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Hold a Classroom Write-In

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Instructors can use the lesson provided or develop their own that speaks to their particular concerns and that of their students. While a literacy narrative is one possible genre, other options include students writing letters to a local official or school board member. What’s important is that writers identify an issue they care about, write with a particular audience in mind, and, with their teacher’s help, work with a rhetorical strategy best suited to their purpose.

The following possibilities can be used with individual students or partners, including entire classes:

  • Individual/group/class letter to the school principal
  • Individual/group/class letter to members of the governing board
  • Individual/group/class letter to the opinion section of a local newspaper
  • Individual/group/class letter to a local or national elected official
  • Literacy narratives to be read at public forum, such as a school board meeting or a school assembly with invited guests
  • A few other ideas: compiling literacy narratives into a class collage, report, letter, or multimodal persuasive composition related to a relevant local or national policy, class blog, class literacy policy newsletter or newspaper, email (similar to letter, but some distinct genre conventions) or perhaps social media, a policy brief; perhaps something multimodal, e.g. a podcast, a PSA, a website, a poster, a short video (e.g. YouTube advocacy); “change my view” (Reddit) activity;
  • For an extended project: a class could do a research project over the course of several weeks that results in some sort of public document or argument or students could investigate the implications (positive or negative) of a policy change and provide a report with recommendations

Remember: Any public sharing of student work must follow your school’s guidelines. Often you cannot share student work without parent or guardian approval. 

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