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Practical Writing in the Intermediate Grades

Barbara W. Coles Trader

Contents of Curriculum Unit 86.04.14:

To Guide Entry

According to current research, learning to write freely requires a large amount of practice. We can help the students acquire a broader literacy that gives them opportunities, encourages them to communicate and allows them free expression through the experiences of free writing. In this unit, the instructors are to remember that every piece of writing cannot be outlined first, because the writing process does not have its beginning in a completely organized prose. It is better first to verbalize, list, explore and write freely. Subsequently, the students will focus on ideas and content before writing the words and grammar correctly, because writing and editing are two different skills.

Good writing involves a process of thinking, writing, rethinking and revising. In this unit, work in mastering the writing process will include seven interrelated phases of instruction; the students will progress through each phase in a sequential order.

A daily schedule should be established for free writing during 8-10 minutes. The language skills: usage, spelling, punctuation, vocabulary, style and organization are not to be substituted for free writing, because the reluctant writers will not be influenced to improve their writing skills. In Bob Foley’s book, The Writing Process and Writers Workshop, he notes that “the formal teaching of English grammar, traditional or transformational has virtually no influence” (p. 50). This is why the “Dependent” subgroup will not be forced to do the tasks of “Phases 6-7” that are addressed in this unit. Therefore, during language arts time, the suPporting activities should evolve from the free writing phases and time.

This unit will present the writing process in seven phases and will be taught throughout the year in grades 6 and 7.

My organization of the sequential phase represents what I see as a natural unfolding of the way students learn to master writing and thinking skills. First, the prewriting phase allows students to explore their ideas and experiences. Discussion and peer interaction enhance the sense that what they have to say is valuable. These prewriting strategies also connect with reading books, book reports, maps, lists, comic strips and the like.

I will also incorporate their accomplishments in arts and crafts as something special to them that they may want to explore in language and writing. Each person is worthy and has something to offer to society. Therefore, writing can reinforce a sense of self-worth and esteem that leads toward greater confidence, interest and free expression in writing.

The year will progress as follows:

I. September-October: The students will do various prewriting strategies: Phase d.
II. November-December: The 3 subgroups will do journal writing. Some students will complete seven phases, but others will not complete them. The 0-4 grading system will be used in Phase 6:D. Subsequently, the “Dependent Group” will write journals during the entire school year: Phase 2.
III. January: The students will study and discuss the elements of effective writing during the group activities; they will plan and organize one of their free writing pieces: Phase 3.
IV. February: The students will do Phase 4: First Draft.
V. March-June: The students will be divided into three subgroups. Instructors should remember that each student progresses individually; refer to Phase 5 for further details.

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Phase 1—Prewriting Strategies

It is important to give students the opportunities to investigate and utilize their knowledge; develop awareness; and establish and expand their imaginative thinking abilities into the curriculum area of writing. The preliminary writing activities will enable the students to recall and think reflectively upon personal and concrete experiences. Through these exercises, they will also collaborate and share information with their peers within the classroom.


In this exercise, the students will discuss lists of interesting topics on which to write. From this activity, students will learn to explore those things that interest them, excite them and will be given opportunities to express themselves freely. In short, they will be encouraged to organize the value of their own thoughts.

A. Compile Lists: The students can record the topics which they would like to address. Topics such as:
____I hate to do ______.
____I was afraid when ______.
____Yesdayday, ______happened.
____My biggest problem is ______.
__________ wasn’t fair to me when
________The instructor will solicit ideas from the students. When do people write? Why do they write? Tell the students that people write to inform or persuade.
B. Writing Directions: The students can write a set of directions with a group. The directions can be written to explain how to get to a particular classroom. The instructor can emphasize the thinking stage by encouraging the students to apply their knowledge and experiences. This activity also provides a study in the various purposes of writing to different audiences.
C. Writing Poetry: ‘The students can write poetry with the group using words that describe emotions, images, senses and the 1ike.” In Kenneth Koch’s book, he illustrates how students can write poetry with the group “using words that describe emotions, images and senses” (p. 69). The students will use words such as: roar, twist, wiggle (words of image); gaze, stare, grope, pat (words that relate to the senses); cringe, sob, moan (words of emotion).
D. Group clustering is a creative technique that starts with one or several words in a circle. In response to the key word, one people can connect related words by diagramming and mapping. In Gabriele Ricco’s book (p. 10), “clustering shifts from a sense of randomness to a sense of direction which enables people to write in a more natural way.”
________Group Clustering: Cluster the information on a page; use shapes and lines to show relationships/associations. MODELING: The students will participate through verbalizing. The instructor will write a word on the board, for example, “noisy.”
________DRAWING: Put “noisy” in the center of the chalkboard. Use arrows from the center circle, write down all of the associations with the word “noisy” in circles: squeaky cars—loud wind—children—sirens.
________TELLING: The instructor should inform the students that they can decide which cluster of words they would like to discuss in writing; the technique can be used for writing journals and identifying critical thinking skills. Clustering makes students aware of thoughts that they may not know they have, because it helps to bring the thinking process into focus in a concrete way (Ricco: p. 19).

