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The goals of this unit are threefold: first, instilling in students a sense of purpose for writing. Too often, students do not understand why it is important to write, and more acutely, they do not understand why it is important for them to write. Secondly, this unit aims to teach students specific strategies to implement when writing that will serve to engage the audience. There are three strategies that develop students writing in very concrete, understandable ways. Lastly, students will recognize the benefit of collaborating with peers when writing. While writing is primarily an individual exercise, this unit will challenge the misconception that writing is entirely an individual exercise. Students will write an advice narrative for incoming students, telling of their own experiences in surviving the first few weeks of middle school. The class will discuss what makes good advice good and what experiences they have been through will be helpful to the incoming students. Students will then learn specific strategies to develop this type of writing in a way that engages their audience. As students take their narratives through the writing process, their peers will provide helpful and constructive feedback. Finally, after deciding the criteria for a good narrative, the students will decide which narratives meet those criteria. These narratives will be compiled into a survival guide book.
Patel, Nilima, "Survival Guide: Writing a Personal Narrative" (2005). Understanding by Design: Complete Collection. Paper 8.
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