"This session was postponed a day per the student's mother's request. My intention going in was to present her with a structured lesson on "showing versus telling" and provide her with examples of this. I also wanted to work with her to transform telling sentences into showing sentences, have a discussion about how such distinctions make writing different for both the writer and reader, etc. Based on what I've seen of her writing thus far, her ability to write descriptively (using advanced vocabulary and metaphor) is advanced but we will need to review the ability to paint a clear picture using concrete examples, proper nouns, dates, statistics, etc. The deadline for her final paper for her English class' unit on Lord of the Flies is in two weeks. The essay prompt called for her to discuss Ralph, Piggy, Jack, and Simon's interactions and relationships in symbolic terms, addressing what each character represents, the message inspired by each, and the greater symbolism indicated. Because of her great success in applying the mind map lesson from last session this past week (she developed a mind map to help her study for a chapter chemistry quiz, which she got 100 percent on), we agreed that relying on a graphic organizer to lay down a foundation for the Lord of the Flies paper made the most sense. Before having her determine a starting point for the mind map, I asked her about the approach she planned to take. She determined because, in her words, she often doesn't get specific enough it would be best to start with the specifics, a more narrow focus and then tie this to Golding's broader message or a bigger idea. I suggested we really drill into the characters. She began by jotting down the names of the four characters in question. We then began talking about their one or two stand-out defining characteristics. As she established and documented these, she could not help but talk about specific interactions and reactions and power plays among characters. This helped her with making note of certain instances in the book that defined relationships between characters and made the good versus evil/dark versus light/order versus chaos paradigms all the clearer. As we explored this I asked her guiding questions and we reviewed some of the symbolic terms we had discussed when creating the initial mind map surfaced. This made her more confident in the process, as she originally expressed doubts about how she'd bring the symbolic terms asked for in the essay prompt into the fold. I then had her tackle the bottom of the mind map: define what spiritual warfare means to her, how Golding might define it, and address how some of what we were able to draw out about Ralph, Simon, Piggy, and Jack could be tied to the various definitions on the table. She recognizes that she has more work to do on the character front and in filling in the middle (making connections across the board and locating and using strong quotations from the book), but said she now is much more sure about what direction to take when developing the first draft of her essay. She and family will be out of town this coming week, but I let her know she is more than welcome to e-mail me a beginning draft of the essay for edits while she is gone. In the meantime, I promised her I'd send her an example of an essay rubric since she has never worked from a rubric when drafting an essay. We talked about how a rubric touches on what distinguishes an A paper from a B paper and so on, and how this can make a final edit more meaningful and effective (when you know exactly what must be included and reflected in your writing to get that top grade)."