UNIT 1: Personal Narrative
"Third grade writers generate ideas and experiment with notebook entries to develop personal narratives based on real experiences or events from their lives. Students learn strategies to focus in on a memorable experience, to make a movie in their minds, and to write clearly. They determine the heart of the story and organize a clear event sequence that unfolds naturally using exact details and specific words. Students use dialogue and descriptions of actions, thoughts, feelings, and responses to further develop experiences and events. They choose one idea that matters the most to them to draft, revise, edit, and publish. Revision involves creating alternate leads and endings and rereading for meaning and clarity. Editing involves checking for capitals, ending punctuation, and the spelling of high-frequency words. The unit culminates when writers share their published writing with an audience beyond the teacher and celebrate each other’s accomplishments as writers."
UNIT 2: Personal Narrative Writing With Fluency
"Third grade writers learn to draw on the cumulative repertoire of strategies that they carry with them every time they write. They learn additional strategies for generating narrative entries that evoke longer, more significant, more conventional, and more powerful stories. Students study ways in which published writers create texts that matter and use them as models for their own writing. They record key events from their expanded memorable experiences using a story mountain organizer and develop the important part, or the heart, of their stories. They learn to view their personal narratives as stories, and understand that the beginning and ending must relate to the heart of their story. They elaborate by developing the sensory details, internal story, action, descriptive details, and dialogue in their stories. Students write strong leads and create strong endings that resolve a problem, reach a goal, or show that the author learned a lesson. They reread their stories for clarity and meaning and for the effective use of words and phrases. Editing involves checking for capitalization, punctuation and spelling. This unit culminates with a celebration of published writing for an audience beyond the teacher."
UNIT 3: Personal Essay
"Third grade writers create personal essays based on a big idea in which they state a point of view and support it with reasons. After generating possible ideas that can be developed into essays, they select one idea and create an opinion statement based on their opinion, or point of view. They use an organizational structure in which ideas are grouped to support the writer's purpose. They introduce the idea, state their opinion, and elaborate by generating supporting evidence in the form of focused short stories. Students learn how introductions, linking words and phrases, and conclusions support their writing. Revision involves rereading to make sure that the evidence supports the point of view. Editing involves checking for effective use of words and phrases, paragraphs, capitalization, ending punctuation, and spelling of grade-appropriate words. Writers share their essays with an audience beyond the teacher and celebrate their growing accomplishments as writers."
UNIT 4: Writing Realistic Fiction
"Third grade writers learn to imagine stories from ordinary moments by creating believable characters to write realistic fiction stories. They study published texts to envision possibilities for their story scenes and characters. Students choose an idea and begin developing it, creating believable characters. Writers then plan and draft event sequences using a story mountain. They elaborate using description, action, dialogue, and thoughts. The turning point of the story is expanded by imagining it through their characters' eyes. Students experiment with characters' internal story and the final resolution of the story. They create strong leads and endings and revise their writing. Editing emphasizes increasing the sophistication of sentence structure for effect. This unit culminates with a celebration of published writing for an audience beyond the teacher."
UNIT 5: Nonfiction Writing With Independence
"Third grade writers plan informational writing projects based on self-chosen topics of their own personal interest. This unit guides students toward creating informational books about topics that they already know well. They plan categories of information about their topics into subtopics using a Table of Contents, and then use facts, definitions, and details to support each subtopic. Students draft an introduction, convey ideas and information about each subtopic clearly, and provide a concluding statement. They use a variety of text structures, text features, and illustrations to enhance comprehension. Students revise and edit their writing, and then they publish their informational books. This project culminates by sharing with an audience beyond the teacher."
UNIT 6: Writing Research With Independence
"Third grade writers build on their learnings from the Informational Writing unit to develop greater independence and competence with informational writing. They plan and research Michigan-related topics based on their own curiosity to create a class Michigan Travel Guide. They begin by learning various strategies for writing about what they are learning. Then they choose one topic to research using a variety of print and internet sources to gather facts and information. Students learn how to use resources to locate information and determine what is important as they examine a topic. They organize brief notes into categories and use facts, definitions, and details to support their topic. Students draft an introduction, group related information together, convey information and ideas clearly, and include text features when useful to enhance comprehension. They use linking words and phrases to connect ideas within categories of information and then provide a conclusion. Students revise their texts for clarity and meaning, for the organization of ideas, and for the effective use of sentences, paragraphs, and text features. They edit their research for subject-verb agreement, pronoun-antecedent agreement, and the appropriate use of capital letters, punctuation, and spelling. With guidance and support from adults, students use technology to publish their writing. The research project is culminated by sharing with an audience beyond the teacher."