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Sequential Curriculum for Advanced Writing Workshop

by
Jane Baljevic


Contents of Curriculum Unit 78.01.03:

To Guide Entry


Content Objectives

My goal is to design a sequential curriculum for the second half of a ten-month elective course which will include first college board review (four months) and then an advanced writing workshop (six months). Both parts of the course will contain an emphasis on thinking and reasoning—as a basis for good test-taking and as the basis for effective writing.

The College Board Review component will include explanations of the strategies of test-taking and of the reasoning processes involved in taking the Scholastic Aptitude and English Achievement Tests, extensive drills and exercises done individually and in groups, and many small group and whole class discussions about correct answers and processes involved in determining correct answers. The curriculum will consist of a review of roots, prefixes, and suffixes, a review of parts of speech as indicated by suffixes, a review of synonyms and antonyms, a study of the skills involved in analyzing literature, and a study of how to identify errors of usage and structure in prose material. I will also review the strategy for answering analogy questions (first determining the given relationship—e.g. by turning the relationship into a sentence—and then attempting to match it) and the possible types of relationship in such questions (e.g. part to whole, worker to tool, normal amount to surplus, etc.). I will also review the thinking and locating skills involved in answering reading comprehension questions (e.g. finding the main idea, finding details, finding inferences, determining the meaning of a work from context, etc.).

The Writing Workshop component will be based on the assumption that the students understand the concept of a paragraph and can write a passable paragraph with a minimum number of errors in usage, structure, and mechanics. This component will be designed to have students write every day in class and almost every day at home, to give them considerable experience in actual writing. It will include work on descriptive, narrative, and expository prose, including analytic essays on various types of literature, and some work on the writing of poetry, short stories, humor, and satire. It will emphasize throughout the goals of specificity and of supporting ideas with details, facts, reasons, or observations.

Evaluation of the course and of the growth of the students in the course will be based on pre- and post-tests. These tests will include College Board questions on vocabulary, synonyms, antonyms, analogies, the analysis of literature, identification of errors, and rewriting a poorly-written prose passage; tests of reading level including vocabulary and comprehension; and samples of paragraphs and essays written by the students.

In analyzing methods of teaching composition, one writer (Miles Myers in Learning Magazine) discusses five methods, each with its own tradition in research and practice and each with its own special strengths and weaknesses for particular students.1

The models approach is based on the theory that skill can be developed through imitation. Its emphasis on paragraphs dictated to and written down by students seems to me more suitable for teaching writing on the beginning to intermediate level than on the intermediate to advanced level. However, I feel the paraphrasing and precis-writing skills emphasized in this approach would be useful skills for the students in this workshop to acquire.

The sentence-combining approach has its roots in linguistics and emphasizes sentence structure. I will be using this approach as a small part of the workshop as a way to introduce students to thinking about structure and style in sentences. I will be using exercises from Strong’s Sentence Combining: A Composing Book, in which students combine four to six given kernels into a sentence and compare their results with each other. I will also be using exercises from Composition: Models and Exercises II and from The Writer’s Handbook and the explanations in these books of coordinating (compounding) and subordinating (embedding).

The relationships approach involves a sequence which moves from narration to exposition and is based on the assumption that gaining maturity in writing involves the writer’s moving from a close audience and a personal subject to a more distant audience and a more abstract type of writing. This process seems useful to keep in mind in designing a series of sequential assignments for the workshop.

The “theory-of-the-world” approach assumes that students need a theory of the world in order to write effectively. I would say, more simply, that students need to take an attitude toward their subjects. In teaching students how to begin to write, a teacher must show them ways to select a subject, focus on their audience and their purpose for writing, and determine their attitude toward their subject before they begin writing.

The steps approach to teaching composition requires a workshop or laboratory format and focuses on the process of writing, including prewriting techniques such as brainstorming and journal entry writing, composing a series of drafts, and editing, criticizing, and rewriting. This seems to me the most useful approach because it emphasizes the process more than the product and because it puts much of the responsibility on the students themselves. It exposes them to a process which can be used for any kind of writing and which can be adapted to other tasks as well. Included below is Koch’s and Brazil’s overview of the stages of the process.2 (See Appendix A).

I have used this approach in teaching a small number of students (five to ten) in an Independent Study Writing Seminar, and I want to revise and expand my approach in that situation to devise an approach, a sequence, and a curriculum suited to a larger classroom/workshop situation.

