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LDC Informational or Explanatory Module Template | Literacy Design Collaborative, September 2011 1

Reading Like a Writer: I



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Louisville Writing Project

LDC Informational or Explanatory Module Template | Literacy Design Collaborative, September 2011 2
Reading Like a Writer: Narrative Template

developed by the Louisville Writing Project
Module title: Reading Like a Writer
Module description
(overview):
This prototype is designed to be used alone or in conjunction with an another template task whenever a major goal is for students to
analyze a text in order to identify elements of craft/style, and structure so that they can use those elements to develop their own writing.

The module is intended to be used across grade levels and content areas. Reading and writing is integrated, with an emphasis on
using models that can be
Enjoyed and discussed by student readers;
Used to teach developmentally appropriate reading skills;
Analyzed to reveal craft elements and organizational patterns that our student writers will emulate; and
Revisited as students develop multiple drafts of a narrative, providing inspiration as students revise, edit, and publish their
pieces.

Template task
(include number,
type, level):
Template Task Number 30 Type: Narrative/Sequential

[Insert essential question.] After reading and analyzing selected mentor texts including [models of narratives about real or imagined
events / literary or personal writing], write a [narrative or substitute] about a real or imagined event that demonstrates control of [one or
more elements of craft and/or structure identified in the mentor text(s)]. Strive to achieve the quality of the mentor text(s) while
developing an original piece. L2; Write a reflective paragraph to accompany your narrative in which you describe your efforts to emulate
the craft and/or structure of the mentor text; L3: Write an additional paragraph in which you evaluate your efforts using the rubric
provided and identify your next steps as a writer.
Teaching task: Sample essential questions:

How can we identify and approximate in our own writing the effective elements of craft and structure that we notice in the works
we are reading?
How do authors use dialogue to move the plot?
How do authors use imagery to develop theme?
How do authors develop character?

After reading and analyzing selected mentor texts including [models of narratives about real or imagined events / literary or personal
writing], write a narrative (e.g., a personal narrative, memoir, short story, narrative poem, dramatic scene, one-act play, personal essay,
or narrative article) about a real or imagined event that demonstrates control of one or more elements of craft and/or structure identified
in the mentor text(s). Strive to achieve the quality of the mentor text(s) while developing an original piece. L2: Write a reflective
paragraph to accompany your narrative in which you describe your efforts to emulate the craft and/or structure of the mentor text; L3:
LDC Informational or Explanatory Module Template | Literacy Design Collaborative, September 2011 3
Write an additional paragraph in which you evaluate your efforts using the rubric provided and identify your next steps as a writer.
Grade(s)/Level: All
Discipline: (e.g.,
ELA, science,
history, other?)
ELA, with applications to other disciplines
Course: --
Author(s): Louisville Writing Project
Student samples Party With a Peacock, Breaking Teeth, Cheater, Chaos, Beast of the Pond, Chicken: The Story of
a Painful Encounter, and Grapes were provided by students of Sabrina Back, NBCT, Morgan County Middle School,
West Liberty, KY. Contact info: sabrina.back@morgan.kyschools.us

Contact
information:
jean.wolph@louisville.edu

LDC Informational or Explanatory Module Template | Literacy Design Collaborative, September 2011 4

Section 1: What Task?

TEACHING TASK
Teaching task: How can we identify and approximate in our own writing the effective elements of craft and structure that we notice in the works we are
reading? After reading and analyzing selected mentor texts including [models of narratives about real or imagined events / literary or
personal writing], write a narrative (e.g., a personal narrative, memoir, short story, narrative poem, dramatic scene, one-act play, personal
essay, or narrative article) about a real or imagined event that demonstrates control of one or more elements of craft and/or structure
identified in the mentor text(s). Strive to achieve the quality of the mentor text(s) while developing an original piece. L2: Write a reflective
paragraph to accompany your narrative in which you describe your efforts to emulate the craft and/or structure of the mentor text; L3: Write
an additional paragraph in which you evaluate your efforts using the rubric provided and identify your next steps as a writer.
Reading texts: The reading-writing connection is especially efficient and effective when the readings for a module are selected both for their content and for
their value as writing models. Assemble purposeful collections of mentor texts touchstone textsthat illustrate the concepts, craft
elements, or structures that you hope students will learn to approximate in their own writing. For each lesson, select an appropriate mentor
text, based on the craft and/or structure you wish to teach. Copy or type the text (or a representative excerpt) as a script.