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Phase 2—Journal Writing

According to recent research, it has been found that journal writing provides students with positive successful writing and daily opportunities to record their individual ideas. The journals are personal; they are not to be graded, revised, rewritten and are to be shared with others only if the authors choose to share with their classmates. The topics should always be broad for they should reflect the interest and thinking of the individual students.

In order for a journal to be successful, there needs to be rules and guidelines that protect the students’ privacy. The guidelines will also encourage the students to express and become more aware of their innermost thoughts/feelings. Such rules can be called a “journal contract” and presented to the students as follows.

“My Journal Contract” (for students)
________1. It is personal.
________2. Each student will decide what to write.
________3. It will never be corrected or graded.
________4. No person will read my journal without my permission.
________5. All students should have notebooks.
Teacher 6. Keep journals in a private place.
Teacher 7. Gain the students’ confidence and respect their journals.
Teacher 8. Respond to the concept of the entry and not the mechanics.
Teacher 9. Do not write in red ink, and do not read or respond to everything.
Teacher 10. Remind the students to leave several empty lines when writing.
Spelling should be taught formally during another period of the day. Therefore, the words that students misspell in their journals during the beginning of the school year will be spelled correctly by June. It is important to remember that students know many more words than they can spell correctly. Encourage the students to use words that they cannot spell correctly to enhance their writing abilities and not to inhibit the writers’ growth.


A. The students will expand and use their individual lists that they compiled in the first phase when journal writing.
B. Newspaper items will be used to serve as a source of stimulus and interest twice per week. The newspaper and other periodicals will allow the students to make a transition from personal concerns and proceed toward writing with persuasion.
C. The students will identify the emotions of characters and independently read to reinforce oral and silent reading.

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Phase 3—Planning and Organizing A Paper

The students will study the elements of effective writing in a group. In this unit, the introductory steps of composing a paper are not a purely individual matter; therefore, this information will be given first to the group. An education researcher, Donald Graves, has found that “the whole group instruction is more effective when the students’ needs are similar, because the teacher can plan the language arts periods to work with the entire class” The Author’s Language Chair (p. 176).

The students will be told that people write for different purposes. They will identify reading selections that inform and persuade. They will look at samples, identify the characteristics of good writing and successful composing. It will be emphasized that the preceding phases included informal ways of outlining a topic. They will learn that identifying and outlining topic sentences are simply more formalized and structured ways of expressing their thoughts and ideas. The students will be taught what a topic sentence means and will be shown how to condense their topics to a manageable size.


A. The students will discuss which would be the best choice for the selection of a condensed topic below:
____1) A Day in the Life of a Pet Dog and Cat, 2) Canines and Felines. Yes, the best choice is number two. Subsequently, the students will browse through current magazines, newspapers and encyclopedias to find paragraphs with effective topic sentences.
________It is still very important during the planning process to keep an environment in which students will feel free to write without the fear of criticism. The planning process is a phase to provide students with the support and frequent feedback that they need in free and developmental writing before drafting.
B. # 1—Mini-Letters

Writing is like other things. it has a structure. Letterwriting is a good way to teach the concept of structure, because the parts of a letter are so clearly defined. Students will have many occasions to write friendly letters or social notes like the one below. Read the letter and think of five main parts that all friendly letters should have. Do not forget the margins when writing.