This approach would be a process-conference one in which students would work individually, in pairs, or in groups, depending on their preferences and on the particular assignment. They would approach each assignment by selecting a topic; brainstorming words, details, and ideas; focusing on a particular audience, a purpose for writing, and an attitude toward their subject; gathering other necessary information; organizing their material; and writing a series of drafts. The students would be guided through this process by the teacher through a series of brief conferences held formally or informally as needed during the process. The goal would be for the students to become more and more independent, gradually learning to guide themselves through the process and increasingly using the teacher more as a resource and less as a guide.

In this approach, the students begin with what they know and want to say, while the teacher’s task is to help the students determine what they know and what they want to find out. The teacher facilitates this exploration at first by suggesting a process for beginning and by raising the kinds of questions one needs to ask oneself in order to begin. Such questions might include: What are some sensory details you can list about that place (or experience)? What are some attitudes you could take toward that subject? What would be the most forceful order for those points? Later, the teacher raises questions which help the writer begin to evaluate his/her own work. These might include: Which sentence is the most clear? Which sentence has the most specific details? Which image is the most appropriate for the writer’s audience and purpose? Throughout the process, the teacher facilitates this self-improvement by teaching specific skills as they are needed, for example, the use of quotation marks when the students are writing dialogue. The ultimate goal is for the students to learn to ask and answer the necessary questions independently.

There are three specific advantages to using the workshop or laboratory format. The students are partly responsible for designing and evaluating their own process and for finding the processes which work best for them in specific situations (e.g. whether to focus more on voice, audience, or argument). By working closely with the teacher and with other students during the writing process, the students are more aware of an audience and of the need to communicate their ideas clearly to that audience. Also, the teacher can play a variety of facilitating roles, including listener, questioner, recorder, editor, etc.3

The students, in addition to working individually and having conferences with the teacher, will be encouraged from the beginning of the class to use each other as sources of ideas, suggestions, and criticisms—to function for each other as listeners, questioners, critics, and editors. The peer pairs and small groups will provide an audience other than the teacher and feedback for student ideas from more than one person.

In the sequence of skills and assignments outlined below, work in pairs and in groups will be introduced at the beginning in informal ways, and help will be provided by the group mainly on prewriting. After the first week or two, the small group work will be expanded to include providing help on writing and rewriting, and seminars will be introduced, involving part or all of the class, in which students will read their writing to each other and share ideas about the strengths and weaknesses of each other’s writing.

It is, of course, important to establish an atmosphere of trust and of mutual help in the workshop if these pairs, groups, and seminars are to be fruitful. I agree with Thom Hawkins, who points out that when students work together on a specific task within a structured situation, they are usually able to be supportive of each other as well as critical.4 Included below is a suggested pattern for a small-group or seminar response procedure from Hawkins’ book and a form he uses to have group members evaluate their groups (See Appendix B and C).

At the end of the course, when students have become more independent and comfortable working with groups, each student will choose a genre (probably short story, poetry, or humor) and work, with a group of other students who have chosen the same genre, for three weeks on a major individual project. The students would already have done work on that genre, having read examples of writing in that genre, having analyzed and evaluated the examples in discussions, and having written analysis and critiques of the pieces they have read. Now they will be writing, with the help of their group, work of their own in the same genre. For example, they would already have read, raised questions about, and discussed some poetry written by published poets and by student writers and have evaluated and criticized various poems. They would have written analysis of poems in which they discussed how a poet achieved a certain effect or why certain words or images were more effective than others. Now they will do as much more reading, discussing, and analyzing as they feel they need to, and will also write poems of their own.

As part of their work in the course, students will constantly be evaluating their own work, and they will be allowed to rewrite as much as they want to or have time to. One part of their grade each marking period will be a grade on a given number of papers (perhaps five) that they have chosen from their folders, polished and rewritten as much as possible, and handed in to be graded. Included below are two evaluation forms suggested by Laque and Sherwood which could be adapted and used by students to evaluate their own and others’ work in writing as well as in discussions (See Appendix D and E).5

The sequence of skills and assignments which follows can be modified to meet the needs of specific classes and/or individuals.