Background to
share with
students:
Mentor texts are studied by writers who then emulate elements of craft and structure in order to improve their own writing. What we can see
and appreciate in a mentor text becomes an element we can talk about and practice as writers. Another term for such a model text is
touchstone, a metaphor inspired by Californias Gold Rush days. The story goes that prospectors devised a way to test the rocks they
mined or panned at the site so that they wouldnt have to make the long trek to the assay office and possibly come back to find someone had
discovered their secret location. Legend has it that they held what was called a touchstone against the sample to see whether it was real
gold or fools gold. In the same way, we can hold our drafts against the touchstone to see whether we have met the mark, or whether we
need to continue polishing our pieces.

In reading like writers, we can learn to analyze texts so that we understand effective strategies for communicating with an audience. This
analysis involves (1) noticing or identifying words, phrases, and passages of text that appeal to the readers ear, intellect, or imagination; (2)
naming the purpose or effect of the element of craft or structure; (3) analyzing to determine the role of the part to the whole, e.g., how the
choices an author makes with words, phrases, and passages can change the mood, tone, style, perspective, or overall effect of the piece;
(4) approximating the authors techniques in our own writing; (5) seeking and responding to feedback, accepting focused response and
acting on suggestions to improve our writing; and (6) reflecting and assessing our efforts by comparing our attempts with the work of the
mentor author, then setting an agenda for continued revision and development.

Reading like a writer is appropriate in a variety of situations. This module is the first in a series of 6 variations.

Extension
(optional):




CONTENT STANDARDS FROM STATE OR DISTRICT

LDC Informational or Explanatory Module Template | Literacy Design Collaborative, September 2011 5
Standards
source:
(Your Common Core grade-level reading, writing, and language standards should be inserted here.)
NUMBER CONTENT STANDARDS





LDC Informational or Explanatory Module Template | Literacy Design Collaborative, September 2011 6
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS
READING STANDARDS FOR NARRATIVE
Built In Reading Standards When Appropriate Reading
4 - Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including
determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how
specific word choices shape meaning or tone.
1 - Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make
logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or
speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
5- Analyze the structure of texts, including how specific sentences, paragraphs
and larger portions of the text (e.g. a section, chapter, scene or stanza) relate
to each other and the whole).
2- Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their
development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.
6 - Assess how point of view or purpose shapes the content and style of a
text.
3 - Analyze how and why individuals, events, and ideas develop and
interact over the course of a text.
10 - Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts
independently and proficiently.
7- Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse formats and media,
including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.

9 - Analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in
order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches the authors take.

WRITING STANDARDS FOR NARRATIVE
Built In Writing Standards When Appropriate Writing Standards
3- Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using
effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.
6- Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing
and to interact and collaborate with others.
4- Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization,
and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.


5- Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing,
rewriting, or trying a new approach.

9- Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis,
reflection, and research.

10- Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection,
and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a
range of tasks, purposes, and audience.

LANGUAGE STANDARDS
3. Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in
different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to
comprehend more fully when reading or listening.
1- Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar
and usage when writing or speaking.


LDC Informational or Explanatory Module Template | Literacy Design Collaborative, September 2011 7
5. Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and
nuances in word meanings.
2- Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English
capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.


LDC Informational or Explanatory Module Template | Literacy Design Collaborative, September 2011
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LDC Informational or Explanatory Module Template | Literacy Design Collaborative, September 2011
Section 2: What Skills?


SKILL DEFINITION
SKILLS CLUSTER 1: READING FOR ENJOYMENT
READ Reading and enjoying the text.
ECHO Repeating the words, phrases, and lines of text that we especially appreciate.
SKILLS CLUSTER 2: NOTICING AND NAMING
NOTICE Identifying elements we like (images, dialogue, plot events, characters, sequencing that enhances suspense, or authorly moves
such as withholding information or planting clues, foreshadowing events to come, etc.) .
NAME Categorizing these elements of craft and structure, using literary terms (if known) or giving the elements our own names.
SKILLS CLUSTER 3: ANALYZING
ANALYZE Discussing the function these elements of craft and structure are playing in the text.
CONTEXTUALIZE Imagining opportunities and ways to use the element or structure.
SKILLS CLUSTER 4: APPROXIMATING AND RECALIBRATING
APPROXIMATE Duplicating the effect in ones own writing.
REVIEW Re-reading and studying the mentor text(s).
CONFER Receiving and providing feedback on writers attempts to emulate craft and/or structure.
REWRITE
Revising, based on feedback from peers and teacher.
EDIT Polishing the final draft.
PUBLISH Sharing the final draft with an audience.
SKILLS CLUSTER 5: REFLECTING
COMPARE Comparing model and final draft.
EVALUATE Analyze draft using scoring rubric.
SET GOAL(S) Identifying next steps as a writer.


