The following is from the NC English II Standard Course of Study.
Produce reminiscences (about a person, event, object, place, animal) that engage the audience by:
- using specific and sensory details with purpose.
- explaining the significance of the reminiscence from an objective perspective.
- moving effectively between past and present.
- recreating the mood felt by the author during the reminiscence.
I am going to state the basic overview of the Reminiscence writing assignment that I have come up with (with the help of a few choice resources) and then my subsequent posts will give more detailed explanations of the steps. In order for this to be successful, the teacher must model the steps for the students using a document camera or an overhead projector. The emphasis is on CONTENT, not FORM!
- Students will bring in an object from their childhood and do a focused free-write about the memories that the object invokes.
- Students will then share their ideas in a small group, discuss, and share with the large group.
- Students will take what they have written and write a draft of the moment they chose–the moment that the object invokes.
- Students will get back in the groups from step 2 and read their own draft aloud. They will have to choose a small section of their narrative to rewrite a draft on a more specific level. Conference with students if possible either in front of the group or personally to better understand on which part of their draft they would like to zoom in.
- Students will rewrite their draft and then share it with their small group, discuss it, add notes, and share with the whole group. Conference again with students briefly to make further notes on improvement. The teacher will make note of the most frequently encountered problems with structure, grammar, and conventions, and address these with students on an individual basis.
- Students will then need to revise their draft making significant changes based on the notes from the small group, whole group, and student-teacher conference. These notes should be documented and compared in this step so students understand the importance of revision. This draft should be typed.
- Students will be required to share their narrative aloud in front of the class after presenting the object that they chose at the beginning of the assignment. Students will be assessed using a rubric for the writing assignment. Since this is the first presentation, the teacher will make note of what students need to work on concerning presentation skills and address those problems for the next presentation (baby steps). Students will also be given completion credit for each step of the assignment that they complete on time.