Rubric for Research Essay

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SWBAT produce clear and coherent writing by putting the Common Core Standards in their own words and start their final draft with the standards in mind.

Big Idea

Standardize Your Thinking!

Lesson Opener

5 minutes

In my lesson openers I always have a "connect" in which I connect students' thinking about yesterday's lesson to today's lesson. I then have a "teach" in which I model for students the lesson of the day and also have them try it out. When I think about my modeling I use three categories; skill, strategy, and process. I model by stating the skill to the students, then giving them a strategy in which to use the skill, followed by the process to try out the strategy.

Connect:  I will say, “Now that we have three drafts to work with, before you pick the draft that you will publish, let’s go over the standards you will be graded on.”

Teach: I will say, “In order to ensure we understand how we will be graded, we are going to make a rubric as a class. I am going to practice the skill reviewing the standards of research essay and the strategy of creating a rubric.  The process I will use is as follows:

1) Read over the standards for the research essay

2) Put the standards in my own words

3) Read over the draft that I want to publish and edit/revise for the standards

4) Start on my final draft.”

I will show students how I read over a standard and put it in my own words.* I will stop and think to myself while looking over my own draft that I will pick to publish.**

*My explanation about the importance of students "making" the rubric

**Depending on time and where my students are at with research essay, I may go over an example research essay and determine where I see the standards and where I do not. This will be determined based on how well my students have applied the standards in their drafts. I then could extend this activity and make it last for the class period with students doing the same in partners or independently. I would then give an extra day for the final draft. 

Active Engagement

10 minutes

Active Engagement: I will say, “Now you are going to read another standard with a partner and put it in your own words (the standards will be assigned beforehand). Then you will share out your standard with the class.” I will visit each group and help them understand their standard. I will point to their draft or carry a published draft with me to help them think about the standard. Students will then share out as a class and we will jot down each other’s words on the standards handout.

Closing of Active Engagement: I will say, “Remember in order to ensure clear and coherent writing is being produced, writers review the components of an essay and the strategy of creating a rubric.  The process they use is they read over the standards their writing, they put it in their own word and then edit and revise their draft in order to publish a final draft. 

Independent Practice

25 minutes

Independent Practice: I will say, “Now you are going to read through the draft that will become your published essay and edit and revise for the standards.” I will show them an example of a student’s essay that has a lot of editing and revising on it. I remind them that I want to see their thinking on the page. They should write for at least 25 minutes if not more. They should be editing and revising for all the components of a research essay and then going on to their final draft.

As they are working independently and quietly, (I like to play classical or smooth jazz for “writing” music (I just create a play list on Pandora Internet radio) I will confer with them about their writing by using the possible conferences for creating a rubric.docx

Partner Work: Students will be directed to turn and share one example of where they edited or revised their writing.

I will say, “Decide who will be partner A and who will be partner B. Partner A I want you to share one example of where you edited and revised your writing. Partner B, I want you to listen if Partner A is showing that they thoughtfully changed their writing. If not, give them feedback; tell them an idea of what they could add or let them know their writing showed a changed. Then you will switch.”



5 minutes

I believe that the end of the lesson should be an assessment of the days’ learning; therefore it should be independent work. I always end class with an “exit ticket” in which students write down the response to a question.


“1)Write down an example of a piece of your writing you editied or revised today.

2)Explain how you will finish your final draft for tomorrow’s writing celebration.”*

*I may give students another day in class if they writing stamina is still low and I am not confident that they will complete it for homework.