____310 Cinder Street

Heading Kittery, Maine 03904
March 9, 19 __
Greeting Dear Mr. Connor,
Last Saturday night I ate dinner at the Central
Inn in Boston. By mistake,I picked up your black
overcoat instead of my own. The inside label with
Body your name and address helped me find the right
owner. Will you please write and tell me when I
may return your coat. I’m hoping that you have
mine since it is not at the lnn.
Closing Sincerely,
Signature Al Andrews
1. What part of a letter contains the writer’s address and the date?

2. What parts of a letter are always followed by a comma?

3. What parts of a letter are written in line with the heading?

4. What part of a letter contains the message?

5. What part ends the letter and is always handwritten?

# 2—A Business Letter

____25 Jasper Avenue

Heading Lousville, Kentucky 40206
June 5, 19
Mr. Philip Raynes
Inside State Record Company
Address Detroit, Michigan 48201
Greeting Dear Mr. Raynes:
Please send me the long-playing stereo record
#0837 that you offer in your May catalog. I am
Body enclosing my check for $6.40 to cover the record
and mailing costs.
Closing Yours truly,
Signature Teresa Barbosa

C. Tell the students to read aloud the persuading story and follow directions.
________Crack! Smash! Sid heard the ball strike the bat. Then he heard the smashing of glass. “Run, Sid, run!” someone shouted.
________Sid just stood there. Mr. Jones came out of his house. “Whose ball is this? Who broke my window? Why can’t you kids behave?” demanded Mr. Jones.
________Sid’s eyes were watery with tears, but he was grateful for a chance to explain. “I’m sorry, Jr. Jones. The ball is mine. I’ll pay for the window.”
________Mr. Jones looked puzzled. “I’ll teach these kids a lesson,” he muttered.
____Directions: Write your own ending to the story.
D. The students will learn how to develop paragraph and simple essay structure. The term “essay map” refers to both a sentence and first paragraph that provide within their content a “map” for developing the essay. Students will learn how to compose such sentences and follow-up their development.
The following example of a map sentence will be written on the board for discussion about how it provides direction for development: Hershey Park is a fun place for a vacation. I had a great time there last summer because

______., ______., ______..

The students will complete the blanks with suggested reasons, such as: the rides last a long time; there are many different types of entertainment; and, the food is good.

Each reason gets developed in a separate, supportive paragraph; the essay will have five paragraphs. The introductory paragraph will have a topic and map sentence; three paragraphs will deal with elaborating on three specific reasons; and, the last paragraph will be the concluding one. From this activity, students can see how to structure their enthusiasm of expression from phases one and two into a more structured expression. Subsequently, this technique will give the students an opportunity to learn how to achieve structure and to turn a journal entry into an essay map.

E. The students will learn to identify the parts of speech of the map sentence. An over-head projector should be used when teaching the parts of speech. Example:
Hershey Park is a

noun noun verb indefinite article

fun place during vacation.

noun noun preposition noun

F. Excellent literary works/models also will be used to teach structure. These include the classic entitled Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White, and The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe. The students will identify the meaning of words; they will identify the etymology, synonyms, antonyms and the parts of speech.

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Phase 4—First Draft

This phase is selected because the students will use the concepts that were developed in the previous phases. *The emphasis is on content; the form and mechanics will not be stressed in the fourth writing phase. The students will have the opportunities to expand, select and develop one of their free writing pieces (200-300: 100-200: 50-100 or 25-50 words). Use “Phase-6: Section D” Guidelines for grading.

A. The instructor will emphasize content and focus on organization. Tell the students to review these guidelines.
____1. Did I write specific details?
____2. Did I write the ideas in an order that makes sense?
____3. Was my entry interesting?
____4. Is there a better way to end this selected article?
B. After they have written their pieces, the instructor will let the students silently check what they composed. They will answer these questions and record the answers. What is the purpose of composing the written piece? What are the details? What is the main idea? Are there statements of facts or opinions? Does the story end at the right place? The volunteers will read aloud their individual accounts, and the class will discuss how the accounts differ. This discussion will allow the volunteers to receive comments from the audience/peers and will create the interest of the others to discuss their free writing pieces.