LDC Informational or Explanatory Module Template | Literacy Design Collaborative, September 2011
Section 3: What Instruction?

PACING SKILL AND DEFINITION PRODUCT AND PROMPT SCORING (PRODUCT
MEETS EXPECTATIONS IF
IT)
INSTRUCTIONAL STRATEGIES
SKILLS CLUSTER 1: READING FOR ENJOYMENT
Days 1-2
1-2 class
periods,
depending
on length of
text selected
READ: Reading and
enjoying the text.

ECHO: Repeating the words,
phrases, and lines of text
that we especially
appreciate.
Notebook Entry:
As you listen, use your writers
notebook to jot down words or
phrases that appeal to your ear or
imagination.


Class chart.
No scoring.





No scoring.
Read and enjoy the text as a class. This may seem obvious,
always to read for enjoyment first, but it is crucial that the text
be one that students appreciate in order for them to be
motivated to emulate it. Consider this almost as a
performance of the texta fluent, practiced reading is
essential. Read a second time, asking students to jot down
favorite words and phrases.

Invite students to call out the words and lines that are still
ringing in their ears after the text has been read. Chart these
(What We Liked).
SKILLS CLUSTER 2: NOTICING AND NAMING

LDC Informational or Explanatory Module Template | Literacy Design Collaborative, September 2011
Continued
(Days 1-2)
NOTICE: Identifying
elements we like (plot
events, characters,
sequencing that provided
suspense, create images, or
represent authorly moves
such as withholding
information or planting clues,
foreshadowing events to
come, etc.)

NAME: Categorizing these
elements of craft and
structure, using literary terms
(if known) or giving the
elements our own names.
Class chart






Transcript:
Highlight your copy or transcript of
the text to identify examples of the
element being discussed.
No scoring





Exceeds: Identifies most or all
examples of the selected craft
or structural element and/or
notices patterns in the use of
the element.
Meets: Identifies several
examples of the selected craft
or structural element in the
selected text.
Not yet: Some or all of the
examples selected are random
pieces of text with no
discernable connection to the
craft or structural element being
studied.
Continue charting as you discuss the story. What did we like?
Specific plot events? Specific characters? The ending? Add
these elements to the original chart. Ask students to point out
specific words and lines that they liked. These are often
representative of the craft elements or structural decisions that
you will have them study and emulate later, as readers
naturally gravitate to a well-turned phrase or a powerful image.
Next consider the text as a piece of literaturewhat did we
like? What lines do we still remember, what sequencing
heightened suspense, what helped characters come alive
(etc.)? Select a specific focus for analysis, such as
description. On copies or transcripts of the text, have students
highlight words and phrases that create images (metaphors,
similes, personifications, strong verbs, etc.). Or focus even
more narrowly, such as on verbs alone.
From the highlighted transcripts, share responses and chart
them as a class. If we know the literary terms, we can use that
language. If not, we can give the elements our own names,
or, if appropriate for the age level of the students, the teacher
can introduce the terms. Begin to create a class anchor chart
(see teacher resources) that will serve as a reminder of the
craft students have noticed and will attempt to emulate in their
drafts. Students can keep these notes in a writing binder,
along with other craft lesson notes, or paste them into a Craft
section of their writers notebooks for future reference.
(Days 3+) NOTICE: Identifying
elements we like (plot
events, characters,
sequencing that provided
suspense, create images, or
represent authorly moves
such as withholding
information or planting clues,
foreshadowing events to
come, etc.)