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Proposed Sequence of Skills and Related Textbooks

Key to Abbreviations:

____Comp. 11Composition: Models and Exercises II
____Wr. H.—The Writer’s Handbook
____H & N—Here and Now: An Approach to Writing Through Perception
____War.—Warriner’s Advanced Composition: A Book of Models for Writing
____I. Introducing Process Approach (especially prewriting techniques)
____(Wr. H., pp. 100-110)
1 week II. Free or Open Writing
____(Teachers see Ch. 2 in Writing to Be Read)
____III Talk-Write (in pairs)
____IV. Observing, Perceiving, and Extending Awareness (in pairs and groups)
1 week (H & N, Chs. 1-6)
____V. Using Sensory Details
____(H & N, Chs. 1-6)
1 week VI. Description
____(War., Ch. 1; Comp. 11, Lessons 6-10)
1 week VII. Poetry Writing
____(Wr. H., pp. 181-189; Teachers see pp. 36-67 in Writing to Be Read)
1 week VIII. Paragraph Organization
____Types: Introductory, developmental, transitional, and concluding.
____Structures: Chronological, spatial, associational, inductive, deductive, pro/con.
____(Wr H., pp. 192-202)
1 week IX. Revealing a Person
____(H & N, Chs. 6, 8, and 9)
1 week X. Reliving a Past Experience
____(H & N, Ch. 13; Teachers see Ch. 9 in Writing to Be Read)
1 week XI. Narration
____(War., Chs. 10-12; Comp. 11, Lessons 11-16; Wr. H., pp. 115-119.
1 week XII. Defining and Explaining a Process
____(Wr. H., pp. 126-130 and pp. 120-122; War., Chs 3 & 4; Comp. 11, Lesson 19)
____XIII. Comparing and Contrasting
____(Wr. H., pp. 130-134; Comp 11, Lesson 20;
1 week Teachers see Ch. 16 in Writing to Be Read)
____XIV. Cause and Effect
____(Wr. H., pp. 134-139)
1 week XV. Paraphrasing, Summarizing, and Précis Writing
____(Teachers see pp. 241-246 in Writing to Be Read)
2 weeks XVI. Persuasion
____(War., Ch. 6; Comp. 11, Lessons 23-27; Wr. H., pp. 140-161)
2 weeks XVII. Analyzing (customs, goals, institutions, possessions, experiences, people, and literature)
____(H & N, Chs. 7-8 and 10-12; War., Ch. 5; Comp. 11, Lessons 18, 28, and 29; Wr. H., pp. 122-126; Teachers see p. 178 in Writing to Be Read)
2 weeks XVIII. Informal Essays, Articles, Reviews, and Interviews (War., Ch. 9; Wr. H., pp. 161-168; Teachers see Ch. 12 in Writing to Be Read)
2 weeks XIX. Humor and Satire
3 weeks XX. Independent Work in Groups (choose from short story, poetry, humor and satire, etc.)
22 weeks

Sample Assignments for II. “Free” Writing*

Writing One: Write for ten minutes as fast as you can, never stopping to ponder a thought. Put down whatever comes to your mind. If nothing comes, write, “Nothing comes to my mind” until you get started. Or look in front of you or out the window and begin describing whatever you see. Let yourself wander to any subject, feeling, or idea, but keep writing. When ten minutes is up, you should have filled a . . . page . . . [with] practice shots.
Writing Two: Write three or more of these absolutely free writings. Choose times when no one will disturb you, before breakfast or late at night perhaps. Go beyond ten minutes if the river keeps flowing. But don’t expect anything. You’re just warming up. Maybe none of your ten-minute writings will produce an interesting sentence. Don’t worry. Write. And don’t think about punctuation or grammar or style. Put down one word as a sentence if you wish. Maybe your writing will be completely uninteresting to others. As long as you are trying to write honestly and you are writing fast and steadily to fill up a page or two without stopping, you are practicing.
Writing Three: Now try free writing with more purpose. Stay on one subject as the [quoted] writer . . . did . . . But if you find that subject takes your mind off to another related subject, let yourself go to that.
____The one necessity in such practice is that you keep writing freely and quickly.
Writing Four: Write freely for twenty or thirty minutes about something or somebody you stumbled upon once. Let yourself record the lumps and grooves, the dents and spikes.
* from Ken Macrorie, Writing to Be Read (New York; Hayden Book Co., 1968), Ch. 2.

Sample Assignment for III. Talk-Write (in pairs)

Talk-Write*

Objectives:

A. To show students how they can use their talking skills to improve their writing.
B. To introduce the idea of having students write publicly for their peers.
C. To introduce the idea of having students use each other as resources.