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Phase 5—Revising and Editing

The fifth phase will allow the students to expand and practice the essential elements for proficient writers. During the previous phases, the students have had the same goals, objectives and similar needs. However, by this point, some students will have advanced more than others, and some students will need to continue to work on earlier phases.

a.) Independent Group—These students will have a lesser need for the instructor’s input. The instructor will have brief group conferences with the students to review the content criteria. They can revise what they have composed independently. The students will refer to the “Final Draft Skills List.” *This group will reach the seventh phase at a faster pace.
b.) Semi-independent Group—The students will need more teacher-directed input and conferences when they are revising. It is important that this group participates in “Independent Group” conferences to help them to achieve the higher level. Research has shown that peer teaching is an effective way of stimulating growth at both levels.
c.) Dependent Group—“The students will need more teacher-directed input before they begin to revise; they will sign-up for individual conferences” (Adelman and Horan, p. 72). Do not be discouraged if this group doesn’t obtain “Phases 6-7.” This group will do many drafts before the sixth phase.

Conference Suggestions

1. The instructor’s questions and comments should be supportive/encouraging.
2. Place the table in a quiet place/corner.
3. Sit beside the individual students rather than across the table as an authority figure.
4. Help the individual students to feel comfortable when collaborating; the students will gain more confidence and self-esteem.

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Final Draft Skills List

Things I can Do As A Writer
Examples of “Proofreading Skills Grades K-12 Teachers Can Teach Their Students” (Atwell, p. 10).

1. Puts his/her name and the date on his/her paper.
2. Reads his/her pieces aloud to a friend.
3. Leaves spaces between words.
4. Uses capitals at the beginnings of sentences.
5. Uses periods (.) at the ends of sentences, when his/her voice drops and stops.
6. Uses an exclamation mark (!) when showing excitement or strong feelings.
7. Uses commas between items on a list or in a series.
8. Uses a caret ( ) to add information.
9. Uses (‘s) to show possession; that something belongs to somebody.
10. Uses an apostrophe (‘) to show that a letter or letters are missing (a contraction).
11. Writes “ ___ and I” at the beginnings of sentences; as the sentence subject.
12. Uses a straight margin on final copies.
13. Numbers his/her drafts.
14. Knows the differences between “their,” ”there,” and “they’re.”
15. Uses quotation marks (“ “) around the words people say aloud.
16. Uses a (é) to show where he’ll/she’ll start new paragraphs.
17. Goes down the next line and indents for new paragraphs.
18. Divides words between lines and syllables.
19. Uses a colon (:) before an explanation.
20. Uses a semicolon (;) to attach two sentences that are about the same thing, where he/she wants to show the connection between two main clauses with similarly related ideas.
The purpose of the individual conferences is to enable the students to review their free writing pieces, help the students to solve their writing problems and think more critically. The instructor will be a good listener, allow the authors to explain, avoid negative statements, be brief but specific, and limit each conference to 3 minutes. The class will be doing independent practice activities in language arts during the individual conferences for free writing.

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Activities—The Refinement Sessions

A. The instructor will facilitate, help the students evaluate themselves and encourage peer feedback for revision. Refer to “Phase 4—Section B” and use the questions to devise a questionnaire and skills list in their “Writing Notebooks.” The three subgroups will be organized; therefore, the “Independent Group” will be ready for the next phase during the end of March.
B. Mini-Lesson Samples for Proofreading and Correction
____Proofread the story below to find nine misspelled list words. Write the words correctly at the left. Place question marks and exclamation marks where they have been left out. Refer to “Phase-3” and compare the corrections.
_____ Crack! Smash Sid heard the ball strike the
_____ bat. Then he heard the smashing of glass. “Run,
_____ Sid, run” someone shouted
_____ Sid just stood there. Mr. Jones came out of
_____ his house. “Whose ball is this Who broke my
_____ winedow Why can’t you kids behave? demainded Mr.
_____ Jones.
_____ Sid’s eyes were watery with teers, but he was
_____ greatful for a chance to explain. “I’m sorry, Mr.
_____ Jones. The ball is minds. I’ll pay for the
_____ window.”
_____ Mr. Jones looked puzzled. “I’ll teach theese
_____ kids a 1essen,” he muttered.
The names of the states are always capitalized. If the name of a state is not capitalized, it is misspelled. Find six list words which are misspelled and write them correctly.

_____ Delaware, Conneticit, and georgia were
_____ members of the thirteen original colonies. Iowa,
_____ Michigan, and illinois are part of the central
_____ farming and manufacturing areas of America.
_____ Arkansaw, Maryland and Florida share a proud
_____ heritage as part of the Southern United States.
_____ California, Orego, utah, and Washington are part
_____ of the Western United States.
Abbreviations are letters or groups of letters that stand for words or phrases. They are listed as entries in alphabetical order in most dictionaries. To find an abbreviation, look for the spelling of the abbreviation, not the word or phrase the abbreviation represents.

