"It was great to meet the student at this first session. She initiated the session by telling me about herself, her likes (playing cello, traveling, creative writing, cheerleading), some of her academic challenges (persuasive writing, math) and the writing/essay contest she wanted to enter - the Ronald Reagan Award. This is a 2-part essay contest in which contestants must write one essay describing how they demonstrate leadership, integrity, drive and citizenship and another essay in which they define leadership. The student also shared writing strategies used with persuasive/argumentative writing assignments. Our work today focused on developing the first essay using a blend of narrative and expository strategies and the brainstorming she'd done so far.
Prior to our session, the student created a 6th grade resume and began to list activities/ideas for 7th grade based on the 4 qualities for the first essay. I began our conversation with a series of prompts that led to her to create an identity chart (idea web) and future clouds in which she reflected on how she sees herself, how others see her and where she sees herself in the future.
We flushed out the ideas from her identity web and future clouds and went over some of the activities from her brainstorming lists. Based on these subsequent conversation points, she was able to begin drafting her intro paragraph using an anecdote (hook) from her cheerleading experiences, and beginning to think about the link between that anecdote, how it exemplifies the 4 qualities and how it connects to her efforts towards those qualities.
For the next session:
The student will work on drafting a thesis statement based on the ideas we discussed in Session 1 and on the anecdote she created for the introduction. She also wants to email the contest administrators to ask clarifying questions about the essay format."