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Instructional Time

Depending on the length of the text, and how much they wanted to dig into the text together, we might take 1 or 3 days with the same mentor text. The rest of work time or other days is spent in their other writing projects, as the purpose of these Quick Write lessons was more to foster a strategy (learning from a mentor text) than to push a required genre.  It might look like this:

  • Day 1: Introduce quick write text by either reading it or explaining how it was selected
    • Students read in groups of 2-5 collaboratively annotating and discussing the text (our protocol is to annotate for understanding and reaction, then technique or parts we want to use). Teacher listens in to groups, coaches as needed into being collaborative/actively annotating
    • Students select whatever inspired them and begin writing. Teacher can also begin writing or support students visibly struggling
    • Students share their writing and what inspired them. Teacher takes notes on a a copy of the text for all to see 
    • Students begin work time writing
  • Day 2: Teacher follows into what students noticed from the Quick Write Text to teach 1-2 techniques to practice with. In this way, the quick write becomes a mentor text, teaching something of use to the writers.
  • Day 3: can repeat day 2 with something else to take from the text or you may feel 2 days was enough and you want to move onto another text. I recommend that the next quick write text that follow should be similar in some way –something that bears repeating — but allow students to discover the overlaps.

Save these texts as a reference in either a digital archive of these mentors, a physical class binder accessible to all students, or requires students save their annotated copies in a folder. I had a digital archive on Google Classroom as well as laminated annotated copies on a wall. Moving Writers has a Google Drive they share publicly.

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