Some abbreviations can stand for more than one word. Some can be written with or without periods after the letters of the abbreviation.

Find five correct abbreviations. Write the words they stand for and then write the correct form of the abbreviation. The first one is done for you.

1. I went to see Dr Ruiz on Jan 12.

Doctor Dr.
January Jan.
2. The new vp of our club is Jerry Kato.
3. The old house was built c 1760.
4. The recipe called for 2 c sugar.

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Phase 6—The Final Draft

The students will write their final drafts, proofread and refer to the skills list. This is the “phase” that the students are ready to decide whether they want their compositions presented to an unfamiliar audience. The students are to remember that they are no longer writing for their teacher, but their written work will be publicized/published.

The students will attach the “Getting Ready to Publish” information in their “Writing Notebooks.”

Getting Ready to Publish

1. Does it have all the information in it that you want?
2. Have you added information?
3. Is your piece in the right order?
4. Have you shared your book with the class?
____Have you shared your book with a friend?
____Have you shared your book with a teacher?
5. Circle several words that are not spelled like they would be in a dictionary.
6. Have you put a period, question mark, or exclamation mark at the end of each sentence?
7. Are there capital letters at the beginning of sentences and for proper/special names?
8. Review your book with the teacher or put it in the editing tray.
* More questions can be added if the instructor desired to do so.

The students are to use their previous reference information (questionnaire and skills list). The writers will do several drafts until they are satisfied with their work. The young authors will edit for mechanical errors and spelling; they are to proofread very carefully. Allow them to “retype their pieces on clean paper and proofread again for typographical errors.” The instructor will use the conference information from “Phases 4-5.”

Activities: The Refinement Sessions

A. The instructor will tell the students that the task is relatively simple because they have done the most difficult work. The subject is limited and the topic sentence is written. They have planned the organization and development for the body of the paper, and the ideas are written for the conclusion. The result is a rough draft of the finished product. *The students can recopy their papers for a homework assignment.
B. The instructor will use various assessment tools to rate the students’ papers on the basis of the characteristics that are important for proficient writers. A diagnostic test on common errors will be used; it will diagnose word endings, parts of speech and spelling.
C. The students will be rated from 0-4.
____0 = No improvement
____1 = Slight improvement (poor)
____2 = Some improvement (fair—in one area)
____3 = Significant improvement (good)
____4 = Outstanding improvement (excellent)
The “basic goals” writing chart will be used. Each of the items on the “skills chart will be examined from four modified pedagogical perspectives” (Shaughnessy, p. 275).
D. Each one of the students will have an Observation and Self- Evaluative Checklist in their free writing folders where the corrected assignments are maintained. The students’ individual conferences should not last any longer than two to three minutes per paper. The instructor will review these questions with the students and utilize the grading system. 1. Do I have a combination of spatial and/or chronological order (describing nouns and the time)? 2. Did I include logic/ reasoning? 3. Was I emphatic and dramatic (effectiveness of the entry and conclusion)? Excellent—four points will be given if the student has completed all of the tasks. Good—three points will be given if some of the tasks are done. Satisfactory—two points will be given if the topic sentence and related ideas are recorded. Unsatisfactory one point is given if random thoughts are recorded. Zero—the student did not try to do any of the phases (no improvement).
E. The students’ individual books will be bound. The instructor will have a “Binders Workshop,” and the “Bindery” will be located in a special section of the classroom. The theme is “Writing Can Be Fun.” The students will read aloud and advertise their books within the school building. They will have a special program to invite their parents, friends, the faculty and others.

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Phase 7—Language Enrichment

The students who are in the “independent” and “Semi-independent” groups will apply the free writing and language skills to other subject areas. The enrichment activities are essential to the writing process, because they give the students the opportunities to connect writing, reading and critical thinking skills in the content areas of social studies, science, math, literature and the unified arts! The students will apply the following language skills: grammar, spelling, capitalization and punctuation.

