Friday, March 11, 2011

Thinking About a Job Well Done

Today my classes finished their study of feature articles.  We spent a couple of weeks reading and analyzing feature articles from various magazines and talking about what qualities separated a good feature article from a not-so-good one.  We examined text features and how they help the reader make sense of information.  We explored introductions and conclusions.  Finally, my students thought about topics they were interested in learning more about, researched those topics, and wrote their own feature articles.

I love this genre study.  It's fairly short, easy to find mentor texts, and it's a genre that most of my students have not explored before.  Another bonus?  I get to read articles about 60 different topics!  Nothing boring or tedious about that.  Today as students were reflecting on their learning over the course of the unit, I walked around the room and peeked at their finished products.  They look fabulous, and I know that there's lots of great writing in that pile papers, since I had conversations with the kids as they wrote. 

The best part of today?  Seeing the proud smiles of my seventh graders as they said to me, "Mrs. Rench... look at this!  Isn't it great?"

And I think to myself, Yes, dear students, it is.  But for more reasons than you think.


  1. I've done the same genre study with my 7th and 8th graders for a few years now. Thanks for reminding me that there are only a few months left to fit it in. You are so right - this is one of my favourite genre studies for all of the reasons you mentioned.

  2. What a feeling of accomplishment! Congratulations on a job well done. The evidence is in the work and smiles on their faces.

  3. Impressive! I am now considering doing a unit on feature articles. You did a great job.

  4. It is a special unit of study that is so often successful for many. They get to choose something they're really invested in. You told the story well, in all the parts!