Teaching students to write for a specific purpose is one of my favorite skills to teach. Students enjoy drawing sketches that illustrate different writing purposes. See Activity 1 below. And who doesn’t love eating doughnuts? See Activity 3.
Teaching students to write for a specific purpose is found in the Common Core State Writing Standards:Continue Reading
Writing a thesis statement can be an extremely difficult skill for students to learn.
The Teaching Standards
This skill is introduced in the Tennessee State Teaching Standards beginning at the sixth grade level. While the Common Core State Standards do not use the words “thesis statement,” beginning in the first grade level, the standards say students must be able to introduce opinion pieces, and state an opinion. [This sounds like a thesis statement to me.] While I’m not sure that lower elementary students could begin to understand the complexity of the thesis statement, I do plan to continue teaching this skill to upper elementary students. Continue Reading
Below I have included highlights from a PowerPoint Presentation on Narrative Writing, I presented to a group of 5th graders. The text reads as if giving instructions to students. Below the article are links to the PowerPoint and a printable handout for students to use in assessing their narrative writing.
Number 1 – Strong Beginning
Your story needs a strong beginning. You can achieve this using one of the following methods:Continue Reading
Writing persuasive essays can be both fun and challenging for students. I usually begin my persuasive essay unit with brainstorming ways people are persuaded. This almost always leads to advertising. I usually select half a dozen or so current commercials to show in class. These encourage students to think creatively. Students especially enjoy Super Bowl commercials.
These links take you to a series of four blog posts going over different persuasive techniques. Each post provides a definition. Some contain a list of “Questions to Think About.” Embedded in each post, you will find a series of commercials that illustrate the device. Continue Reading
The Common Core State Standards as well as many state standards require students write short research projects. This can be an overwhelming and frustrating assignment for many students in the upper elementary grades. Due to this, all fourth through sixth graders at our school begin research projects in January using the same note taking method. While this is not the only method for note taking, it works beautifully with this age range. Once sixth graders have graduated from elementary school, they have created a minimum of three research projects using this method, most have created more, and are proficient in this method.Continue Reading