Monday, January 5, 2009

Thesis Statements

Tomorrow I am teaching Session 6 from Book 3 of Breathing Life Into Essays. It is a very simple lesson on narrowing your focus into a thesis statement to prepare for drafting an essay...basically asking yourself "What is it I am trying to say?"

As I looked through my own entries for the personal essay, I wrote many meaningless entries. At the time it seemed significant, but now a few weeks later they aren't inspiring. Which I am sure some of my students will feel tomorrow. So I went back and looked at my small moment entries from earlier in the year. My last published piece with my students was about the day I found out my daughter has Down syndrome. Many entries are about my experience whether positive or negative with the community. So I tried Amy Buckner's Try 10 strategy from her book Notebook Know-How. Here goes.

  1. Don't view people by what you think you know, but what you actually know.
  2. Disability does not mean retarded.
  3. Having a child who is considered disabled changed by life in many ways.
  4. Normalcy is never achieved in our lifetime.
  5. Everyone should be treated fairly, regardless of any difference the world may or may not see.
  6. Disability does not mean impossibility.
  7. People who live with a disability are truly amazing people.
  8. Disabled is a word that can break the heart of parents, but it is a reality in many people's lives.
  9. Children living with a disability should not be mistreated.
  10. When we look at others we should look at their heart and soul.
I keep asking myself how do I sum what I am trying to say in one sentence...#2 seems so harsh, but in reality I have had people ask me, "How retarded is she?" So that is where that came from. Each one of my thesis statements could take me in many different directions. I think really when I explain this tomorrow I should focus on the Big Picture...what do you want to tell your reader? Which direction do you want to go? I want my reader to realize that when they see my child Down syndrome should not be the first thing they see, but a beautiful 4 year old child.

No comments:

Post a Comment