Tags: Economic Essay WritingThe 5 Paragraph EssayStep By Step Writing A Research PaperPlan For History CourseworkEssays On BulimiaReading Assignments For 4th Graders
Because the rubric leaves room for a lot of choice, I encouraged students to visit the featured essays site and not only read, but listen to real examples.I wanted them to see that this wasn’t just another run-of-the-mill assignment, that what they believe is important and writing is just one way to share those beliefs.Although I enjoy reading the letters, the assignment doesn’t lend itself to revising and is written only for a specific, one-person audience.
I also made it a point to tell them our end goal was to share this essay with their entire class by way of a gallery walk.
After giving students time to explore the site, I had them “rush write” in their notebooks to see what immediate ideas they captured to help start the brainstorming process.
I only gave a portion of two to three class periods to actually write in class; students were expected to write on their own time.
On the day drafts were due, I set aside class time for revision.
Even though they appreciated having so much choice, they still needed some direction to get started.
We continued the listing strategy by focusing on “most memorables”: most memorable events in life so far, most memorable stuffed animal, most memorable friends, family experiences, life lessons learned, and so on.I asked them to focus on why they remember what they remember, and whether or not it impacts any of their beliefs.One student remembered a saying his grandmother always told him that still provides comfort as he’s gotten older.I talked with a few frustrated students about this strategy and they told me it made them realize they’ve never really had to think about themselves in this way, but ultimately, it gave them direction for their essays.Because of block scheduling, I gave students about a week and a half to complete a working draft, which required having at least two paragraphs of their essay done.I asked students to refer to the rubric and focus on voice and vocabulary strategies.Questions I told them to consider were: Does this sound like me? I gave students the option of reviewing their own essays or partnering up with someone to peer edit.I planned it as a year-long endeavor, something we could work on as a distraction from other essays required to prepare for state testing.This past year, I did not assign it until late April; it would be our last major writing task.For some, deciding what to write about was easy and they began drafting immediately.However, the majority of students struggled not so much with what they believe, but how to write about it.