I like to do this project in January, right after the new year. I find it's a nice transition back to school after a long vacation, and the kids get to write about something where they have a strong passion. My students got very into this project, and came up with some wonderful responses.
As of 7/24/15, I've done a complete overhaul of this project. I revamped it so it supports the 5th grade common core standards for writing and language, but could be applicable to grades 4th-8th based on content. The focus of this project is to work on writing an introduction and a conclusion paragraph, which both are part of the common core standards. The goal of this project is a 4 paragraph essay.
Included in the rethinking of this project is:
- an introductory page
- 2 different versions of a comprehensive checklist
- 3 versions of the rough draft template (modifications depending
on where students are in their writing capabilities)
- comprehensive writing rubric basic on 5th grade common core
- an accompaniment to the rubric with space for notes, a grading
chart, and total scores
- a language rubric set to 5th grade common core standards that
is geared specifically to this project
My hope was to create a project that would engage the kids, but also make teachers lives easier by having a strong connection to the common core standards. Hopefully, all you would need is your notes from the rubrics to write your progress, IEP, or report card notes. My goal is to make teaching life easier with a flair.
The Pen is Mightier is about creating a joy for writing as well as teaching students conventions and format. Please feel free to give me feedback letting me know what worked and what didn't. I can't make a better product without your help!