“All Summer in a Day” Cognitive Strategies Tutorial


The following lesson builds on the work of the i3 Pathway Project in collaboration with UC Irvine’s Writing Project and UC Santa Barbara’s South Coast Writing Project.

Read and Respond with Cognitive Strategies

Click here for the complete “All Summer in a Day” slide tutorial.

Click here for a copy of the cognitive strategies with images and sentence starters

Adopt an Alignment

Create a sun-shadow mandala from Margot’s point of view.

Write a Letter from Margot

It is five to 10 years after the end of “All Summer in a Day.” Writing from Margot’s point of view, draft a letter to your classmates. Remind them what happened on Venus, explain how your life has changed since then, describe how the experience affected you, and conclude with what you learned from it. Use your imagination–this is science fiction, after all–and evidence from the story to craft your letter.

Get Feedback

After you write the letter, get feedback from at least one of your classmates. Read your letter out loud to your partner and give him or her time to write back.

Dear _____________________________ (Student Writer’s Name),

You sounded like Margot when you said…

I could tell how the incident affected Margot when you said…

When you revise, you could do the following to make your letter more effective:


(Listener’s Name)

Revise with Brushstrokes

Practice using the 5 Basic Brushstrokes. Revise your letter from Margot by adding one or two brushstrokes.

Book Love Reading Workshop

Our reading program owes a great debt to the work of educators Penny Kittle (click here for Kittle’s Book Love site) and Donalyn Miller (click here for Miller’s The Book Whisperer blog).

Click here for Book Love Reading Workshop Expectations

Click here for “I’m at the Part Where…” Reading Log


Final Digital Writing Portfolio

Writing Tools

Image Credit: Pete O-Shea via Flickr

Final Digital Portfolio Assignment

Click here for the complete portfolio assignment. Click here or view the presentation to see my example.

Use Google Slides as your portfolio platform. You can either create your slides from scratch or use this template.

Compile examples of your best writing from the year. Include at least one of each of the following writing types:

  1. Narrative writing (e.g., “River Teeth” Memoir),
  2. Explanatory / informational writing (e.g., Name Inquiry,  MLK Young Writer’s Contest essay, Multimedia Theme Composition or Hero’s Journey Multimedia Project )
  3. Argument writing (e.g., Take a Stand Upstanding Bloggers Project on Kidblog.org/blogahead)
  4. Another piece of writing you are proud of—maybe a poem or a brief piece of prose from your Daily Pages.

Next, take time to revise and edit each piece. Make every piece of writing as close to perfect as possible.

Finally, write a reflection about your growth as a writer so far this year. Each reflection should—

  • Give the title and writing type (e.g., explanatory / informational, narrative, argument, or poetry) for each piece.  
  • Describe the writing task, purpose, and audience, as well as your writing process.
  • Reflect on what worked and what you still need to improve.
  • Explain why you selected the piece as an example of your best work and what you hope the reader will get out of it.

For examples of how to write reflections, read Ms. McMillan’s final portfolio presentation here (slides 4 – 7).

Remember, we are all writers and we are all on a writing journey together. If you write from your heart and proofread carefully, I know you will feel proud of what you can accomplish.