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Narrative to Argument Writing, Rising Grades 4-6, Summer 2021

By Lucy Calkins, Teachers College Reading & Writing Project

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This module, designed for Rising Grades 4–6 students, starts with a week of identity-rich narrative writing to help build community and usher students into the writing work. Then students will turn to writing reviews as they learn to make clear claims and to support those claims with reasons and concrete evidence.

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About the TCRWP Virtual Summer School Curriculum

These all-new, standards-based—and joyful—summer school units/modules were developed around what we observe to be the most important needs of students as they emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic and prepare for the new school year. We offer the units in a suggested sequence, but, because we know that some schools and districts will wish to plan their own sequence, each module can be purchased a-la-carte as well. See the “Subscription Terms and Conditions” section on this webpage for more information.

About this Unit/Module

The unit starts with a week of identity-rich narrative writing to help build community and usher students into the writing work. Students get support in writing stories from their lives with detail and voice. This work helps increase their sense of independence, their fluency in writing, and most importantly, their confidence as writers and in the community. 

Following a week of narrative writing, students will turn to writing reviews as they learn to make clear claims and to support those claims with reasons and concrete evidence. The third bend of the unit asks students to put their argument writing skills to a new job—writing about an issue that many schools are wondering about—are video games beneficial in schools? Students consider how their lived experiences make them think about this topic and also do some research from a text set on the issue. They write to support their thinking, using what they know about the structure of argument writing. Educators might choose to have students write collaborative pieces, with partners or clubs working to support each other. 

In the last part of the unit, students are invited to take up a cause they care about, one that is needed for their community. Students again go through the process of research and writing as they work to create writing that they can put into the world to create the kinds of changes students know are needed. 

For more information about the TCRWP Virtual Summer School Curriculum, visit UnitsofStudy.com/SummerSchool.

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