Activities: Samples

A. Mini-Lessons in the Content Subject Areas

#1. Write a story that contains some funny plural words. Use cartoons and comic strips.
#2. Here is a good-news/bad-news joke.
____Dentist: I’ve got some good news and some bad news.
____Patient: What’s the good newsz?
____Dentist: I’ve put in a new tooth to match your old teeth.
____Patient: What’s the bad news?
____Dentist: The new tooth has cavities just like your old teeth.
____Read the joke; then write your own good-news/bad-news jokes.
#3. Sometimes the pronunciation of a word depends upon its meaning. Notice the first pronunciation for present is used with meaning I and the second pronunciation is used for meaning
2. I’ll (pri zent’) a (prez’ nt) to Dad.

Read each sentence. Then write 1 or 2 to show which pronunciation and meaning is correct for the underlined word.

___1. Mom gave me a nice birthday present.

___2. The mayor will present a trophy to our team.

___3. Pamela put a record on the phonograph.

___4. Mr. Garcia will record the minutes of the meeting.

#4a. Write the words that go with the definitions.

(Content Words: 1—protractor; 2—decimal point;

3—fractional; 4—remainder)

1. instrument for drawing or measuring angles

2. a period placed before a decimal fraction

3. having to do with fractions, or parts of a whole

4. number left over after dividing one number by another

1. 2.
3. 4.

1. Use the letter clues to match a content word with each definition. (perpendicular; parallel; radii; segment)

a. standing straight up

b. a part of something

p s

c. the same distance apart everywhere


2. What is the plural of radius?

3. Write two list words that are plurals like radii.

#4c. The climate of an area refers to the weather. The geography refers to surface features. Answer the questions below. Use your glossary if necessary. (gulf; peninsula; temperate; humid)

1. Which two words tell about the climate of an area?

2. Which two words might be used to tell about the geography of Florida?

#4d. Use the glossary to help you understand the challenge words. (1—nebula; 2—astrologer; 3—physicist; 4—nitrogen) Then write the word that means:

1. a cloudlike cluster of stars

2. a person who studies the stars to make predictions

3. an expert in physics

4. nitrogen

1. 2.
3. 4.
#5. In a dictionary, the students can find where to divide the words at the end of a line of writing. Notice that the divisions in entry words and in pronunciations are not always the same. Use the entry word to decide where to divide a word in writing.

Write the words using hyphens to show where they could be divided at the end of a line of writing. Remember that just one letter of a word should never be put on a line by itself. The first word is divided for you.

1. thirteen thir-teen
2. thirty

3. hundredth

4. eleven

5. ninety

6. fourteen

7. twentieth

#6. The Daring Dozen club members are lined up to get an influenza shot. After the shot they may visit the pizza parlor, the zoo, or the museum. Pretend you are one of them. Write a poem about the things you do.

B. A Mini-Lesson in the Arts

Read the following information about Pablo Picasso, George Washington Carver, Ludwig von Beethoven and Duke Ellington.

(a.) Arrange the following sentences in sequential order by numbering them 1-5 and 1-7. The answers are correct in this lesson.
____3 Picasso began using collage.
____4 The town of Guernica was bombed.
____1 Picasso mastered realistic painting.
____5 Picasso was awarded the Lenin Peace Prize.
____2 Cubism emerged as a style.
(b.) 4 Carver went to the Tuskegee Institute to lead the Agricultural Department.
____2 As a child, George had to travel far from home to attend school.
____5 Carver found many new uses for peanuts.
____1 The American Civil War began.
____6 Carver was offered great sums of money to leave the Tuskegee Institute.
____3 Carver earned a “Master of Science” degree.
____7 At the time of his death, George Washington Carver was still working at the Tuskegee Institute.
(c.) Circle the letter of the phrase that best completes each sentence.
____1. Beethoven felt he had been put into the world to c.
____a. play the piano b. enjoy a pleasant life c. accomplish
____2. People sometimes b at Beethoven’s concerts. a. threw things b. cried openly c. Laughed loudly
____3. Beethoven used music to a.
____a. express his emotions b. solve math problems
____c. cure sick people.
(d.) Write T if the statement is true. Write F if the statement is false.
____F 1. Duke Ellington played the trumpet.
____T 2. Duke Ellington composed more than 1,000 works.
____F 3. Duke Ellington was famous for his singing.
____T 4. Duke Ellington enjoyed showing off his player’s skills.
____F 5. The sound of Duke’s band never changed.
____F 6. Duke Ellington became a band leader in 1957.
____T 7. Duke Ellington is deceased.
C. Students will pronounce the words aloud and identify the meanings quietly.
laboratory fertilize research achievements
agriculture prejudice offered respected
enrich founded receive quartets
Select the words in the box to complete the blanks, answers and questions below.

