Freshmen: Week 5 Recap and Week 6 Preview

At this halfway point through the first quarter, students made continued revisions to their narratives. We considered how authors vary the pacing of their narratives through a combination of summary and detailed scenes. Often, the moments of detail include dialogue, so we studied what makes dialogue purposeful and how to create engaging dialogue. Students then wrote practice dialogue in small groups before making revisions to the pacing and dialogue of their stories. We also considered story organization, specifically how scenes, or micro-stories, all build on the theme of the narrative as a whole. Students analyzed how both James Hurst and the author of their choice book use scenes to support the development of theme. Finally, we looked at the way Hurst embeds moments of reflection into this account of a childhood experience. We noticed that Hurst writes from the perspective of a child for portions of the story and from the perspective of an adult as he reflects on the experiences he shares. This reflection ultimately leads to a conclusion paragraph or sentence that emphasizes an image, action, or dialogue in order to solidify theme. Students used our lessons about the development of theme to make continued revisions.

This week, we will polish our narratives and submit them on Friday, September 25. We will review concepts of tone and mood and engage in a peer review prior to final submission.

Parents, how can you help?

  • Ask your child to share his or her narrative with you, and ask if they would like any specific types of feedback. For example, your child might be interested to know if his or her theme is clear or if the introduction to their narrative engages the reader. At the same time, your child might also want a reader, without being critiqued. We will do a peer review in class, so it’s okay to read without making suggestions.
  • Since the narrative is due Friday, ask your child to explain the process for submitting a paper. We will review this in class this week, so if he/she is uncertain, encourage him or her to reach out to me with questions.