Process:

A. Give an assignment like: “Think back to the places you have lived; now think of your favorite of those places; now think of your favorite room inside or spot outside that place; now describe that room or spot. Your composition (or paragraph) should try to incorporate all of the senses.”
B. One student in each pair will begin as writer, using a marker or pen and newsprint, and the other will begin as questioner. The writing student will talk out each sentence before writing. When the sentence is written, the teammate may ask questions to encourage the writer, to seek clarification, and to draw out more details.
C. Then the teammates will switch roles.

* adapted from Vincent Wixon and Pat Stone, “Getting It Out, Getting It Down: Adapting Zoellner’s Talk-Write,” English Journal 66 (September, 1977), 70-73.

Sample Assignment for V. Using Sensory Details

Sense Experience*

Objectives:

A. To concertize sense experience for students.
B. To focus on the importance of firsthand sense experience and to encourage the use of specific sense experience in writing.
C. To encourage students to see, touch, and hear things as as group and to talk about sight, taste, touch, smell, and sound.

Process:

A. Have groups list visual features of what they see inside the room.
B. Have groups discuss the tactile qualities of what they see.
C. Have the students study individuals carefully and report what they see; often they will see things they have never noticed before about their classmates.
D. Have all the students close their eyes and listen silently for one minute; then have them list individually and then share with each other all the sounds they heard.
E. Have students close their eyes again and pass around objects with a range of odors to smell; ask them to try to define what they are smelling.
F. Pass around things to taste and have students try to define what they are tasting.
G. Then have the students individually write a descriptive paragraph that appeals concretely and specifically to one of the senses.

* adapted from Carl Koch and James M. Brazil, Strategies for Teaching the Composition Process (Urbana, Ill.: NCTE, 1978), pp. 51-52.

Sample Assignment: VI. Description

Objectives:

A. To have students incorporate sensory details into an essay of description.
B. To show students how to brainstorm details and then select those details which have something in common.

Process:

A. Have students think of a particular place with which they are very familiar and list 25 specific details of that particular place, using all of their senses.
B. Have students select about 10 details from the list which contribute to a certain mood and incorporate then into a description of the place.

Sample Assignment: VI. Description

Objectives:
A. To have students incorporate sensory details into an essay of description.
B. To have students make selections within a structured assignment.

Process:.

A. Ask students to select a certain month or a certain season about which they have very strong (good or bad) feelings or impressions.
B. Ask them to write a thesis or attitude statement about their season or month.
C. Ask them to write a descriptive essay (using a tone appropriate to their attitude and audience) about their month or season, using specific, sensory details and images.

Sample Assignment for XI. Narration

Self-Disclosure*

Objectives:

A. To help students delve into their experiences for narrative writing material.
B. To continue working on a foundation for openness in small groups.

Process:

A. Read the following instructions: “With a marker or pen, divide a sheet of newsprint into six spaces. In space number one, draw a symbol of the most significant event in the first half of your life; in space two, a symbol of the most important event in the second half of your life; in space three, the most significant event in the last year; in space four, that situation, activity, or experience which you currently find most difficult or frustrating in space five, that emotion which you find most difficult to express; and in space six, what you would do if you knew you had but three years to live and could do whatever you wanted.”
B. When the students have finished drawing their symbols, read: “Now that you have finished drawing your posters, select one member of your group whom you want to know better. With this other person, find a separate place to share your posters. Taking turns, explain each symbol to your partner. Be sure to listen very closely to your partner because you will be asked later to explain his or her poster to the entire small group.”
C. When all pairs are finished sharing, read: “Now move back into your small groups. In turn, each person should carefully explain the poster of his or her partner to the rest of the small group. If the person explaining gets stuck, his or her partner may help out.”
D. The instructor should point out that poster spaces one, two, and three are especially pertinent to narrative writing, but that any section of the poster could be used as subject matter for a narrative.
____(Outlines, notes, or paragraphs could be used instead of symbols in each poster space.)
* adapted from Carl Koch and James M. Brazil, Strategies for Teaching the Composition Process (Urbana, Ill.: NCTE, 1978), pp. 40-43.

Sample Assignment for XI. Narration

A Personal Road Map*

Objectives:

A. To help students discover significant personal experiences for narrative writing.
B. To encourage group and class cohesiveness and group sharing of experiences.