NAME: Categorizing these
elements of craft and
structure, using literary terms
(if known) or giving the
elements our own names.
Class chart

Transcript:
Highlight your copy or transcript of
the text to identify examples of the
element being discussed.
No scoring

Exceeds: Identifies most or all
examples of the selected craft
or structural element and/or
notices patterns in the use of
the element.
Meets: Identifies several
examples of the selected craft
or structural element in the
selected text.
Not yet: Some or all of the
examples selected are random
pieces of text with no
discernable connection to the
craft or structural element being
studied.
On another day, select another focus, such as authorly
moves (e.g., withholding information or planting clues,
foreshadowing events to come, etc.). Have students use a
second color to highlight examples of this element.
If appropriate, analyze the content that different authors
present in texts on similar topics or themes.
Repeat the charting and highlighting, as described above.
SKILLS CLUSTER 3: ANALYZING CONTEXTUALIZE Imagining opportunities and ways to use the element or structure.

LDC Informational or Explanatory Module Template | Literacy Design Collaborative, September 2011
Continued
(Days 1-2)
ANALYZE: Discussing the
function these elements of
craft and structure are
playing in the text.
CONTEXTUALIZE:
Imagining opportunities and
ways to use the element or
structure.
Notebook entry:
Write an entry in your notebook in
which you explore the effect(s) this
element of craft had on you as a
reader. Explore how you think the
writer accomplished this effect.





Statement of Intent:
Write an intention statement,
identifying how you could use this
craft in a piece you are writing
now, on a piece you have written,
and/or on a piece you could write.
Exceeds: Identifies multiple
effects and traces the moves
the author made in order to
create those effects.
Meets: Identifies an effect of
the craft or structural element
and connects the effect to a
choice made by the author.
Not yet: May be able to
identify an effect of the craft or
structural element but unable
to connect that effect to a
choice made by the author.

Exceeds: Identifies multiple
ways to apply the craft or
structural element.
Meets: Identifies at least one
way to use the element.
Not yet: Unable to find a way
to use the element.


Have students write about and then discuss the function these
charted (in activities above) words/phrases are playing in the
text. As a group, come to consensus about the purpose of the
craft or structural element.
Sample questions: What do metaphors do for us as
readers? What does foreshadowing accomplish in a
story? How do we come to know this character? Why
did we have an emotional reaction to this scene? etc.




Have students compose intention statements in the craft
section of their notebooks (I could use this strategy in my
piece about Grandma or I could write a piece about our
camping trip and build suspense the way _____ (author) did
or I want to revise my memoir to try a chain of metaphors).
SKILLS CLUSTER 4: APPROXIMATING AND RECALIBRATING
Days 3-5, in
the context
of a writing
cycle in
which
students are
drafting a
narrative.
OR this work
could be
folded into
the initial 2
days as a
try-it
invitation if
there is not a
specific
piece in
progress.
APPROXIMATE:
Duplicating the effect in
ones own writing.
Draft or Notebook Entry:
Select one of the identified
elements and try to duplicate the
effect in your own writing.

Exceeds: Incorporates the
element in ways that enhance
the text and demonstrate
understanding and control of
the element.
Meets: Appropriately
incorporates the element into
one or more lines of text.
Not yet: Misapplies the
strategy or unable to apply the
element.
Teacher modeling of the process can streamline every
element of writing instruction. The teacher should have a draft
in progress as well. An alternate strategy is to try an example
as a class.
Ideally, students have a draft in progress and will then turn to
that draft to try at least one of the elements they have noticed
in the mentor text. Otherwise, students can create an entry in
their Writers Notebooks to experiment with the craft element.
Teacher mini-conferences can be helpful as students work.
Circulate to monitor how students are doing in trying one or
more craft elements.

LDC Informational or Explanatory Module Template | Literacy Design Collaborative, September 2011
Days 3-5, in
the context
of
developing a
narrative.
REVIEW: Re-reading and
studying the mentor text(s).
Draft or Notebook Entry:
Select one or more additional
elements and try to duplicate the
effects in your own writing.

Exceeds: Incorporates an
additional element in ways that
enhance the text and
demonstrate understanding
and control of the element.
Meets: Appropriately
incorporates a second element
into one or more lines of text.
Not yet: Misapplies or is
unable to apply the element.
When students are drafting, re-read and study the text(s) to re-
emphasize the element the class is attempting to emulate, and
then for varying purposes (revisit the text for another
craft/structural element or see other Read-Like-a-Writer
templates), selecting strategies to meet the needs of the
students and to meet your instructional goals.
Have students continue to try the strategies in their own
writing, as described earlier.
Days 6-7 CONFER: Receiving and
providing feedback on
writers attempts to emulate
craft and/or structure.
Conference Questions(s):
Prepare for feedback by forming a
question about your draft. If your
question does not relate to the
craft or structural element under
study, add these questions: In
what ways did I hit the mark
(match the model)? How could I
use this craft element more
effectively?





