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strictly English language arts teachers, my hope is that these posts will provide tons of value to those who are, and to those who teach all subjects, including writing. If you are an educator who has been tasked with teaching essay writing to high schoolers, do not lose hope. An activity like This or That (one of the classroom icebreakers, i talked about last year) would be perfect here: I read a statement like Women have the same opportunities in life as men. Next I would show students their major assignment, the performance assessment that they will work on for the next few weeks. If youre a writing teacher in grades 7-12 and youd like a classroom-ready unit like the one described above, including mini-lessons, sample essays, and a library of high-interest online articles to use for gathering evidence, take a look. As students begin to complete their essays, the mini-lessons would focus more on matters of style and usage. The Count of Monte Cristo ; you can draw a few strong statements from that book, such as revenge can be bittersweet. Do you have any resources to support essay-writing in your subject area? . Some students benefit from using pro-forma when planning and structuring writing.
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If I wanted to make the unit even more student-centered, I would provide the mini-lessons in written or video format and let students work through them at their own pace, without me teaching them. The best way for you as an educator to convey this is by breaking the paragraphs up into smaller parts. So if the first paragraph is an introductory paragraph that presents the thesis, the second, third and fourth paragraphs, will each need to begin with a topic sentence in support of the thesis. I would show them how to choose credible, relevant evidence, how to skillfully weave evidence into an argument, how to consider the needs of an audience, and how to correctly cite sources. One of the most effective ways to improve student writing is to show them mentor texts, examples of excellent writing within the genre students are about to attempt themselves. The main thing that you should do is keep an open mind. I dont really want students handing in work until they are pretty sure theyve met the requirements to the best of their ability. Once each mini-lesson was done, I would then give students the rest of the period to work independently on their writing. And lets keep talking: Use the comments section below to share your techniques or ask questions about the most effective ways to teach argumentative writing.
If the task is to write about a book, then you should pick out five statements as relevant to the storyline of that book. Emphasize how the students should use"tions from the story in support of their stance. Its generally a written prompt that describes the task, plus the rubric I will use to score their final product. I would ask students which author they feel did the best job of influencing the reader, and what suggestions they would make to improve the writing.