Processes:

A. After small groups are formed, the instructor asks the students to place a B (for birth) in the bottom left corner of a sheet of newsprint and a P (for the present) in the top right corner of the sheet.
B. The instructor tells the students to think back across their lives to their birth and to draw a “road” (a line) from the B to the P that represents the course of their lives. It may be a straight line, a wavy line, a line that runs in circles, a line that has many detours, a line that has many dead ends, etc.
C. The instructor asks students to place little drawings or pictures along the road to symbolize any experience—either good or bad, important or unimportant—that they remember from their lives.
D. Then students who are willing should be encouraged to explain their maps to their small groups.
E. The instructor should point out that these symbols (and more can be added later as new memories are recalled) represent excellent topics for narrative writing.

* adapted from Carl Koch and James M. Brazil, Strategies for Teaching the Composition Process (Urbana, Ill.: NCTE, 1978), pp. 38-39.

Sample Questions: XVII. Analyzing (Literature)

Questions to Help Students Analyze a Poem

I. Speaker and situation
____A. Who is the speaker? What kind of person is he?
____B. To whom is the speaker speaking? What kind of person is the person being addressed?
____C. What is the occasion of situation of the poem?
____D. What is the setting (time and place)?
II. Poet’s purpose
____A. What is the central idea or theme of the poem?
____B. What is the poet’s purpose?
________to tell a story?
________to create a picture in the mind?
________to tell how he/she feels about some experience?
________to impart new insight into human life?
____C. What exactly does the poem say, and what does it suggest?
____D. Why does the poem have the title it does?
III. Tone, need, feeling
____A. Based on the precise wording of the poem, what may have happened in the mind, the heart, and the senses of the poet which impelled him/her to write this poem?
____B. What is the need or feeling or tone of this poem?
____C. By what means is it conveyed?
IV. Technique
____A. Development
________1. What is the form or pattern of this poem?
________2. How is the form important in relation to the meaning?
________3. What are the parts or steps in the development of thought and emotion?
________4. If there are stanzas, what structure is found within the stanzas? How does this help to organize the thought?
____B. Language
________1. Do you find any words particularly well-chosen?
________2. What sensory appeals are used and how?
________3. Is there a central image which unites the entire poem?
________4. What kinds of imagery are used, and why?
________5. Point out and explain any examples of symbols, allusions, paradox, irony, overstatement, and understatement.
________6. Point out examples of sound repetition, and explain their function.
V. Evaluation
____A. Is the poet conveying an experience which is worth conveying?
____B. Is the emotion appropriate for the experience?
____C. Are the poetic techniques useful in supporting the poet’s air, or are they merely ornamental?
____D. Has the poet succeeded in communicating his need or his insight?

Sample Questions: XVII. Analyzing (Literature)

Questions to Help Students Analyze an Essay

I. Determining the meaning of the essay.
____A. What is the thesis (main point) of the essay?
________1. Is it stated in a sentence or two at the beginning or at the end?
________2. If it is not specifically stated, is it implied? (Consider title, topics of paragraphs, general subject, relevance of illustrations, statistics, and other means of developing and substantiating opinions.)
____B. What is the nature of the essay?
________1. Is it an explanation, a description, or an argument? Is it a narrative?
________2. Is it objective or subjective, or a combination of both? (Does it appeal mainly to your mind or to your emotions, or to both?)
II. Study the author’s writing techniques.
____A. What is the structure (organization) of the essay?
________1. How is the discussion begun? How much is introductory?
________2. Which paragraphs make up the development of the thesis?
________3. What does the author conclude? (Is his conclusion in a separate summarizing paragraph?)
________4. Is the conclusion logical?
____B. What are the characteristics of the author’s style?
________1. Does he/she use metaphors, similes, analogies, personification, or other figures of speech?
________2. Does he/she use alliteration, repetition of words or phrases, allusion, or word play?
________3. Does he/she use overstatement, understatement, paradox, etc?
________4. Does he/she use complicated or simple diction?
________5. Does he/she use slang or jargon?
________6. Are his sentences varied in length and structure?
________7. Are there patterns, rhythms, or balance in the sentences?
________8. What is the order of the sentences (and paragraphs)?
________9. How is the emphasis achieved?
________10. What kinds of transitions or cohesive devices are used?
________11. Is the tone sarcastic, angry, witty, humorous, etc.?
III. Summarize your evaluation of the essay.
____A. Is the thesis (main idea) clear?
____B. Is the essay unified and well-organized?
____C. If it is a descriptive essay, do you consider the description effective?
____D. If it is an argument, how sound is it? (Consider the kind and amount of evidence presented.)
____E. If it is an explanation, is it to the point, clear, and adequate?
____F. What is the outstanding quality of the essay?