Conference Notes:
Record comments from peers and
teacher related to your use of the
element/structure and to any other
questions you raised about your
draft.
Exceeds: All of meets, plus
identifies one or more concerns
the writer has about the draft
and frames questions that will
elicit specific feedback.
Meets: Prepares for feedback
by using or adapting these
questions: In what ways did I
hit the mark (match the
model)? How could I use this
craft element more effectively?
Not yet: Fails to focus on
questions that will elicit specific
feedback.

Exceeds: All of meets, plus
records specific ideas for
consideration.
Meets: Notes summarize
suggestions.
Not yet: Notes are incomplete
or not attempted.
Have students participate in a small group conference or
writing response group. Each student will read his/her piece,
asking for specific feedback: In what ways did I hit the mark
(match the model)? How could I use this craft element more
effectively?
Norms for working in groups, especially in peer response
groups, need to be established beforehand. Groups of 3 are
optimal, but if there are extra students, put them in pairs
rather than groups of 4 so that each students work receives
ample attention.

Teacher modeling of the process can streamline every
element of writing instruction. The teacher should have a draft
in progress as well. At this point, the teacher can model the
process of asking and receiving feedback.

The writer leads the discussion of his/her piece, asking
questions similar to the two provided. Then the writer takes
notes and the peer responders reply OR the peer responders
jot their ideas on Post-its that they give to the writer. The
process continues until each member has had a turn.
Days 8-9 REWRITE: Revising, based
on feedback from peers and
teacher.
Draft:
Revise your draft in progress.
Exceeds: All of meets, plus
revisions demonstrate control
of the new craft/structural
elements.
Meets: Revisions demonstrate
the influence of feedback and
of the study of the mentor text.
Not yet: Not attempted or
revisions make the narrative
weaker rather than stronger.
Students continue refining their narratives, inspired by the
specific feedback from both peers and teacher. It is helpful to
have the mentor text at hand. Remind students that they are
not copying the text, but rather attempting to apply the strategy
in the context their own different story.

LDC Informational or Explanatory Module Template | Literacy Design Collaborative, September 2011
Days 10-11 EDIT: Polishing the final
draft.
Draft:
Edit your draft in progress.
Exceeds: All of meets, plus
corrections demonstrate
attention to and emulation of
mechanical elements of the
mentor text.
Meets: Edited draft shows
identification and correction of
most or all mechanical errors.
Not yet: Not attempted or
editing ignores grade-level
expectations for correctness
and/or spell-checking
introduces new errors.
Keeping in mind grade-level expectations for correctness,
students will review and edit their narratives. A specific editing
conference and/or peer editing activities will aid this process.
The mentor text can also be used to examine the ways
authors use punctuation and syntax, for example, so that
students again use a model to inform changes they make in
their own drafts
Day 12 PUBLISH: Sharing the final
draft with an audience.
Completed draft:
Share your narrative with your
intended audience.
Exceeds: Seeks multiple
audiences for the narrative.
Meets: Shares final piece with
an audience.
Not yet: Narrative not
completed and/or does not
share with an audience.
While there are multiple ways to publish writing (authors chair,
class anthology, gallery walk with pieces on display, mailing to
an audience, open mic, submission to a publication, etc.), the
importance of celebrating the work cannot be emphasized
enough. The motivation students have for the process of
writing is largely driven by the realness and satisfaction of
delivering it to its intended audience.
SKILLS CLUSTER 5: REFLECTING
Days 13-14 COMPARE Highlighted final draft:
Compare the model and your final
draft. Highlight words, phrases,
and sentences that demonstrate
your attempts to use the elements
of craft and/or structure in your
own work.
Exceeds: All of meets, plus
demonstrates sophistication
and control in the use of the
elements that have been
studied.
Meets: Demonstrates specific
attempts to incorporate one or
more elements of the featured
craft and/or structure.
Not yet: Unable to identify any
examples of using the featured
craft or structure.
The teacher can model the process with his/her own writing,
assessing his/her efforts and setting a goal for further work.
Then direct students to do the following:
1. Compare your attempt to employ elements of craft and/or
structure to those of the mentor author. Highlight the parts
that show your efforts in trying these elements.

