Literary Essays

I started thinking about the next unit of study, Literary Essays, that I’m going to teach in March (even though my students are only half-way through their fiction unit of study). Therefore, I spent some time creating my students’ collection folders yesterday. Here’s a peek at what they look like:

Materials I needed to create these (for my class of 20 kids): 20 sheets of 12″ x 12″ scrapbook paper, 40 5″ x 7″ envelopes, 40 2″ x 4″ white labels, glue stick, permanent marker.

Students place their “patches of thought” into each of the category folders. Later, they go through the folder, selecting the supports that will help them write a well-developed body paragraph that supports their thesis statement.

In my classroom, a literary essay is a four-paragraph essay. Here’s how I think about the literary essays my students write and what each of their paragraphs should include. (I usually chart this and post it alongside the strategy charts.)
1. Introduction
Must include: Title, Author, Summary of the Text, Thesis Statement
2. Categories (ONLY TWO)
Body Paragraph #1 –> Must include: Category #1 (that supports the thesis)
Body Paragraph #2 –> Must include: Category #2 (that supports the thesis)
3. Conclusion
Must include: Personal Connection