This supplementary lesson is targeted to classrooms in which students are inexperienced in using word processing software. Students learn about good file saving practices in preparation for typing their first drafts. Students learn to upload their typed documents to the Online Classroom.
Note: This lesson should be implemented at a time that is appropriate for your students. In
some cases, it will make sense to introduce the lesson in Step 4, once students have some
draft material to save.
Technology: LCD projector, laptop, Internet access or Writing Editorials CD, student computers with Internet access
Other Materials: Student folders, writers’ notebooks, your Editorial Organizer (Handout 3.1a) or a draft paragraph written on paper for Teacher Model
This supplementary lesson requires student computers. It is not appropriate for a limited tech
environment. If there are a limited number of computers, try the following options:
Students will use a word processing program to begin a draft of their editorials for uploading to the Online Classroom.
How can the computer help you with real world writing?
Show lesson visuals, Use the Computer.
Explain to students that in the real world, writers use computers to compose pieces that will be
published. Explain that some writers find it useful to write their first drafts on paper, while others start at the computer.
Think aloud about how writing your piece on paper and writing on the computer are different
easier to revise and edit on a computer, and being able to share your thoughts with other peopleprocesses. Explain the benefits of transferring your writing to the computer, including how it is around the city, the country and even around the world.
Remind students about the Writing Matters online publishing tool, explaining the importance of getting their editorials on the computer to get them ready for publishing in the class ezine.
Ask students to:
Students work individually to begin typing materials for the editorial drafts in Microsoft Word documents. They begin by naming and saving their documents. When there are five minutes remaining in Writer’s Work Time, students should resave their documents on their computers. If the lesson takes place once students are working on their first drafts, they should submit and store them in Step 4 of the Online Classroom. Circulate among the students, encouraging them to type carefully and save often.
Individual conferences: Check in with students to see whether their typing is accurate. Make sure
that they are using standard writing conventions and reading over their work.
Reconvene the class. Review how to submit work to the Online Classroom and ask for questions related to this process. Discuss with students what they learned about their writing while typing their editorials on the computer.
Check the writing that students submitted in the Online Classroom. Assess where they are in the drafting process and determine whether or not their computer skills might be slowing down their ability to get their material into a document. Depending on how far students are in the drafting process, you may or may not need to spend additional time on typing.