EVALUATE Highlighted rubric:
Compare your final draft with the
descriptions on the rubric.
Highlight the scoring rubric
descriptors that match your
assessment of your efforts.

2. Compare your efforts to the language on our scoring guide.
Highlight descriptions that match your assessment of your
work. Determine if your work is Advanced, Meets
Expectations, or Not Yet.


LDC Informational or Explanatory Module Template | Literacy Design Collaborative, September 2011
SET GOAL(S) Reflection:
After reviewing your narrative, the
mentor text(s), and rubric, identify
your next steps as a writer.
3. Using the evidence (your text, mentor text, scoring guide),
set a goal for your next writing project.



LDC Informational or Explanatory Module Template | Literacy Design Collaborative, September 2011


MATERIALS, REFERENCES, AND SUPPORTS
FOR TEACHERS FOR STUDENTS
Anchor charts
Eleven by Sandra Cisneros
The Southpaw by Judith Viorst
The Fan Club by Rona Maynard, published in Jeff Wilhelms text Action
Strategies for Deepening Comprehension
Terror In Fourth Grade, Draft 2, available in Vicki Spandels text Creating
Writers, 3
rd
edition.
The Escape by J.B. Stamper, available in Janet Allens Read Aloud Anthology,
published by Scholastic
A Mouthful by Paul Jennings, available in Janet Allens Read Aloud Anthology,
published by Scholastic

For students who wanted additional narrative models written by students, I provided access
to the Kentucky Marker Papers, a compendium of student work of various genres,
accessible at:
http://education.ky.gov/curriculum/ela/pages/the-kentucky-marker-papers-(p-12).aspx


LDC Informational or Explanatory Module Template | Literacy Design Collaborative, September 2011
Section 4: What Results?

LDC Informational or Explanatory Module Template | Literacy Design Collaborative, September 2011


LDC Informational or Explanatory Module Template | Literacy Design Collaborative, September 2011


LDC Informational or Explanatory Module Template | Literacy Design Collaborative, September 2011

LDC Informational or Explanatory Module Template | Literacy Design Collaborative, September 2011

LDC Informational or Explanatory Module Template | Literacy Design Collaborative, September 2011

LDC Informational or Explanatory Module Template | Literacy Design Collaborative, September 2011

LDC Informational or Explanatory Module Template | Literacy Design Collaborative, September 2011

LDC Informational or Explanatory Module Template | Literacy Design Collaborative, September 2011

LDC Informational or Explanatory Module Template | Literacy Design Collaborative, September 2011

LDC Informational or Explanatory Module Template | Literacy Design Collaborative, September 2011

LDC Informational or Explanatory Module Template | Literacy Design Collaborative, September 2011

LDC Informational or Explanatory Module Template | Literacy Design Collaborative, September 2011

LDC Informational or Explanatory Module Template | Literacy Design Collaborative, September 2011

LDC Informational or Explanatory Module Template | Literacy Design Collaborative, September 2011

LDC Informational or Explanatory Module Template | Literacy Design Collaborative, September 2011

LDC Informational or Explanatory Module Template | Literacy Design Collaborative, September 2011

LDC Informational or Explanatory Module Template | Literacy Design Collaborative, September 2011

LDC Informational or Explanatory Module Template | Literacy Design Collaborative, September 2011

LDC Informational or Explanatory Module Template | Literacy Design Collaborative, September 2011


LDC Informational or Explanatory Module Template | Literacy Design Collaborative, September 2011

CLASSROOM ASSESSMENT TASK (OPTIONAL: MAY BE USED AS PRE-TEST OR POST-TEST)
Classroom assessment
task
After reading [and analyzing the model(s) provided], write an [essay] that relates [the elements of craft and/or structure that contribute
to its effectiveness as a piece].
OR
After writing, revising, and editing a narrative that relates a story using one or more elements of craft and/or structure inspired by a
mentor text, write a reflection describing your intentions and assessing your efforts in using the craft and/or structural element(s)].
Background to share
with students
(optional):
Mentor texts are studied by writers who then emulate elements of craft and structure in order to improve their own writing. What we
can see and appreciate in a mentor text becomes an element we can talk about and practice as writers.

