There are a couple of ways of assembling the essays that I have used. After everyone has drafted their piece of the essay, students read the essay in the order that the paragraphs should go in. Once the students have brainstormed and organized the ideas, then the students decide who is responsible for writing different paragraphs of the essay.
One way is for each student to cut out their paragraph s and then tape the essay onto a master sheet of paper in the order that it should be read. I ask students to go over the directions again as a group when they begin and to use the directions as a guide.
Essentially, this is the prewriting stage. I have also shared this with some of my Writing Project colleagues, many of whom have also found the process to be beneficial. I have learned to slow it down.
In the beginning, I used to rush students through the process. The assignment sheet that I give has all of the directions and I go over this with students first. Occasionally, I allow groups of five. On another level, however, students also have conversations around writing that are often quite deep.
The Benefits The conversations that the groups have are interesting to me on two levels. Without the brainstorming part, the person responsible for the conclusion has to wait for everyone else to write in order to see how to conclude the essay.
I wanted to finish the unit with something meaningful, but I also needed to be practical in terms of evaluating and inputting grades and closing out the semester. When we do this, I have students sign next to each of their paragraphs.
In the next step, I ask students to brainstorm as a group how they will respond to the prompt. When we have the opportunity for submitting paragraphs digitally, then students usually email their paragraphs to one person in the group who assembles the final draft in order.
I went home and thought very carefully about how to structure the assignment so the students would be successful and so the essays would hang together and make some kind of sense. Tinker with it until you find what works. For good writing to happen, however, students need some time to plan, draft, and revise.
Typically I include a choice of three or four prompts in the directions. By brainstorming first, everyone can usually write at the same time because they have a good idea of what they will be saying. There was so much to do between finishing up Romeo and Juliet with my 9th graders and grading.
The students engage again with the text, often refining their understanding of the text and building that understanding collaboratively with their group members. The first step for the group is to explore the prompt and to decide as a group which one that they are most interested in responding to and which prompt they are able to cite textual evidence for support.Must-read articles and essays by famous writers - the best examples of short articles and essays to read online - our all-time favourite longform articles.
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