This engaging text will give students a chance to hone their writing skills after reading an fascinating autobiographical text.
Students will read excerpts from October Sky: A True Story, an autobiography written by Homer Hickam.
Alongside the text are definitions for some of the more challenging words to encourage close reading. You could certainly remove them or just leave partial definitions depending on the ability of your students.
Also included is a worksheet with six short response questions that are crafted to promote higher level thinking, foster conversations among your students, and really get to the heart of the text. The worksheet models good writing strategies for detail and elaboration.
This activity is highly customizable to suit your time constraints. It could last a day or two for collaborative discussions and writing, or stretch into a full week for more extensive editing or even an extension essay. You could even pair it with a viewing of the movie for maximum effect! (Warning: I believe October Sky has some mild language.)
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