This week, my 7th grade English classes started reading the novel, Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. We started with some background discussions and research on Jim Crow Laws and Brown vs. Board of Education. We looked at the Great Depression and unemployment at the time.
After we had an idea of the world we were going to read about, we started reading. And in my class, that means we stop every other day or so to write about what we're reading. They have 5 minutes to write ½ a page. Full credit will be earned for ½ a page of serious thoughts on the subject. The goal is to just write, to write write write their thoughts on the topic and anything connected to the topic.
I don't know about your students, but I've noticed my students have a hard time having something to say. They put down the exact thought, then can't explore the idea, pursue different angles, and talk about all the sides. So we spend time exploring our minds and writing it down. Then talking about it in group discussions. After a while, they're able to get more and more thoughts down. It's pretty awesome!
Our Quickwrite Writing Prompts from today:
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