Exercises for Certain Skills (to be used by individuals or whole class)

from Composition: Models and Exercises 11: (exercises calling for sentence rewrites and sentence combining)
adjective clauses, p. 80

participial phrases, p. 81

variety in sentence beginnings, p. 83

variety in sentence lengths, p. 84

coordination, p. 126

subordination, p. 128

parallelism, p. 182

position of modifiers, pp. 183, 228

passive voice, p. 179

eliminating unnecessary words, p. 181

repetition for emphasis, p. 229

from The Writer’s Handbook
Usage Glossary, pp. 8-97, should be useful for students

dangling modifiers, p. 242

parallelism, p. 248

possessive form of nouns and pronouns before gerunds, p. 249

quotation marks, p. 250

compounding, pp. 203-205

embedding, pp. 205-208

rearranging order of sentence, pp. 208-210

word choice (economy, accuracy, appropriateness), pp. 211-215

(Teachers also see Ch. 4 in Writing to be Read)

Appendix A: Stages of the Composition Process*

Prewriting

1. Experiencing 2. Discovering 3. Making Formal Choices
Our response to Identifying Selecting a form for
someone or some a topic and the essay and a form
thing, leading an audience. of organization.
to a desire to
communicate.

Writing

4. Forming 5. Making Language 6. Languaging Choices
Arranging essay Selecting language The process of carrying
materials in line appropriate to out the language Choices.
with choices in one’s purpose and
step three; or, audience.
in an opinion es-
say, writing a
clear thesis state-
ment to begin the
essay.

Postwriting

7. Criticizing 8. Proofreading
Evaluation of the essay to How does the essay meet
determine if it reflects the choices the external standards
made earlier in the composition pro of one’s audience: form,
cess. punctuation, neatness,
spelling, etc.?

* from Carl Koch and James M. Brazil, Strategies for Teaching the Composition Process (Urbana, Ill., 1978), p. xi.

Appendix B: Guidelines for Peer Criticism Procedure*

1. Reading.

Go over the paper twice if necessary, but don’t write any responses yet. After the silent reading, the author will read the essay aloud.

2. Spoken feedback.

Talk to the author. Tell him or her about the good things in the paper, the parts you especially liked. Be supportive. There is nothing really bad about any piece of writing, only parts which may not make sense to other people.
Talk to each other. Do your perceptions of the author’s message and its expression square with your fellow students’ responses? Will another reading bring you closer together?
Listen to the author. There may be parts he was wondering about himself and now that he has a captive audience he can ask you if you have understood his point.
Make any marginal notations that occur to you during the discussion.

3. Written feedback.

Stop talking. The author needs a written record to remember all your comments. Expand your marginal notes and on the last page write some general observations about the whole essay. Your larger view of the paper will be more helpful to the author than the spelling or punctuation errors you’ve noted.

* from Thom Hawkins, Group Inquiry Techniques for Teaching Writing (Urbana, Ill.: NCTE and ERIC, 1976), pp. 29-30.

Appendix C: Evaluation of Our Group Performance*

Instructor’s Name _______________ Course & Section __________

Quarter/Year __________ Your Major __________ Your Status _____

Most conventional instructor evaluation forms emphasize traditional teaching models (lecture, discussion) and place little responsibility on the student for either the structure of the course or the classroom atmosphere. In order to supplement the standard form, I would like your evaluation of teacher-student roles in group taught, discovery-based classrooms such as ours.

A. How would you rate the overall effectiveness of the group teaching approach? (Circle one)
____Excellent Good Average Fair Poor
B. Rate the following questions on a scale of 1 to 5 as follows:
      5     4       3   2      1
Nearly Always  Most of the Time  Sometimes  Rarely  Almost Never
a. How often did you talk with your group? _____
b. How often did they listen to you?
c. How often did you listen to them?
d. Were the group tasks clearly defined by the instructor and did you understand their purpose?
e. Did the tasks fit your needs and interests?
f. Did the instructor listen attentively to you and others?
g. Did you feel intimidated during his/her presence in your group?
h. Did he/she dominate group discussion?
i. Do you feel that he/she asked stimulating questions during group time?
j. Were his/her summaries of student work brief and accurate?
k. Did he/she allow a variety of responses?
l. When you reported on your group’s discoveries, did you speak to your peers in the larger class and did they respond to you?
C. What percentage of your learning in this course do you attribute to the efforts of: Yourself _____ % Your Peers _____ % Your Instructor _____
D. Please write a brief comment on what you see as the role of the instructor in this class.

