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Course Design Description

This is an undergraduate higher- level course. It is for Secondary English majors. The course
will be delivered in a classroom setting. It is designed for a small class of no more than 20
students. The course will cover theoretical aspects and practical application. The controversies
in the field stem from teacher preferences. There is also controversy over formulaic writing
models which may lead to a lack of student creativity and engagement with the writing process
(examples include the five-paragraph essay and the hamburger model essay). Students in the
course will be familiar with their own high school writing experiences, but this may be their first
course where they explore the teaching of writing.

I enjoy teaching writing, but I do find it to be challenging. I also believe approaches for teaching
writing must be altered based on student abilities. I am familiar with teaching writing at the
secondary level, and I comfortable with my background knowledge on it. However, I have never
taught preservice teachers this subject. I will have to use more scaffolding techniques if I have
several students who have are new to the teaching of writing.

The key information for the course will revolve around the U.S Department of Education’s
recommendations for teaching writing effectively which includes the following: teaching
writing strategies explicitly using the Model-Practice-Reflect Instructional cycle; using the
Model-Practice-Reflect instructional cycle to teach writing strategies; integrating reading into
writing instruction; and assessing student writing to formulate continued instruction and
feedback. The course will introduce writing instruction and assessment. The strategies that I
will use to help my students retain information for the future will be to use the model-practice-
reflect instructional cycle in teaching the course. I will model the teaching principals each week;
students will practice how to instruct others using the techniques; students will write reflections
each week to reflect on the strengths and weakness of the techniques.

Critical Skills

• Students will be able to apply their personal writing history to course materials. They
will be able to create methods to demonstrate their writing process for students.
• Students will be able to identify common issues and errors in secondary writing and
create lesson plans to address these issues.
• Students will be able to design and implement writing instruction to guide secondary
students in the writing process.

Outcomes Map

The outcomes for this course center around students being able to instruct students in the
processes of inquiry, reflection, observation, revision, and design. Students will be immersed in
these topics to help them to understand their own writing and the writing process.
evaluate, discuss, and design
Evaluate and discuss personal effective strategies for design narrative and research
writing journeys teaching writing in secondary writing assignments

Read relevant articles, Create Read releant articles and

Design personal writing sample writing assigments, text...Reveiw model lesson
history Review and Critique student plans...Create model writing
writiing samples lesson plans

Students will be able to apply

Students will be able to Students will be able to design
their personal writing history
identify common issues and and implement writing
to course materials. They will
errors in secondary writing instruction to guide
be able to create methods to
and create lesson plans to secondary students in the
demonstrate their writing
address these issues writing process
process for students.
Connections to Students’ Lives

Students should be able to apply the ideas in this course to their classroom. This course should
prepare them to instruct and evaluate secondary writing in English classrooms. The course will
provide them with theories to better understand the writing process, activities to use in the
classroom, evaluation techniques, and literature integration techniques. The course will focus
largely on teachers as writers to better understand our own writing process and navigating our
own strengths and weaknesses. Students must also understand the types of writing that they
continually practice and the writing that their future students will engage in including: digital
writings (blogs, social media, research writings (inquiry and informative writings), and personal
writing (creative writing and journal writings).


This course design is based on several theories that I learned in this course. The first theory
comes from Bain, “people learn by confronting intriguing, beautiful, or important problems
authentic tasks that will challenge them to grapple with ideas, rethink their assumptions, and
examine their mental modes of reality” (Bain, 2004, p.18). I wanted to create a course that
focused on analyzing and creating writing assignments; however, I also want my students to
learn more about their own writing ability and journey during the course. I want to help them to
improve their own writing abilities as they are learning how to teach the writing process to

I also plan on integrating technology in a meaningful way in my classroom. Students will use
digital resources to create writing presentations. These presentations will allow students to share
their ideas about writing strategies, and it will serve as a way for me to garner their attention.

I have avoided lectures in favor of discussions and in class writings to help students to process
the information in a meaningful manner. Discussion facilitation can be aided by using it
frequently in an organized manner. Weimer also suggests it should also be sparked by using a
controversial question (Weimer, 2017, p. 3). The course readings will contain at least one article
with a controversial element. These readings will be the primary focus of our in-class time. We
will also use class time to analyze and create. Weimer posed the question, “What’s the shape of
learning that results from your assignments?” (Weimer, 2015). The writing assignments for this
course each have very specific roles in how students understand their own writing and how they
instruct others in writing. The course begins with students writing a reflection on their own
writing journey because this will help them to recall the triumphs and difficulties they have had
as a writer. It will also allow me to see their writing for the first time which will allow me to
access any gaps in their writing abilities. The next assignments will involve students creating
writing prompts and rubrics to understand the mechanics of creating these items. We will then
move on to incorporating literature into the study of writing. Students will create a book critique
as a way of practicing their own analytical writing skills, but also as a way of analyzing creative
writing. Students will interview a classroom teacher to help them to better understand the process
of teaching writing in a classroom. This connection to the real world will help to make the work
of the class more tangible for students. Students will also reflect on real world lesson plans as a
means of integrating real world scenarios into the course. The final project for the course will
require students to collect all of their assignments into a portfolio. This portfolio will serve as a
method for them to reflect and synthesize the information that they have learned in the course,
but it will also serve as a tool for them to use in their job search. The portfolio will contain
samples of their writing and their ideas for teaching students.