1. Which word means thought well of?
2. Booker T. Washington founded the Tuskegee Institute.
3. Carver knew that peanuts would fertilize and enrich the soil.
4. Which word means the science of producing crops? agriculture
5. In his laboratory, Carver found many new uses for peanuts, sweet potatoes, soybeans and cowpeas.
6. Things that one has accomplished are called achievements.
7. Carver spent his life teaching and doing research.
8. Many people offered Carver large sums of money.
9. Many colleges were unwilling to accept Black students because of prejudice.
10. It was not easy for a Black child to receive an education in 1874.
It is very important that the instructors have a writing curriculum section in their classrooms; they should also write and share their writing with the students. The students should have free access to gather their folders and notebooks quietly; however, the journals are to be kept in a private setting. The classrooms should reflect respect for students’ writing. A section of the bulletin board should provide motivational writing: demonstrate free writing, drafts, revision, editing and final pieces. Various teaching strategies, materials and audio-visual equipment should be utilized to encourage more proficient writers such as: “cassette tapes, the overhead projector, scrapbooks, periodicals, and other media materials. In conclusion, writing is a continuous process from the early childhood grades through adulthood. It is this process that we can address throughout the years of schooling and which this unit addresses in particular for grades 6 and 7 in Reading/Language Arts classes.

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Bibliography for Teachers

Adelman, Linda and Horan, Elizabeth M., Writing and Thinking. Massachusetts: Mastery Education Corporation, 1985. An intensified writing process based on theories. It is a comprehensive study.

Atwell, Nancie. Making Every Student A More Skillful Writer. California: The Learning Institute, 1984. Very practical teaching information and easy to apply.

Foley, Bob. The Writing Process and Writers Workshop. Virginia: National Curriculum Study Institute, 1985. The workshop was very informative, and the information is very applicable.

Graves, Donald H. and Hasen, Jane, “The Author’s Chair” Language Arts, vol. 60 (February 1983), pp. 176-83. The article is theoretical and gives a clear picture of teaching students free writing.

Koch, Kenneth, Wishes, Lies and Dreams. New York: Vantage Book, 1970. The book includes the various ways to teach youngsters how to write poetry. Readable poems by young authors are in the book.

Lowe, Ralph E. The Writing Clinic. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1973. Standard English writing with a minimum of grammatical theory is emphasized. The information places a strong emphasis on expository writing, and the approaches are easy to follow.

Rico, Gabriele L. Writing the Natural Way. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1983. The book emphasized using the right-brain techniques to release one’s expressive powers. The clustering technique is highly useful. for creative writing.

Shaughnessy, Mina P., Errors and Expectations. New York: Oxford University Press, 1977. The book consists of basic information for the teaching of basic writing. It’s very useful for reading and language arts teachers in the middle and secondary grades.

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Reading Lists for Students

Gately, George. Beathcliff Books. New York: Charter Books, McNaught Syndicate, Inc., 1973-1986. The humorous books depict cartoon characters, and the major character is Heathcliff. The paperback books are very motivational for reluctant and independent writers/readers.

Gawskin, Carol. The Magician’s Ring. Mahwah, New Jersey: Troll Associates, 1985. The paperback book consists of very good writing characteristics to utilize for modeling. As the students read, they will be asked to make important decisions: decision policy making and problem solving. When one adventure ends, the students can always return to the beginning and follow a new route. Readable and interesting for the middle school grades.

Koch, Kenneth. Wishes, Lies and Dreams. New York: Vantage Book, 1970. The poems are written by school age youngsters. The book has a wealth of material and consists of excellent literary works by young authors.

Sabin, Francene. Whales and Dolphins. Mahwah, New Jersey: Troll Associates, 1985. The non-fictional science paperback depicts excellent writing skills. The art work is well illustrated, and the vocabulary is appealing to the middle school grade youngsters. The reluctant readers will enjoy this book.

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Contents of 1986 Volume IV | Directory of Volumes | Index | Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute

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