An I-Pod Inspired Writing Lesson from WritingFix

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What Skin are
You In?

comparing who you know you are
to who people think you are
in an expository essay

Student Writer Instructions:

Who are you? versus What do other people see you as?

Have you ever thought how you may be different than other people might think that you are? For example, classmates might think that you are shy if you never talk in class; however, you actually have so much to say that you know that talking will just get you into trouble. Today, you are going to be looking at the idea of self image by reading a chapter out of The Skin I’m In by Sharon Flake, as well as listening to two songs by Indie Arie.

With a team, you will be creating a list of qualities that you will use to help generate ideas about who you are versus how others see you. Remember, its important to think about material things--iPods, cards, video games, people, etc.-- as well as emotions and feelings: love, happiness, anger, peace, etc.

Once your teams have created your list, you will be taking a look at who you think you are. How do you look and feel, what you believe, like, dislike, and want? Now, take a step out of your body, and think about how you may appear to other people.

Once you have some thoughtful lists, you will be listening to Maleeka--our main character from The Skin I’m In--and India Arie describe how they feel about this topic.

Then...using your graphic organizer, begin brainstorming and filling out your t-chart to describe who you are. Think about what "skin" you are in? Remember, your focus writing trait is idea development, so it is important that you think of a message that you are trying to focus on for your reader to find. This requires you to think of your message prior to filling out your t-chart.

When you are ready, finish filling out the remaining sections of your t-chart, making sure to use the ideas on your graphic organizer as well as the self image word walls around the classroom. Once you have finished filling out your t-chart, you may carry your essay through the writing process. Remember to really focus on the revision process as organization is your support trait; therefore, it is expected that your essay is organized and contains an introduction and conclusion. Most importantly, have fun with this! Tell your reader who really are, make them understand the “skin that you are in.”


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