This four-part, cooperative series of writing lessons/exercises, titled "Exploring Ethical Dilemmas by Writing Realistic Fictional Scenes," is for students ages 12 and up. Expository essay writing is also part of this series.
In Part One, students will pick one of five, very specfic "What if?..." prompts about teenagers facing morally challenging situations. Using my signature "D.A.D. Technique for Painting Word Pictures," they will create short, vivid scenes based on pointed prompts that I designed to keep them from veering off topic. In Part Two, students will trade scenes with partners, and they will edit for substance (not merely proofread) by using my signature "M.O.M. Technique for Strengthening Word Power." After sharing their feedback, they will revise accordingly, and then reread for final feedback with their original partners. For Part Three, they will write essay paragraphs in response to their partner's fictional scenes, in terms of how the author revealed the character of their protagonist. Again, a Lipson signature mnemonic is provided to guide the writing format of the essay portion to eliminate vague restatements of the obvious and evoke deeper levels of critical thinking. Finally, in Part Four, students will trade essay paragraphs with new partners, and provide guided feedback, before a further revision of the paragraph.
This series of lessons could span 4 to 5 class periods, depending on the size of the class, and whether you wish to have them trade partners more than once (each trade offers new insights). The exercises appear on a concise, two-page handout for distribution to all students. EXTENSIONS ARE BUILT INTO THIS LESSON PLAN BECAUSE OF THE FIVE PROMPT OPTIONS (perfect for students who write more quickly than others).