The session at CATE went well. Some in the group were entirely new to ERWC, while others were experienced ERWC teachers who had come to hear more about the updated materials. Kim Flachmann presented the changes in the updated ERWC curriculum, including the re-designed Assignment Template, the new 12th grade modules, and the new modules for 7th-11th grade. I introduced the mini-mini modules as a way of seeing the teaching “arc” of the new template. Carol Jago, author of many books on teaching English including With Rigor for All: Meeting Common Core Standards for Reading Literature, Papers, Papers, Papers: An English Teachers Survival Guide, and Classics in the Classroom: Designing Accessible Literature Lessons, attended the session and said that she was interested in using the mini-mini modules in teaching or in a workshop. She suggested a slight change in the writing prompt of the first module, however. She felt that the concept of “advice” narrowed the scope of the writing too much, and in an unproductive way. I agree. The revised prompt reads
Lydia Davis’s stories are often about relationships between couples or between humans and their pets. In these two stories, what difficulties arise in relationships between two individuals? Write an essay in which you explore the problems of relationships as presented in these stories. Define the problems and the implied solutions, supporting your ideas with quotations from the stories and examples from your own experience.
Carol was on the original ERWC taskforce, and has made many contributions to the development of ERWC. You can read more about her work on her official website.
Here is a link to a revised draft of the assignment (still two pages).
After more feedback from others, I added more detail to the “Writing Rhetorically” section. This is a three-page version.