In reading like writers, we can learn to analyze texts so that we understand effective strategies for communicating with an audience.
This analysis involves (1) noticing or identifying words, phrases, and passages of text that appeal to the readers ear, intellect, or
imagination; (2) naming the purpose or effect of the element of craft or structure; (3) analyzing to determine the role of the part to the
whole, e.g., how the choices an author makes with words, phrases, and passages can change the mood, tone, style, perspective, or
overall effect of the piece; (4) approximating the authors techniques in our own writing; (5) seeking and responding to feedback,
accepting focused response and acting on suggestions to improve our writing; and (6) reflecting and assessing our efforts by
comparing our attempts with the work of the mentor author, then setting an agenda for continued revision and development.

Reading texts: Eleven by Sandra Cisneros
The Southpaw by Judith Viorst
The Fan Club by Rona Maynard, published in Jeff Wilhelms text Action Strategies for Deepening Comprehension
Terror In Fourth Grade, Draft 2, available in Vicki Spandels text Creating Writers, 3
rd
edition.
The Escape by J.B. Stamper, available in Janet Allens Read Aloud Anthology, published by Scholastic
A Mouthful by Paul Jennings, available in Janet Allens Read Aloud Anthology, published by Scholastic


INFORMATIONAL OR EXPLANATORY CLASSROOM ASSESSMENT RUBRIC
[As of August 2011, this rubric is under construction]

LDC Informational or Explanatory Module Template | Literacy Design Collaborative, September 2011
Teacher Work Section
Here are added thoughts about teaching this module.

When using mentor texts coupled with the Read Like a Writer strategy, it is important for the teacher to be well aware of why he/she chose the selected texts. While
each text might serve a few purposes during the Notice and Name phase, it is beneficial to include a variety of short stories that provide strong examples of craft for
students to emulate. For example, in the materials sections I have included a text entitled Terror In Fourth Grade because it provides a fast-paced plot and includes well-
developed imagery told in a humorous tone. The story The Fan Club provides examples of flashback, symbolism, and irony. The Escape provides multiple examples of
foreshadowing and suspense. It is critical for teachers to identify these elements and guide students in their noticings of craft. If a student voices that he/she likes a line, the
teacher should follow through by asking why the line or the event resonated, or how it contributed to the development of the story. Many of the sixth graders I teach can
lift lines of text they like as we read, but sometimes struggle with the analysis part. If a student doesnt fully analyze, he/she will never be able to successfully emulate craft in
his/her own work.
The student work I have included demonstrates students attempts to approximate craft. Sometimes these approximations are interwoven in the story, at other times,
not so much. This is the case with my two samples that are Level One on the rubric. The students attempted to follow a narrative structure and did use some descriptive
elements, but failure to identify a strong controlling idea limited the development of the pieces. In addition, student samples provide rich territory for identifying potential
mini-lessons, as is the case with sample two. It is evident this student needs further instruction with sentence structure and dialoguing. By contrast, the student sample
entitled Grapes provides evidence of a student author well aware of craft. He uses flashback and foreshadowing successfully throughout the narrative, and incorporates
the metaphor of grapes to provide the reader with examples of his grandmothers actions.
Equally important in bringing students to an awareness of an authors craft is making them aware of the steps of Reading Like a Writer. As we cycled through the six
texts listed in the appendix, students became methodical about the steps of noticing, naming, analyzing, approximating, and obtaining feedback. This was especially beneficial
to less adept writers. As student writings approached the recursive phase, during peer time I would hear them using the language we had learned in analyzing the works of
peers. Moreover, students seemed proud to be using authorly moves and more confident to approximate writing samples with each story we read.







Appendix
The attached materials support teaching this module.
Eleven by Sandra Cisneros
The Southpaw by Judith Viorst
The Fan Club by Rona Maynard, published in Jeff Wilhelms text Action Strategies for Deepening Comprehension
Terror In Fourth Grade, Draft 2, available in Vicki Spandels text Creating Writers, 3
rd
edition.
The Escape by J.B. Stamper, available in Janet Allens Read Aloud Anthology, published by Scholastic
A Mouthful by Paul Jennings, available in Janet Allens Read Aloud Anthology, published by Scholastic