenth grade English teacher at

    01:00:04;24 – 01:00:13;26
    [Introductions]
    Hi my name is Jennifer Rosenzweig and I’m a ninth and tenth grade English teacher at Bronxville High School and my lesson idea is something that I call Small Group Writing.

    01:00:17;21 - 01:00:25;19
    [JENNIFER addressing the class]
    Alright, we have not done any writing yet about Of Mice and Men and that’s been on purpose because I was sort of saving it up for today.

    01:00:25;22 – 01:00:36;25
    [JENNIFER – I/V]
    Small Group Writing assignment is when kids work in either groups of three or sometimes I put two kids together to create a piece of writing that is persuasive and uh, proves a point.

    01:00:36;26 – 01:00:52;26
    [JENNIFER addressing the class]
    In your group write a response to the following questions, what ultimately is the message of Of Mice and Men? What essential truth does Steinbeck what to convey about the human experience through this work?

    01:00:52;28 – 01:01:06;22
    [JENNIFER – I/V]
    Once they get the question, to me maybe the most important is that discussion of what are we going to prove, right? Because any persuasive piece of writing that that’s…what the writer is thinking about; ‘well what ultimately do I want my reader to take away from this?’

    01:01:06;30 – 01:01:23;24
    [1st Student:]
    I think it was like, he had to die though, ‘cause I don’t think…um
    [2nd Student:]
    If he was alive Curley would kill em…or put him in jail
    [1st Student:]
    And so I think even though killing him was sad, I feel like it was actually the right thing to do on George’s part because …he let him die happy

    01:01:23;27 - 01:01:50;02
    [JENNIFER – I/V]
    It works best when you have that moment, for example, at the end of a novel, ‘ok, what does this mean? What is this author trying to tell us?’ Uh, that they can actually have a real opinion about it and its organic it’s not something that they’re being forced; they actually care about it. I think that’s the success of it more than maybe the product because it is hard to write in a group. To me, the whole thing is the discussion that they have about…about what they’re gonna say and then how they’re gonna say it.

    01:01:50;20 – 01:02:02;19
    [3rdStudent:]
    So I think they set the dream for themselves…to…to give them something to look forward to
    [4thStudent:]
    Yea and like, to sort of keep them going…

    01:02:02;20 – 01:02:07;21
    [JENNIFER – I/V]
    After that comes, ‘what evidence are we going to use? What evidence is significant to my thesis?’

    01:02:07;22 – 01:02:15;19
    [1st Student:]
    We have one showing the hope of the dream; we have one showing how like, he always kills things.

    01:02:15;22 - 01:02:48;09
    [JENNIFER – I/V]
    The activity is group writing so they have to decide together what they’re going to say and what evidence they are going to use, but one person is writing…is taking the notes and writing the first draft of it. What I told my students today is that they were probably going to need two pieces of evidence here to prove your thesis so maybe we’re looking at one longer paragraph or two smaller paragraphs. Um, I don’t like so much to give them, to tell them how many paragraphs it has to be because then all of a sudden they’re sort of filling in blanks…
    01:02:45;07
    …instead of letting something organic come from them.

    01:02:48;21 – 01:02:54;22
    [5th Student:]
    Lenny is the…immature…

    01:02:54;24 – 01:03:06;23
    [JENNIFER – I/V]
    So they write the first draft and then one of the students reads it out loud which I think is an incredibly important thing when you’re writing to hear it out loud because all of a sudden you’re picking up stuff that doesn’t sound right.

    01:03:06;25 – 01:03:15;13
    [3rd Student re-reading 1st draft:]
    Working on a new branch…brought comfort…working on a new…ah hold on…brought comfort…

    01:03:15;17 – 01:03:28;12
    [JENNIFER – I/V]
    If time allows they can do a second draft, which I really like as well because now they’re editing and proofreading together and I think those are really important skills that sometimes for students because of time, get pushed aside.

    01:03:28:14 – 01:03:35;20
    [6th Student:]
    And I think we should take out unable him and put George was held back…
    [5th Student writing the change:]
    George was held back by Lenny’s actions…

    01:03:35;22 – 01:04:05;09
    [JENNIFER – I/V]
    When you’re teaching writing, um, my God, you have to try and attack it from every angle you can. I think anytime that you can get the kids to verbalize their opinions and then to think about, ‘how do I translate that to writing’ and they have to verbalize the writing part of it, I just…I think that…there’s very few times that you’re actually able to do that; because writing by itself is a very lonely process and often uh, we feel very frustrated that what’s in our heads can’t get on the page, so this is just another angle at getting…
    01:04:05;10
    …at that and then making it less scary.

    01:04:08;01 – 01:04:10;09
    [JENNIFER addressing the class]
    Thank you guys, awesome job today.

    01:04:10;11 - 01:04:27;12
    [JENNIFER – I/V]
    A great benefit, from a teacher point of view at the end of this lesson, I have 8 or 9 pieces of writing that I can really spend some time on, give some…real feedback on the kids. We can use as a teaching tool and a building block, so when they do go home with those essays they have more confidence.

School Details

Bronxville High School
177 Pondfield Road
Bronxville NY 10708
Population: 493

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Jennifer Rosenzweig

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Grades 6-12, All Subjects, Civic Engagement

TCH Special

Grades 6-12, All Subjects, Civic Engagement

TCH Special

Grades 6-12, All Subjects, Civic Engagement

Teaching Practice

All Grades / All Subjects / Collaboration