Before leaving this step, I would have students transfer their thoughts from the discussion they just had into something that looks like the opening paragraph of a written argument: A statement of their point of view, plus three reasons to support that point of view. Next I would show students their major assignment, the performance assessment that they will work on for the next few weeks. It’s generally a written prompt that describes the task, plus the rubric I will use to score their final product.
Anytime I give students a major writing assignment, I let them see these documents very early on.
In my experience, I’ve found that students appreciate having a clear picture of what’s expected of them when beginning a writing assignment.
At this time, I also show them a model of a piece of writing that meets the requirements of the assignment.
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.
Why Did World War 1 Begin Essay - Persuasive Essay Tutorial
I would also ask them to notice things like stories, facts and statistics, and other things the authors use to develop their ideas.Next, we’d have a Philosophical Chairs debate (learn about this in my discussion strategies post), which is very similar to “This or That,” except students use textual evidence to back up their points, and there are a few more rules.Here they are still doing verbal argument, but the experience should make them more likely to appreciate the value of evidence when trying to persuade.Unlike the mentor texts we read on day 1, this sample would be something teacher-created (or an excellent student model from a previous year) to fit the parameters of the assignment.Before letting students loose to start working on their essays, I make sure they have a solid plan for writing.Once students have argued without the support of any kind of research or text, I would set up a second debate; this time with more structure and more time to research ahead of time.I would pose a different question, supply students with a few articles that would provide ammunition for either side, then give them time to read the articles and find the evidence they need.Then again, I’m always interested in how other people do the things I can already do; maybe you’re curious like that, too.Before I start, I should note that what I describe in this post is a fairly formulaic style of essay writing.But over the next year or so, I plan to also share more of what I know about teaching students to write.Although I know many of the people who visit here are not 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 subjects, including writing.