So we started our December essays today. I printed the December Essay Menu on cardstock and taped it to the board. I explained that we are going to start doing one essay per month, but they would have choices. I went over the 20 choices on the menu. They were pretty excited. Many asked if they could do more than one essay. My student who was my most reluctant writer last year asked if he could finish his essay tonight at home. It really is amazing to see what choice can do!
Today they picked a topic and started planning their essays with graphic organizers. A few started writing. I explained we were going to go through the whole writing process. The pack on TpT includes lots of handouts for rough drafts and publishing. Most of my students wanted to type their essays, so we are going to type ours. I was excited to see my students excited about essay writing. Who gets excited about five paragraph essays, right? I think the choice menu each month is going to work really well. We will spend about an hour on Wednesdays working on it. The rest of the week they can fit it in as they have time. We actually may even turn our essays and stories into a multimedia presentation when we finish just for some fun.
This month we also are going to talk about figurative language. We will do some figurative language lessons from Lovin Lit's Reading Notebook and Figurative Language Close Reading Stories. We will use the close reading stories in reading groups. Of course, we have to do Jen Runde's craftivity for Figurative Language.
Now, this last resource I am super excited about. We will analyze Christmas Carols for Figurative Language.
A few years ago, I had my students get in groups and rewrite the words to Christmas carols to be about themselves. They came out so cute! We will type up the new lyrics and frame them in an inexpensive frame as our parent gift this year.