Are students constrained when they write five-paragraph essays? If we change our working definition of essay writing, then we can teach beyond the five-paragraph essays we often see in schools.
Providing options for paper allows all your students to do the same type of writing (opinion, persuasive, or argument) in many different ways. Differentiating the materials makes it possible for all your students to do the work–without having to resort to a formula or fill-in-the-blank worksheet.
How do you help writers bridge the gap from paragraph writing to essay writing? What are your favorite strategies for elaboration?
My third graders are wrapping up their unit on personal essay. While some have grasped the structure and have articulated reasons and examples to support their argument, others have struggled to understand the concept of an essay. I want to take some time to think about what went right when teaching this unit and where the breakdowns occurred.
Teaching structural elements sometimes takes a visual touch.
Where are the paragraphs and what are they suppose to look like?
GAH! I’ve never taught an essay unit! Watch me stumble, watch me fall, and watch me pick up all the pieces as they come together!
Color-coding is a quick and simple way to support students with that all-important skill of organization. Persuasive writing is a case in point.
Need a basic comment sheet for your students’ next Publishing Celebration? Just make a three-column table in Word like this:
Week of December 1st, 2008 Originally uploaded by teachergal I just finished planning out the upcoming week and wow… there’s a lot going on! However, when I realized my kids … Continue Reading It’s going to be a busy week!
Nearly all of my students turned-in the first drafts of their personal essays today so that they could get my feedback. Awesome, right? YEP! The only thing is that they’re … Continue Reading I’ve Got My Work Cut-Out For Me Tonight
“It’s like a hard-working office in here Ms. S.,” my student said to me as I stood back admiring how diligently all of my students were working this morning. I … Continue Reading “It’s like a hard-working office in here Ms. S.”
Today was the last day my students were collecting patches of thought for their personal essays. This is a copy of the end-of-the-workshop teaching share that I did on how … Continue Reading Turning a Quote Into a Patch of Thought
News & Announcements Chart for Monday, 11/10/08 Originally uploaded by teachergal In order to keep my demonstrations fresh, I’ve come to believe that I have to craft a NEW piece … Continue Reading Boxes & Bullets: Framing Personal Essays
I’ll be using this with my students tomorrow. Just wanted to share! The topic I would like to write my personal essay about is: _______________________________ The big thing … Continue Reading Graphic Organizer for Personal Essay Thesis Development
Yesterday I was asked to expand “patches of thought” Essentially, patches of thought are little pieces of paper (could be index cards) on which students write mini-stories, lists, or other … Continue Reading Just What Are PATCHES OF THOUGHT?
Great news! The student who I blogged about yesterday went home and did the first of the graphic organizers last night. WOO-HOO! She really did a nice job working within … Continue Reading She showed it to me!
One of my students seemed to be stuck as she sat in her writing focus spot today. She was supposed to be collecting entries and growing some thinking, but her … Continue Reading Helping a Student Generate Non-Narrative WN Entries
Today’s lesson is one of my favorites of the school year. It’s the day when the kids really start to notice the world around them with a heightened sense of … Continue Reading Collecting Ideas As An Essayist
It’s nearly November, which means it’s time for me to start teaching my students how to craft personal essays. I use Calkins and Gilette’s book for my teaching points, but … Continue Reading Launching Personal Essay