Bain, K. (2004). What the best college teachers do. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard Univ. Press.

Facilitating Discussion: Five Factors that Boost Student Engagement. (2017, July 27). Retrieved

How Assignment Design Shapes Student Learning. (2015, May 19). Retrieved from

Teaching Writing in Secondary Schools

Fall 2020
University Hall Room 000
Tamicah Owens
University Hall Room 111
Office Hours: Monday 9-11 a.m.

Course Description
The primary goal of this course is to provide preservice secondary English teachers with
information that will help them to design, deliver, and evaluate secondary level writing
curriculum. The major areas of focus will coincide with the Common Core Standards for writing
in grades 9-12 including the following standard topics: text types and purposes, production and
distribution of writing, and research to build and present writing.

Course Goal
To prepare preservice secondary English teachers to design, deliver, and evaluate secondary
level writing curriculum

 To evaluate and discuss personal writing journeys
 To evaluate, discuss, and design effective strategies for teaching writing in secondary
 To design narrative and research writing assignments
 To evaluate and critique sample student writings

Required Textbooks
Gallagher, Kelly. (2011). Write like this: teaching real-world writing through modeling &
mentor texts. Portland, Me.: Stenhouse Publishers

Additional Readings
Additional weekly digital readings will be uploaded onto ECampus.

Weekly Readings

Week 1-
“National Writing Project.” Framework for Success in Postsecondary Writing - National Writing

Week 2
Gallagher, Kelly. (2011). Write like this: teaching real-world writing through modeling &
mentor texts. Portland, Me.: Stenhouse Publishers

Week 3
Gallagher, Kelly. (2011). Write like this: teaching real-world writing through modeling &
mentor texts. Portland, Me.: Stenhouse Publishers

Week 4
Gallagher, Kelly. (2011). Write like this: teaching real-world writing through modeling &
mentor texts. Portland, Me.: Stenhouse Publishers

Week 5
Teaching Students to Write Good Papers| Center for Teaching and Learning,

Week 6
 Sacks, Ariel. “Why Creative Writing Still Has a Place in My Classroom.” Education
Week, Editorial Project in Education, 27 June 2018,

 Rizga, Kristina. “How to Make Students Care About Writing.” The Atlantic, Atlantic
Media Company, 8 Aug. 2018,

Course Schedule (Subject to change)

Date Topic Readings Assignments Due
Week 1 Teachers as Writers “Becoming Your Personal Writing
Own Expert-Teachers Journey
as Writers” Tim
Week 2 Effective Strategies- Gallagher Ch. 1-3 Blog Entry
Narrative Writing
Week 3 Effective Strategies- Gallagher Ch. 5,6 Design a narrative
Narrative Writing writing lesson plan
Week 4 Effective Strategies- Gallagher Ch. 7, 8 Blog Entry
Research Writing
Week 5 Effective Strategies- “Teaching Students to Design a research
Research Writing Write Good Papers” writing assignment
Yale Center for
Teaching and
Week 6 Creative Writing “Why Creative
Writing Still Has a
Place in my
Classroom” Ariel

“How to Make
Students Care about
Writing” Kristina

Week 7/ Week 8 Literature Integration Blog Entry

Week 9 Literature Integration Book Critique of 1
young adult novel
Week 10 Issues in Student Blog Entry
Week 11 Student Writing Blog Entry
Week 12 Student Writing Interview classroom
Analysis teacher to discuss
typical issues in
Week 13 Evaluating Writing Blog Entry
Lesson Plans
Week 14 Evaluating Writing Blog Entry
Lesson Plans
Week 15 Final Project Portfolio- Reflections
Presentations on Course
Week 16 Final Project Portfolio- Reflections
Presentations on Course

Assignment Description Points

Personal Writing Journey- 1,000> word 1 (20 points)
essay describing your own personal writing
journey. The essay should include earliest
memories of learning to write, struggles in
writing, and strengths in writing. The essay
should also address concerns and questions
about the teaching of writing.

