This Week in Ms. Dusek’s Language Arts
Eighth grade students received their first writing assignment this week—a “This I Believe” narrative. The tradition of writing and sharing “This I Believe” essays first began in the 1950s when America, Russia, and other world powers were involved in a tense conflict known as the Cold War. For their narratives, students are expected to write about an important experience, which demonstrates one of their positive core beliefs. For the next couple weeks, we will read model “This I Believe” narratives as we learn more about engaging the reader with sensory language, integrating elements of plot, and using effective dialogue in writing. Eighth graders will then convert their written narratives into short multimedia films, including graphics and audio. I look forward to sharing these projects with you soon!
This past week, seventh grade also received their first major writing assignment for the year. Each seventh grader will compose a “This I Believe” narrative about one of their strongly held core beliefs. Over the next couple weeks, we will continue to explore the narrative genre, learning more about writing with sensory details and integrating elements of plot. At the end of the unit, seventh graders will host a “This I Believe” event where they will have the opportunity to volunteer to share their work aloud with the class.
At the beginning of this week, we discussed “the big three” elements that impact our writing: audience, task, and purpose. Throughout the year, we will return to these concepts as we progress through different writing projects. Then, we started our investigation of the genre of narrative writing. For their first assignment, students will be writing a personal narrative. They have been strongly encouraged to consider this school year’s theme—angels among us—as a possible inspiration for the focus of their stories. In the upcoming weeks, we will continue to learn more about sensory details and plot as we prepare to begin drafting our pieces.