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Teacher’s Name: Class/Period: Expository Composition, 2nd Period

Unit: Elements of Writing Date: 10-15-08

Agenda: 1) Class discussion: elements of writing. 2) Review Writing Styles handout. 3) Model writing sample. 4) Students write, using element choices.

California Content Standards: ELA Writing 1.1 Students demonstrate an understanding of the elements of discourse (e.g., purpose, speaker, audience, form) when completing narrative, expository, persuasive, or descriptive writing assignments.

Objectives: When completing written work, SWBAT make reasoned choices regarding style, tone, form, and word choice informed by the topic, speaker, audience, and purpose of the writing.

Materials Needed: Writing Styles handout, Business letter format handout, white board, overhead projector and transparency, paper and pen.



Teacher Procedures

Student Responsibilities

5 min.

5 min

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10 min.

5 min.
5 min.

Ask the students, “What are some reasons we write?” Encourage them to come up with as many examples as they can. (e.g., letters, text messages, school essays, cover letters, blogs, etc.) Ask for a volunteer to write the list on the board.
When complete, ask the students, “Do we write all these the same way?” Discuss the different elements in the various forms of writing (style, tone, word choice) and the reasons for these differences (topic, purpose, speaker, audience).
Give them the Writing Styles handout. Pick a student to read the “Text message”. Discuss the elements and whether or not it’s appropriate. (Bottom line: it is.)

Have a different student read the informal thank you note. How is it different? (Proper grammar, word choice, format, etc.) Why? (Purpose, audience)

Have a third student read the formal Thank You Letter. Again, discuss how it differs from the others. Point out to students that this is the proper format for a thank you letter following a job interview or college visit.
At the board, write “Speaker”. Ask the students to list any possible speakers they can think of. They may need examples at first. (e.g., themselves, Shakespeare, the school Principal, etc.) Cut the list off at ten. Write “Purpose” and ask for examples. (“I broke my leg”, “I discovered America”, “We invaded Canada”, etc.) Then write “Audience” and ask for suggestions. (The Pope, their parents, a lawyer, etc.)
At the overhead, model an example, using selections from the lists on the board. (Ideally, it will be entertaining. (e.g. Speaker: God, Purpose: invitation to a Christmas party, Audience: Santa Claus)
Have students write one element from each list on the board on a sheet of paper for their homework assignment. Give them the instructions below. Hand out Business Letter Format.

Students will name as many different reasons to write as they can think of. The volunteer will write the list on the board.

The students, we hope, will recognize differences in the various forms of writing. With encouragement, they should be able to identify some ways in which the writing styles are different and why.

A student will read the “Text message”. Class will debate whether that kind of writing is acceptable in text messaging.

A student will read the informal thank you note. The class will identify how it differs from the text message, and why one might make those writing differences.

Another student will read the formal Thank You Letter. Class will discuss how it’s different and why.
Students will brainstorm a list of potential speakers for a written piece.

Students will list potential purposes for the piece.

Students will list possible audiences for the piece.

Students will be dazzled by your wit and learn how to use these elements to inform their written work.

Students will select one choice from each of the three lists on the board and write them on a sheet of paper.

Homework: From the list on the board, have students pick a specific speaker, purpose, and audience and write a letter. (Text messages and non-standard grammar are forbidden. Remind them that the style, tone, form, word choice, grammar, etc. must all be informed by and consistent with their choices. In class the next day, they will exchange papers and review their peers’ writing, checking for these elements. They will then respond in writing to the original speaker from the POV of the given audience. They will then share some of the correspondences out loud with the class.

Assessment or Evaluation: Original writing: 5 point scale. Response: 5 point scale. Score will reflect effort, creativity, and demonstration of understanding of differences discussed in the elements of writing.
Lesson Plan Commentary/Reflection: The lesson plan first discusses the topic to gain the students’ interest. It then shows them examples of the different elements of writing. The students then participate in compiling lists of different elements for the instructor to then model in a piece of writing. Finally, the students are asked to write alone. This follows the “I do it/ We do it/ We do it together/ You do it alone” format. By responding to a classmate’s writing, the students get more practice and are further reinforced by having to write from the POV of a new speaker addressing a new audience. (In their original writing, they get to choose, but in the responses, they have to write in the given framework.) Although they may not choose to write a formal business letter, they are at least being acquainted with this format that will be important in seeking employment or admission to college.
Writing Styles Handout
1) Text message
Speaker: Me

Purpose: thank you note

Audience: my brother
dude party rocked! thnx gtg w

2) Casual note
Speaker: Me

Purpose: thank you note

Audience: Principal Johnson

Principal Johnson,

I wanted to drop a quick note to thank you for including me at your gathering this weekend. It was a nice treat to get to know you and the rest of the faculty outside of our academic environment. I hardly recognized Coach Smith without his baseball cap and whistle. Seeing you and Mrs. Johnson get busy on the dance floor to “Bust A Move” is not something I’ll soon forget.

I’m very grateful to be surrounded and inspired by such a creative and dedicated group of educators. We’re fortunate to have an equally strong leader to guide us. You’ve gotten us off to a terrific start.

Thanks again,

Ima Reader

English Department

3) Formal letter
Speaker: me

Purpose: thank you note

Audience: potential employer
576 Main St.

Springfield, PA 13285

6 October, 2008
Mr. Horrace G. Fogbottom

Director of Human Resources

Really Great High School

1600 Pennsylvania Blvd.

Washington, DC 06932
Dear Mr. Fogbottom:
Thank you for taking the time to meet with me last Thursday. After speaking with you, and seeing Really Great High School firsthand, I’m more convinced than ever that my educational skills and philosophy would be a good match for your school. Your commitment to encouraging active and practical learning is extremely evident. I’d consider myself very fortunate to teach at your school.
I feel that I have unique abilities that could further advance the excellence you clearly foster at Really Great High School. I’m fluent in seventeen languages and use these skills to develop a culturally diverse environment in my classroom. I have extensive experience in the world of technology and have had great success incorporating computer skills into my teaching pedagogy. I’ve taught academic units which embed Power Point, website design, and online editing into the curriculum. My students gain not only superior knowledge of the material covered, but they learn skills necessary to be tomorrow’s leaders in today’s technological world.
I’m particularly impressed with your school’s Media & Television Studio. I would love to bring my Emmy Award-winning screenwriting skills and coordinate writing courses with the Production Studio. You could be the first school in the nation with an in-house television series written, produced, and broadcast entirely by students. Likewise, I could facilitate daily news broadcasts through your Journalism Department. School announcements could be presented via television by student broadcasters, sporting events could be reported, and you could address the student body for daily updates and briefings.
In a time when so many schools are struggling to provide the relevant and rich education that students deserve, it’s encouraging to see an institution succeeding. I hope I can be part of your team.

Ima Reader

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