I think this is a winning idea for several reasons! First of all, I’m really intrigued by the idea of flipping the writing instruction so that students are doing more of their writing practice in the classroom where the support is available. I would imagine that this would lead to less student frustration and that students are finding themselves better equipped to tackle the roadblocks that occur during writing. I like the fact that this activity asks students to work collaboratively to create thesis statements and build off of each other’s ideas. Also, I really like the fact that the teacher models editing and thinking out loud. This is a great way to show students what you mean, rather than just telling them. Finally, making this activity fun with music and good-natured competition will most likely make for more engaged students. Love the fact that this idea can be adaptable to other mini writing lessons. Thanks for the great idea!
Here’s a working thesis with potential: you have highlighted an important aspect of the novel for investigation. However, it’s still not clear what your analysis will reveal. Your reader is intrigued but is still thinking, “So what? What’s the point of this contrast? What does it signify?” Perhaps you are not sure yet, either. That’s fine—begin to work on comparing scenes from the book and see what you discover. Free write, make lists, jot down Huck’s actions and reactions. Eventually you will be able to clarify for yourself, and then for the reader, why this contrast matters. After examining the evidence and considering your own insights, you write:
These words tell the reader next to nothing if you do not carefully explain what you mean by them. Never assume that the meaning of a sentence is obvious. Check to see if you need to define your terms (”socialism," "conventional," "commercialism," "society"), and then decide on the most appropriate place to do so. Do not assume, for example, that you have the same understanding of what “society” means as your reader. To avoid misunderstandings, be as specific as possible.