Now that it is time for my students to write the body of their essay, I'll have them reference the tree map that they created in the previous lesson, "Hooking Your Reader!" Overall, I have three things that I want my students to do when writing the body of this essay.
1. Paraphrase information that they took from the article.
2. Give credit to the speaker or article if you quote them directly.
3. Use transitions to move from idea to idea.
Many of my students will struggle to begin these body paragraphs, so I will offer them the following starter:
The first reason why _________________________________is____________________.
From there, I'll have students explain their reasoning and cite specific textual support from their sources. They will be able to use their tree maps to write the body. Each branch of the map is it's own paragraph of the body.
Now, students just need some quiet writing time to craft the body of the essay. I will allow for about 30 minutes today to do this, and I will probably have them write the conclusion tomorrow.
Since my students needed so much support writing their introductions, I decided to give them a formula to use.
To begin the concluding paragraph, I'll have them restate their claim. Next, they'll restate their main reasons.
I decided to have them experiment with counter arguments in the conclusion. This isn't part of the sixth grade writing standards, however, I thought it would be interesting to see how well they handled it. If it doesn't work out well, we will deal with it during the revision process. After they restate their claim and three reasons, I'll have students consider a counter argument. For this part, I'll ask them to decide who would be against their claim and why? Next, what would you say in response to them.
I will go through an example of my own conclusion, and then show them a template that they can use if they'd like.
I realize that some of my students won't feel comfortable using a counter argument, so in this case, I'll have them write one sentence that gives closure to the essay.