* from Thom Hawkins, Group Inquiry Techniques for Teaching Writing (Urbana, Ill.: NCTE and ERIC, 1976), p. 39.

Appendix D: A Sample Form for Student Self-Evaluation*

(figure available in print form)
*from Carol Laque and Phyllis Sherwood, A Laboratory Approach to Writing (Urbana, Ill.: NCTE, 1977), p. 87.

Appendix E: A Sample Form for Student Evaluation of Writing Assignments*

(figure available in print form)
*from Carol Laque and Phyllis Sherwood, A Laboratory Approach to Writing (Urbana, Ill.: NCTE, 1977), p. 87.

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Notes

1. Miles Myers, “Five Approaches to the Teaching of Writing,” Learning (April, 1978), 38-41.

2. Carl Koch and James M. Brazil, Strategies for Teaching the Composition Process (Urbana, Ill.: NCTE, 1978), p. xi.

3. Carol Laque and Phyllis Sherwood, A Laboratory Approach to Writing, (Urbana, Ill., NCTE, 1977), p. 26.

4. Thom Hawkins, Group Inquiry Techniques for Teaching Writing (Urbana, Ill.: NCTE and ERIC, 1976), p. 5.

5. Laque and Sherwood, Op. Cit., pp. 87 and 89.

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Bibliography

Clapp, Ouida, ed. Classroom Practices in Teaching English, 1977-1978: Teaching the BasicsReally:. Urbana, Ill.; NCTE, 1977.

Duke, Charles R. “The Student-Centered Conference and the Writing Process.” English Journal, 64 (December, 1975), pp. 44-47.

Graves, Donald H. “Balance the Basics: Let Them Write.” Learning, (April, 1978), pp. 30-33.

Hawkins, Thom. Group Inquiry Techniques for Teaching Writing, Urbana, Ill.: NCTE and ERIC, 1976.

Koch, Carl and James M. Brazil. Strategies for Teaching the Composition Process. Urbana, Ill.: NCTE, 1978.

Laque, Carol and Phyllis Sherwood. A Laboratory Approach to Writing. Urbana, Ill.: NCTE, 1977.

Macrorie, Ken. Writing to Be Read. New York: Hayden Book Co., 1968.

Moffett, James. A Student-Centered Language Arts Curriculum, Grades K-13: A Handbook for Teachers, Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1968.

Murray, Donald M. “Teach Writing as a Process, Not Product.” The Leaflet, (Fall 1972), p. 12.

Myers, Miles. “Five Approaches to the Teaching of Writing.” Learning (April, 1978), pp. 38-41.

O’Hare, Frank. Sentence Combining: Improving Student Writing Without Formal Grammar Instruction. Urbana,

Radcliffe, Terry. “Talk-Write Composition: A Theoretical Model Proposing the Use of Speech to Improve Writing.” Research in the Teaching of English, 6 (Fall 1972), p. 189.

Strong, William. “Sentence Combining: Back to the Basics and Beyond,” English Journal, 65 (February, 1976), p. 56, pp.60-64.

Wixon, Vincent and Pat Stone. “Getting It Out, Getting It Down: Adapting Zoellner’s Talk-Write.” English Journal, 66 (September, 1977), pp. 70-73.

Zoellner, Robert. “Talk-Write: A Behavioral Pedagogy for Composition.” College English, 30 (January, 1969), pp. 267-320.

Books Students Will Be Using

Glatthorn, Allan, and Harold Fleming. Composition: Models and Exercises 11. New York: Harcourt, Brace, and World, 1965.

Karls, John B. and Ronald Szymanski. The Writer’s Handbook. River Forest, Ill.: Laidlaw Bros., 1975.

Morgan, Fred. Here and Now: An Approach to Writing Through Perception. New York: Harcourt, Brace, and World, 1968.

Strong, William. Sentence Combining: A Composing Book. New York: Random House, 1973.

Warriner, John, et al, ed. Advanced Composition: A Book of Models for Writing. New York: Harcourt, Brace, and World, 1961.

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