Helping Your Student Write a Good Story

August 23, 2012

The success story (“How Being a Student Changed My Life”) in AACLC’s blog about my student Dwede was actually her own story, scribed by me.  She was willing for the Literacy Council to share her story with people in order to encourage more volunteers to be tutors.

We have been studying how to write an essay in preparation for the CASAS test at AACC (Anne Arundel Community College)  The guidance is to have:

  • an introduction
  • a closing summary a
  • two or three paragraphs in the body that have a logical progression

I wrote those headings on a blank sheet of paper, and we discussed what might be in each paragraph, but at a very high level.  Usually, Dwede wrote out her essay by hand, but for this assignment, she dictated it to me as I typed it into my laptop.  She read what I typed, then added in the part about her job because she felt that was an important part of the story.

This technique is very much like using a graphic organizer with “fill in the boxes” format to guide the writer.  Even students who cannot spell well will write a good story with the help of their tutor scribing for them, word for word, (could be either typing or hand writing) and it is encouraging for students when they can read their story back.

Dixie Catlett – AACLC Tutor

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