Blog Entries- Blog entries will consist of 6 (10 points each)

reflecting on the reading topics for class. In
your blog entry, you should bring up arguments
for or against a method for teaching writing.
This is your opinion of why this method is
effective; however, it should be based on
information that you have read in class or
outside of class. You should include links to
outside resources that help to support your
position. This style of writing is passionate and
engaging. You should strive to win over your
audience with your opinion.
Lesson Plans- Using state standards for ELA, 2 (50 points each)
create a six-point lesson plan introducing
(narrative, research) writing. The lesson plan
should encompass one strategy covered in the
course. It should also include graphics and
handouts if they are mentioned in the plan. A
rationale for the method of instruction should
be included.
Book Critique- Read one young adult fiction 1 (30 points)
novel of your own choosing. Write a one-page
critique of the novel’s usefulness in being a
model for creative writing. Consider the
author’s style, the content, and your interest in
the plot.
Teacher Interview- Interview a secondary 1 (30 points)
high school teacher about common issues
students face as writers. Inquire about
grammar/structure issues,
content/brainstorming issues, etc. Inquire about
the teacher’s favorite resources to use in the
classroom. Finally, ask for advice in areas of
concern for you. Compile your findings into a
1,000> reflection of the issues and strategies to
help you to prepare to face similar issues if
they arise in your classroom.
Final Project-Portfolio- Compile a copy of all 1 (150 points)
of the course writing assignments into a
website or other digital presentation. Write an
800> word reflection focusing on how you
could use the course information in your
classroom. If you do not believe all of the
information will be helpful in your classroom,
you may reflect on that as well.
Participation- Each week will discuss the 16 (10 points each)
readings and examples of student writings.
Please contribute your opinions and ideas to
help to further our discussions. Attendance is a
part of your participation grade. For absences
after your 3rd, you will not receive participation
points for those classes.
Total 940 points

Grade Points
A+ 940-900
A 940-850
B 849-800
C 799-665
D 664-575
F 574 and below

Attendance Policy
Attendance is an integral part of the course. We will dissect and discuss student writing samples
on a consistent basis, and it is important to understand how writing instruction can be approached
from various angles. I expect you to come to each class prepared to participate in our
discussions. You will not receive participation points for each class missed after your 3rd
absence. If you have extenuating circumstances, please contact me to discuss these issues.
Assignment Submission
Late submissions will be penalized by 2 points for each day that they are late. After the 5th day,
arrangements will need to be made on an individual basis.
Support Services
eCampus and technical support is available from the Office of Information Technology’s
Service Desk which can be reached at 304-293-4444, 1-877-327-9260 (toll-free), or Be prepared to provide your WVU Identification Number, also
known as your 700 number.

Information about WVU’s Office of Accessibility Services’ can be obtained from

Information about WVU’s Academic Support Services can be obtained from

Social Justice Statement

“West Virginia University is committed to social justice. I concur with that commitment and
expect to maintain a positive learning environment based upon open communication, mutual
respect, and non-discrimination. Our University does not discriminate on the basis of race,
sex, age, disability, veterans status, religion, sexual orientation, color or national origin. Any
suggestions as to how to further such a positive and open environment in this class will be
appreciated and given serious consideration.

If you are a person with a disability and anticipate needing any type of accommodation in
order to participate in this class, please advise me and make appropriate arrangements with
the Office of Disability Services at 304-293-6700.

Academic Integrity
“The integrity of the classes offered by any academic institution solidifies the foundation of
its mission and cannot be sacrificed to expediency, ignorance, or blatant fraud. Therefore,
instructors will enforce rigorous standards of academic integrity in all aspects and
assignments of their courses. For the detailed policy of West Virginia University regarding
the definitions of acts considered to fall under academic dishonesty and possible ensuing
sanctions, please see the West Virginia University Academic Standards Policy
( Should you have
any questions about possibly improper research citations or references, or any other activity
that may be interpreted as an attempt at academic dishonesty, please see your instructor
before the assignment is due to discuss the matter.”

Inclusivity Statement

“The West Virginia University community is committed to creating and fostering a positive
learning and working environment based on open communication, mutual respect, and

If you are a person with a disability and anticipate needing any type of accommodation in
order to participate in your classes, please advise your instructors and make appropriate
arrangements with the Office of Accessibility Services.

More information is available at the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

( as well. [adopted 2-11-2013]”

Guidelines for Absences Due to Military Service Requirement

“In accordance with the “Veteran Friendly” designation, WVU faculty may allow students
who are members of the US Armed Forces (including the National Guard and Active
Reserve) to make up tests and assignments that are missed during a semester if the student is
officially called up for military service requirements for a limited period; and if the delayed
coursework completion will not irreversibly impact the students’ ability to appropriately
master the required subject matter . Absence due to required military obligation should not
exceed a cumulative amount of three weeks, and the students should follow the appropriate

Days of Special Concern

WVU recognizes the diversity of its students and the needs of those who wish to be absent
from class to participate in Days of Special Concern, which are listed in the Schedule of
Courses. Students should notify their instructors by the end of the second week of classes or
prior to the first Day of Special Concern, whichever is earlier, regarding Day Special
Concern observances that will affect their online attendance. Further, students must abide by
the online attendance policy of their instructor as stated on their syllabi. Faculty will make
reasonable accommodation for assignments that a student misses as a result of observing a
Day of Special Concern.

Sale of Course Material

“All course materials, including lectures, class notes, quizzes, exams, handouts,
presentations, and other course materials provided to students for their courses are
protected intellectual property. As such, the unauthorized purchase or sale of these materials
may result in disciplinary sanctions under the Student Conduct Code.
( [adopted 5-11-2015]”

Incomplete Policy
“The WVU Catalog contains the full Incomplete Policy.”