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Transcendental Meditation and ADHD Consciousness-Based Education
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My Teaching
Profile -
Unit Plan

 

 
 

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Young Writer's Workshop:

Developing Inner Ideas Through Outer Expression

 

 

A Unit Design Plan for First or Second-Grade Children

       A two-week initial unit to launch an ongoing writing program for primary grade children

 

 

Goals of This Unit

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To use the knowledge and procedures of Robert Graves in a fun and meaningful experience for children in creating writings and a book

 

 

Enduring Understandings:

 

Primary children will learn the important truth that self-expression is not difficult. Once set in motion – using the initial conditions of paper, pen, inventive spelling and a daily short period of quiet writing – the process continues spontaneously for them. 22

 

 

Essential Questions:

 

Children will learn the answer to three essential questions:

      Can I write a story?

 

      Can I make my story interesting enough so that my family will enjoy it?

 

      How will it feel to create something as "important" as a book?

  

Rationale

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Why is this project important at this grade level? How will it benefit the student?

 

Often the value of writing can seem non-immediate to a child, when it is not used for something concrete in their life. Children are taught to respect books highly. For them to create a book themselves, therefore, puts their self-esteem at a very high level.  37

 

 

National Standards and Benchmarks Developed:

 

National Council of Teachers of English Standards -

 

       "Students apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate and appreciate texts. They draw on their prior experience, their interactions with other readers and writers, their knowledge of word meaning and of other texts, their word identification strategies, and their understanding of textual features (e.g. sound-letter correspondence, sentence structure, context and graphics)."

 

        "Students use spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish their own purposes (e.g. learning, enjoyment, persuasion, and the exchange of information)."

 

"Science of Creative Intelligence" Principle:

 

"Outer Depends Upon Inner" 

The principle of the outer world depending upon his inner experience becomes clear to the child after even the first five-minute session in writing. He has begun with essentially nothing (paper and pen) and magically has created a sentence or a paragraph that he can then read back to himself. Where did the writing come from? Not from the outside; so it must be from the inside!  34

 

Writing is self-referral "to the second power" for a young writer:  “I can write by myself … and about myself!”

 

 

Literary Skill Developed by Unit Activity:

 

In drawing words out from within, the child must generate the appropriate terms to describe his experience; and he must decide what letters to use to represent on paper any new words which he does not yet know how to spell. The child alternates, therefore, between author and reader of his own work continuously while creating it. This structures the very core of personal literacy, i.e. a healthy identification with written language.

 

 

Teaching Strategy: Workshop

 

The use of the studio atmosphere to support the child’s individual writing experience shows the child that he or she can write anywhere – even with several other people around him. This workshop environment is also supportive to various aptitude levels or learning styles:

      The slower writer is inspired by the sharing of works from more fluent writers at the end of the studio each day.  12

 

      The gifted child is given unrestricted license 15 minutes, four to five times weekly, to let her boundless creativity flow onto her paper. 13

 

      Even non-writing handicapped learners can join in by recording letters in any order as “pretend” words, which can then be “translated into writing" by the teacher as the child narrates his or her story orally. The child can then enjoy illustrating his or her typed story. 14

 

      Physically restricted children can perform the whole process of book creation – including the selection of clip art as illustration – on the classroom computer. 9

 

An Overall Supporting Experience

 

Books may be written about any topic, from home to school life and beyond. The creation of a book can then begin the creation of a hundred books over the course of a child’s elementary education. And the notoriety the child receives for his finished product from family members and friends builds his courage in all future educational endeavors. 1

 

Unit Objectives

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       To provide the child hands-on experience in recording his life and circumstances, so that he or she becomes aware of the tool of writing as a means of self-exploration and fulfillment

 

      To develop the child’s ability to see himself and his life in the cool light of common sense which the written word sheds

 

      To allow the child to employ his self-gained life knowledge to compare, analyze and synthesize his world  by happily writing about it

 

      To combine aspects of the child’s verbal and artistic skill in one great work of self-expression – a book! 

 

Evaluation

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Performance Rubric for Young Writers Workshop  17

 

 

 

4

 

 

3

 

2

 

1

 

Finished work shows dedication to the project of creating a book.

 

Child seems to gain from the experience of observing his life in writing.

 

Child shows desire and confidence to read his book to his family.

 

 

 

Child is able to incorporate great detail in his writing.

 

Illustrations are colorful or detailed and match the subject matter of the page.

 

Child is able to create sentences about his chosen topic.

 

Child enjoys writing his experiences down on paper.

 

Child is unable to remain with project long enough to begin significant writing.

 

Child does not enjoy the process of writing

his or her book.

 

 

 

Resources

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As an inspiration toward good themes and great creativity in their personal story-telling, quality books with high idealism and/or literary skill and quality illustrations should be read to the children daily during the "Young Writers Course":

  "Horton Hatches an Egg" by Dr. Seuss

  "Make way for Ducklings" by Robert McCloskey

 

 

 

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