Week 3: Genre Study: Fiction, Memoir, and Literary Non-Fiction

  • As writers: what are the qualities of good fiction? How do characters, plot, setting, and literary elements combine to create a quality piece of fiction/memoir/literary non-fiction?
  • As teachers of writing: how do we effectively teach author's craft? What elements of craft are most important as we consider why and how to teach fiction and literary non-fiction?

Writing Workshop

  • Mini-Lesson on Fiction/Memoir
    • Atwell's "Qualities of a Memoir That Works"
    • Mentor Text: "Eleven" by Sandra Cisneros
    • Responding to writer's profiles
      • I think, I like, I wonder...
    • Use your remaining writing time to begin working on a draft of your own personal narrative, based on your list of writing territories and the responses you received from your classmates.

Class Time

  • Emerging inquiry topics
    • Professional books
  • Google Drive and Docs
  • Developing a writing assignment: Personal Narrative/Memoir
    • Developing a list of features from Calkins and Arnberg -- what's important to include in a memoir?
    • Choose a memoir from the collection
    • Identify specific passages where the author uses one or more of these features
    • Creating the personal narrative/memoir assignment that will be due on 2/5


  • Contact your midtier teacher and share your writer's profile
    • Email coming from Troy after class
  • Mini lessons: Read Calkins 11, 12, 15, and 17 (focus on 12) and Dorn and Soffos (Designing productive mini lessons)
    • As you read, create a Venn diagram that compares and contrasts the features of a "normal" lesson with what Calkins and Dorn and Soffos identify as features of a "mini lesson."
    • What is similar? What is different? How do the goals and procedures of mini lessons differ from what we would call a normal lesson?
  • Begin thinking about your six hours of professional development experience -- there are some free webinars coming up next week