Writing an Essay

When I moved from first grade to fourth grade I was excited about teaching more sophisticated writers, so the first week of school I asked my students to write an essay. I chose the very predictable and unexciting topic of  “What did you do during tyour summer vacation?” Well, I got all these painful looks and comments, “How long does it have to be?” “Do we have to go the end of the page?” “What if I didn’t do anything this summer?”, etc. etc.  Needless to say, I received poor writing from some very unmotivated writers. I realized that my students needed to be taught step by step how to write an essay. I had asked them to write without guided and coaching them through the process.  Here are some tips I learned to make essay writing more motivating and productive:

  • Teach students what the essay should look like, share examples of good essays
  • Allow students to choose their own topic
  • Help students plan out their essays before writing the first draft
  • Have students discuss their ideas with each other
  • Give struggling students writing frames and more support
  • Have an interesting way to display the published writing piece

Click here to download guided lesson forms for an opinion essay.

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