Made for 3rd Grade Teachers! Teach your students to write a Literary Essay!
Mini-Lessons with Connection, Teaching Point, Active Engagement, Link, Mid-Workshop Teaching Points, and Share
Writing Inside the Story to Help You Read Well
Pulling Lines from a Text
Gathering Writing by Studying Characters
Elaborating on Theories about Characters
Developing a Thesis
Using Stories as Evidence
Using Text Details
Interactions with Other Characters
Putting It All Together
Dig Deeper to Find a Story’s Topic
Editing: Spelling Detective/Read Your Draft Aloud, and Listen/Partner Inquisition
This unit builds the groundwork for Lucy Calkin’s fourth-grade unit The Literary Essay: Writing About Fiction. It is meant to be a precursor to the fourth grade book.
This is an excellent unit for grades 3 or 4, if you have never used Lucy Calkin's units of study.
The unit aims to make reading a more intense, thoughtful experience with opinion writing, suggesting that instead of writing about opinions such as, “It is important to recycle,” they can now write about claims such as, “Marianne teaches people to care for each other.”
This unit focuses on:
Close Reading to Generate Ideas about Literature: you’ll teach children that just as essayists pay close attention to their lives, literary essayists pay close attention to texts. Children will work with literature they are familiar with and generate lots of entries about it and develop a thesis statement.
Support and Craft the Arguments: children will gather evidence to support their claims, elaborating on and crafting their arguments. They will retell important moments from the text, supporting their claims, craft introductions and conclusions, categorize evidence, and incorporate literary terms.
The unit is built around the picture book Train to Somewhere by Eve Bunting. This book is about a young girl, Marianne, who is one of fourteen orphans traveling west on an Orphan Train. The story is based on the actual Orphan Trains that rattled westward from the 1850’s to the 1920’s. You can follow along with the examples given, or easily adapt the lessons to a book you would like to study with the students. Whatever book you choose, BE SURE to read the story BEFORE beginning the unit so students are very familiar with it. Plenty of extra books should be available for students to choose when writing their own essays. Suggested titles for teaching character could include:
Fly Away Home by Eve Bunting
The Potato Chip Champ:Discovering Why Kindness Counts by Maria Desmondy
The Can Man by Laura E. Williams
Albert by Jim LaMarche
My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother by Patricia Polacco
The Wednesday Surprise by Eve Bunting
The Wall by Eve Bunting
Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman
The Stories Jullian Tells and More Stories Huey Tells by Ann Cameron