Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Revise Verdict Letter

1. IWBAT correctly align verbs with compound subjects.
2. IWBAT compose a business letter, as the head juror, to the courtroom judge, in order to state and justify my verdict of Steve Harmon's felony murder trial in Monster by Walter Dean Myers.
3. IWBAT revise my writing, in order to improve the evidence, organization, and tone.


1. Homework Check: subject/verb agreement (with compound subjects)

2. Read Monsterpp. 253-269 (2:13:26-2:25:25)

3. Review Assignment:
  • the prompt:
    • Format: business letter
    • Audience: the judge
    • Role: the head juror
    • Topic: whether Steve Harmon is innocent or guilty
  • the organization:
    • Introduction: state purpose of letter, make claim (judgment/verdict of case: innocent or guilty), and preview three key points
    • Body Paragraph #1: state and explain 1st key point / evidence
    • Body Paragraph #2: state and explain 2nd key point / evidence
    • Body Paragraph #3: state and explain 3rd key point / evidence
    • Conclusion: summarize your judgment and reasoning

4. Finish Draft:
  • Review expectations on page 4 of Monster packet
    • The introduction should:
      • Briefly describe your experience as juror 
      • State purpose of letter (to announce and explain judgment)
      • Announce judgment (guilty or not guilty)
      • Preview three key points (from your three body paragraphs -- but don't say everything!)
      • Be formal and professional
    • The conclusion should:
      • Restate your judgment (guilty or not guilty)
      • Summarize your three key points (from your three body paragraphs -- review what is most important) 
      • End by leaving the reader (the judge) with something to remember 
  • Draft 5-paragraph letter using template on Google Drive
    • Find "A Juror's Judgment" in the Shared with Me folder in Google Drive.

5. Revise Draft:
  • Revising literally means viewing again. 
  • When revising, you work to improve the way your ideas are written on paper, by changing big picture things (not small details).
  • Reflect on the following questions to help you determine strengths and areas for growth (use page 5 of Monster packet):
    • Does my introduction clearly state my verdict, whether Mr. Harmon is guilty or innocent? 
    • Do my body paragraphs present factual evidence to justify (support) my verdict? 
    • Do I explain the evidence in each body paragraph with new thoughts from my head? 
    • Are there any parts that I can make less confusing by changing my wording or adding more details? 
    • Are there any parts that are off-topic that I should remove from my letter?
  • Next, ask one or two teammates to read over your work and provide new feedback about your writing (use page 5 of Monster packet)
  • With your own thoughts and feedback from your teammates, revise your writing to improve it.
    • Focus your improvements based on what is highlighted in the rubric below (this is how you will be graded). 
ideascreates argument, but lacks details and/or analysiscreates clear argument with relevant details, but lacks strong analysiscreates a clear, convincing argument with relevant facts and details and strong analysis
evidencelacks sufficient evidence to make convincing argument, or evidence is not clearly related to claimscites some textual evidence that supports the key points; may lack citationcites sufficient textual evidence to clearly support each key point, including the citation (page number)
counterargumentdoes not acknowledge a realistic counterargumentacknowledges a counterargument, but fails to adequately defend against itacknowledges and convincingly defends against a realistic counterargument
tonewrites with informal tone and/or imprecise languagewrites with formal tone but lacks precise language or academic vocabularywrites with precise language, academic vocabulary, and formal tone

6. Edit Draft
  • Editing is working to improve small scale things, like periods and capital letters.
  • The acronym CUPS can help you remember what to edit for: Capitalization, Usage, Punctuation, Spelling.
Editing Checklist
    • Format matters. 
      • I have written in complete sentences. 
      • I have used academic vocabulary and tone. 
      • I have used formal names, like Mr. Harmon (not Steve) and Mr. Evans (not Bobo). 
      • I have checked for proper subject-verb agreement. 
      • I have skipped lines between parts and paragraphs. 
      • I have NOT intended all paragraphs (in a business letter). 
      • I have included the page number to cite all evidence:
        • example: Mr. T says, "Put words directly from the book in quotation marks, and be careful with punctuation marks!" (118).
    • Capitalization counts. 
      • I have capitalized the first word of each sentence. 
      • I have capitalized all proper nouns: specific people, places, things, and dates. 
    • Spell well. 
      • I have checked the spelling of difficult words or words that don’t look right. 
      • I have checked the spelling of all names
      • I have checked the spelling of all trial/courtroom vocabulary. 
      • I have used the correct form of there/their/they’re, to/two/too, and you’re/your
    • Punctuate correctly. 
      • I have used end punctuation (. ? !) correctly. 
      • I have used a colon after the salutation in a business letter. (Dear Judge Twarek:
      • I have used commas after items in a list and before conjunctions in a compound sentence. 
      • I have used apostrophes in contractions and to show possession.
      • I have added a space after each period and comma.

Homework: Figurative Language in Monster + Rough Draft (finish all five paragraphs!)

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