Secondary Module 402
Organizational Structure



What is "writing intensive"?

•A writing-intensive course uses writing as a tool for learning and developing understanding of subject matter.

•A "W” course teaches communication in a discipline-specific way.

In a "W" course 50% of the final grade is based on writing that has been revised.

          of major assignments.


How is "W" being taught in the secondary module?

In this module, we are asking you to write a unit of 3-5 lessons.  This unit will be the basis of your “W” learning component.

•Because the unit involves a reflective component, there will not be a required reflective journal.

•Because the unit involves the writing of a scholarly piece based on articles studied in class, there will no  essays assigned.


Developmental Model

•You will be asked to do a first draft, a second draft and a final draft of your unit.

•The first is based on your present knowledge

•The second is based on your formative knowledge.

•The third is based on your summative knowledge.

•It is expected that the units will reflect what you have learned in PDP.


Draft One of Your Unit

Create a 3-5 lesson unit in your particular discipline.

•You can select the topic out of your own areas of expertise and interest. 

•This is a “first draft” as it were.  It will not be graded.  It will form the basis of your curriculum in lesson and unit planning for this 401/402 experience.

We recognize that you have not been taught how to do this.  We realize that such a task might cause you to feel anxious.  Please trust us that we understand that you have not been taught how to do this and are in the learning stage.  A “W” course is designed to teach you through the act of writing.

•We do not write just what we know.  We write to discover.  You will be amazed at both how much you actually already know and how much you will learn.

•At this point you are discovering your subject.  You are selecting something that you care enough about to keep working at it and improving it for the next three months.

•We will provide you with materials.  There are sample lessons from various areas.  There are sample unit plans.  There are ‘mandates’ from the government for you to consider.

•You can select something that you might be able to actually use in your 3 -4 lesson classroom teaching that will occur in spring.  That would be ideal, but may not be possible.  That will be negotiated with your school associate.  As soon as you know who your school associate is, it would be wise for you to talk this over with her/him.  If you have to change your unit to something else, do not worry.  It is, of course, expected, that the skills you are learning will be transferable.

This is a playful but important task designed to give you control over what is relevant to you.  One of the big lessons imbedded in this task is that using curriculum that the student creates is the best way to make work meaningful. 


Responses to First Draft

•Reflective Response - Teacher as Person

•Empathetic Dialogue – Teacher and Student

•Essay – Teacher and Curriculum  

1. Reflective Response

Teacher as Person – How are you experiencing this task?  What feelings are you having around it?  How are you making your choices?   What journey in your life brought you to these choices?

2. Empathetic Dialogue

Teacher and Student – Now we want you to imagine how the student is experiencing the task.  Imagine that you are a student in your class and you have just been taught this unit. Imagine what the student might be saying to another student about the course.  Write it like a dialogue.

Ideas to consider in dialogue

3. Essay

Teacher and Curriculum -This is the most “typically” university kind of response

This is where you will write up the educational theories, ideas, strategies and the sources you used in creating your unit.  You will document your references, supporting your choices.

A key to this second very important task is the key to writing and thinking like a teacher.  It requires the transformation from student to teacher.  It requires self understanding, awareness of student, and specific curricular and epistemological knowledge.


Second Draft of Unit

Rewrite the Unit Plan. 

•There should be a month’s time separating the two Units.  During that time you will be introduced to various theories and strategies to improve your teaching.

•You will be expected to apply knowledge gleaned in the lectures and readings and group experiences and observations done during this period.

•This new knowledge should be reflected in your second draft.

•Some of the topics we will cover are:

A key to this task is providing you with an opportunity to “hone” your skills and demonstrate your knowledge by rewriting your unit.  Again, it is relevant to you because it is YOUR unit.  You are revising to make it clear and powerful and to demonstrate your knowledge.


Responses to Second Draft

Once again, we are asking you to write three pieces that relate to the rewrite of this Unit Plan. The mid term will be a discussion around your revised Unit Plan and your three pieces.

•As before, the three pieces focus on the three aspects of the program. 

1. Reflective Response

Teacher as Person: This piece is a reflective journal entry of how you have experienced this rewrite. 

2. Empathetic Dialogue

Teacher and Student: Please write the dialogue as though you are the same student experiencing this unit.  Use the same characters as you did after Draft One of your Unit. 

3. Essay

Teacher and Curriculum: This essay will be an expression of the specific knowledge which guided your changes.


Final Draft of Your Unit

You will be asked to repeat this process a third time.  At this point, you may be making a third draft of your unit and 3 responses (self, student, curriculum) or you may be writing a new unit.  You will be teaching at least 3 lessons from your unit.


Memorable Event: March

•You will be asked to bring an “artifact” to class.  This artifact represents your most significant, heartfelt, memorable experience in PDP. •Please take a photo of the artifact.

•Write up the event in narrative format so that the reader understands the event and why it was significant •.Examine your original Credo and see if it has changed. Are your values and beliefs reflected in your choice of memorable event?

(These will put together into our PDP  “Memorable Events” Book) 


Final Report

The final writing task for your “W” course in the final report.  Your FAs will tell when it is due.  This report is designed to give you an opportunity to “write up” your understanding and evaluation of your own work in the SFU class and in the school classroom.

To prepare you for this writing, I will be giving you some strategies in writing.

That’s it!  If you have any questions about this, at any point, please don’t hesitate to contact me.  My  office is 8628.   My office phone is 778 782 3661.  My home phone is 734 4072.  My e mail is •I look forward to sharing this precious time with you. 





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