Breaking it down for myself, so I can break it down for students...
Following the immersion phase, where students noticed that a memoir contains a BIG memory from the author's life…an event that may have changed them as a person or taught them an important lesson….the students closely studied the author's craft in memoirs and began generating ideas and writing rough drafts of their own memoir picture books. While conferring with students, one teacher identified that elaborating on important details was difficult for her students. I was again invited to model a lesson to help the class with this skill.
Because I had closely studied the memoirs in the stack, I knew my next step was to model with my own memoir writing piece. I am a writer who relies on emulating mentors, I noticed that Vera Williams adds details to her story A Chair For My Mother (a memoir in my stack) in interesting ways. Early on in the story, the reader learns that Rosa and her mother are saving money in a jar. The process of putting money in the jar each evening is outlined in great detail. These details are a great example of "show don't tell" for the reader and emphasize the importance of this evening routine with the characters.
After this work of practicing how I add details to important events in my memoir, I was easily able to plan my talking points and anchor chart for this lesson:
The workshop ended with a celebration when one young writer shared his memoir of camping with his father. He detailed the steps in the process in his writing to help his reader visualize the tent being set up. Within the steps of the process, he also threw in a sentence of opposites as he described the size of the tent's poles. We asked him to reread this part of his memoir several times. I gushed that this second grader had taught me something new…I never thought to include 2 of the techniques together when bringing details into a memoir! His smile lit up the share circle, and my hours that went into carefully planning this lesson and projecting this unit paid off!