Writing as an Assessment 2

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Objective

SWBAT write an on demand nonfiction piece of writing.

Big Idea

Once students learn a standard and basic structure of nonfiction writing they can quickly produce an organized piece of nonfiction writing.

Introduction

5 minutes

In the state I teach in, fourth grade is the year students are assessed in writing on the state test. They are expected to know how to write a multiparagraph fiction story as well as a typical five paragraph essay with a introduction, conclusion and topic sentences at the beginning of each body paragraph.

 

Because this is supposed to be an assessment, I only do a quick introduction to this lesson. I ask students if they have ever heard of a “five paragraph essay” or an “essay” and if they have ever written a report. I let them lead me to any possible support that I might plan on giving them. In this case, I either have them share out or I provide information on introduction, conclusion, and body paragraphs.

Modeling

10 minutes

I remind them or introduce that nonfiction or opinion writing can be structured in a way that starts with an introduction to the topic, gives specific information supported with details, and then concludes the writing. I also remind students that each section is written in a paragraph and writers indent paragraph on the first line to indicate that it is a new section.

Although I want students to show me what they already can do on their own through completing an on-demand writing assessment, I also want to make sure that they are accessing all of the things they have learned before. Therefore, I spend a few minutes reminding them and eliciting ideas about writing nonfiction essays. As students share what they remember learning from previous school years and writing experiences, other students might also be reminded of their own experiences.

Independent Practice and Share

30 minutes

I do not guide students through the writing process  because I want to see what they can do on their own. At this point, I ask students to use a piece of paper and double space it. I remind them to use paragraphs. The topic is if you had one super hero power, what would it be and why?

Of course, students are really interested and excited in responding to this prompt. They want to share before writing, but I ask them to wait until the end. Once they have finished writing their essays, I give students a moment to share what super hero power they chose and why with members of their table group.