Authentic Text as Writing Mentors

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Return to: ETAP 623 Fall 2019 (Zhang) | Mitch Scott


Course Introduction

  • Do you teach process writing in your class?
  • How do you introduce writing performance tasks to your students?
  • What resources do you use to teach the craft of writing?
  • How closely do your unit texts align with writing and other performance tasks?

This course is designed to introduce you to the concept of using authentic texts as writing mentors and walk you through a genre-based approach to unit, assessment, and activity design. While the course will have obvious relevance for Reading, ELA, and Social Studies teachers, certain writing tasks in Math and Science with highly specialized genre expectation (lab reports, theoretical proofs, journal articles, etc.) will benefit from authentic writing mentors.

Performance Objective

This course is intended to be both productive and practical. You should begin the course with either an existing unit plan that contains a process writing task or be in the process of designing such a unit. After defining mentor text and introducing genre-based pedagogy, you will use all application activities to plan and design your unit. You will conclude the course by sharing a new or revised unit plan that leverages at least one authentic text as a writing mentor.

Unit 1: Genre-Based Pedagogy

Participants will explore theory and application of genre-based pedagogy.

Unit 2: Mentor Texts

Participants will define "Mentor Text" and reflect on the qualities to look for when selecting an authentic text to serve as a writing mentor.

Unit 3: Preparing for Unit Planning with a Mentor Text

Participants will gather and evaluate resources to support planning a unit using one or more texts as both content for learning/analysis and a writing mentor.

Unit 4: Unit Planning with a Mentor Text

Participants will map introduction and spiraled use of mentor text(s) and confirm unit, text, and task alignment.

Unit 5: Generalizable Language and Transfer

Participants will develop learning activities to provide opportunities for students to view models, practice, and apply a generalizable approach to genre analysis.