the thanksgiving interview project

Teaching writing has never been a strength of mine.  Something about all the lack of rule following just makes me nervous.  I am structured and analytical.  I like order.  Except for my bedroom.  That's a mess.  Laundry everywhere.  But I digress.

This year, I have been concentrating on improving the way I teach writing.  My first thought was, "AHHHHHH, WHERE DO I BEGIN???"  I decided to start with what I know: the assignments I currently have.  I'd make them better.

If you are anything like me, you are reading this and thinking, "Yeh that's great and all, but WHAT DO YOU MEAN?"

Here's what I mean.

Last year, I gave a 4-week writing assignment that spanned over Thanksgiving break.  The assignment was to generate questions, interview a family member, and then reflect on what they've learned.  Overall, this project was a success and the kids enjoyed it.  

Buuuuuuut, it lacked refinement.  And more importantly, it lacked excitement.  Take a look at the layout for example.  

See what I mean?  Ugh.  Just looking at it makes me want to fall asleep.

Here's what it looks like now:

So much better.  And my class was so. so. so. excited.  You know when the kids won't stop asking questions the entire time you are trying to explain, to the point where you have to say "STOP ASKING ME QUESTIONS SO I CAN TRY TO EXPLAIN!!!"  Yeh.  That happened.  

I also changed the layout.  I created a page that gives an overview of the project with the due dates for each of the 4 parts.  Now it's easy for the parents kids to stay organized and manage their time.

Then I gave each part it's own page.  No more pages full of language that are hard to follow.

Currently, we are set to begin part 2 of this assignment on Monday.  But I am already receiving lots of positive feedback from parents.  

-My child is excited about her writing assignments.

-There's no anxiety at home.

-My child isn't waiting until the last minute this year.  

-We haven't had one night end in tears.

Assigning this project right before Parent/Teacher conferences was an unexpected bonus!

Psst!  This project is for sale at my TeachersPayTeachers store and IT'S ONLY 3 DOLLARS!

(Note: To save your job ink, I recommend only printing the first page in color.)

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