Throughout history, numerous activists have told their stories to an audience with the intention of making things better for the future. As we wrap up Unit 1, students in English II at Roberto Clemente Community Academy are hard at work writing non-fiction stories about their own life-changing experiences with the objective of making an impression on their audience. Students reflected on a lesson learned and took this opportunity to teaching others what they learned from their experience.
Throughout this unit, students have learned about the plot structure of a story as well as how to communicate a tone in a story. They practiced identifying the elements of plot and language that reflected tone in short stories, tweets, speeches, and video clips. By the time students began to consider which personal experience they wanted to retell for their final assessment, they were well prepared to create a well-organized story with a clear tone.
Students focused on the importance of adding details, descriptions, and dialogue to a story in a way that helps to develop the plot and tone. Students practiced using quotations and speaker tags (i.e. “replied”, “cried”, “whispered”, etc.) to portray the real conversations that happened in the experiences they were retelling. Most students agreed that stories were much higher quality when they included authentic conversations between the characters and lots of details.
Finally, students wrote a Statement of Purpose where they had to use evidence from their own story to provide a justification for the choices they made as an author. The Statement of Purpose also allowed students to embrace the IB learner profile by providing a space for students to be reflective and communicative.