Drafting an Essay
Lesson 13 of 14
Objective: Students will be able to write an informative essay by reviewing the parts of an essay, brainstorming, and starting a rough draft.
Many students want to put apostrophes in dates (1970s). But I ask you, is it a contraction? Is it possessive? No? Then it doesn't need an apostrophe because it's just plural. It's just more than one. It's talking about the entire decade, rather than a specific year (or, if you're talking about the 1900s, an entire century). Apostrophes are used for contractions and possessives. That's it. They've already got a difficult job, don't give them additional work to do.
Speaking of a difficult job, how do you know when to capitalize a noun? In this paragraph, both herring and anchovies were capitalized. Are they the names of specific anchovies and herrings? Or are they talking about general anchovies and herrings? Just general ones? Then they don't need to be capitalized.
I was at a conference today about the three types of writing for Common Core (informative, argumentative, and narrative). I'd asked my substitute to give students information on the essay reference sheet that I'd written out, but that didn't happen. Check back tomorrow to see how I used the essay reference sheet.
Writing a Rough Draft
I gave students the rest of the class period to write a rough draft. This prompt is doing double duty as preparation for our state test as well as performance task for what we've been learning in class. With that in mind, I gave students the option of three prompts. I also gave students three prompts so I wouldn't have to bang my head against the wall after reading one hundred essays about the discount movie theater.
The first prompt (the movie theater one) is one of the examples provided by my state for the state test. This year we're still taking the state test, so I included that one. My English 7 classes have the option of prompt A or B, and my honors classes are writing about the honors only prompt. Since this is preparing students for the state test, I worded my prompts similarly. The state really doesn't give students a whole lot of detail in the prompt, so I limited it as well.
Students had one page to do their brainstorming/prewriting/planning/insert your synonym here. They had two pages to complete their rough draft. Here's the packet that I gave students, that again, is modeled after our state test format. I give them the format so that it's more familiar when they take the test.