Monday, September 28, 2015

Writing at the Middle School Level

This is Lyndsey from Lit with Lyns, and I'm here to discuss how I implement writing at the secondary level!  As you know, w/ the Common Core shift, writing has become even more important than ever!  In 6th grade, students must be able to develop strong argumentative and informative writing skills...and although kids are great at arguing at this age, they're often not so great at organizing their thoughts into a cohesive essay.  Last year I knew there was a good chance this would be a requirement on end of year testing, so I constantly found myself trying to think of ways to explain each step of the writing process to them...particularly the argumentative writing process.

I decided to break down this process by using student writing samples, which I found here on Achieve the Core and on the Common Core Standards website.  Both have a lot of great samples, and Achieve the Core has lessons that go along w/ the samples, as well!

Using one of the student samples, I broke down each paragraph and highlighted each element that should be included in an argumentative essay.  This allowed my students to have a visual of what their own essay would need.

Then, I also created task cards that would serve as a review of these elements.  This proved to be a great way for the kids to show that they understood the process.  Using the task cards, students were also required to add (for example) a third body or conclusion paragraph, based on the 3 main ideas that were being addressed in the essay. You can get the full product here!

I must say, this was an incredible asset in helping my students be able to construct their own argumentative and persuasive essays.  They gained a much better understanding of the entire process by going through each step...paragraph by paragraph.

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