Writing persuasive or argumentative essays
Piquing my seventh graders' interest while preparing everyone for their final essay assignment: I have taught writing to all grade levels (K-16), but I currently have sixth, seventh and eighth graders. All my kids write daily in their . All as their regular weekly homework task from me. By the time they're eighth graders with me, they are very good at these two routine tasks. Very, very good. If you're ever amazed by the quality of my students' samples, please understand why; I have many of those poor kids for three years, and they get good over those three years.
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A funny, true story from the memory banks of Corbett Harrison, former-actor and present-day teacher: A few years back, I knew I had numerous kids in one class who would most-likely try to get away with silently writing during "partner write" time, because--you know--some kids think they are too good to have to talk to each other and negotiate; they just want to be left alone to do the bare minimum. I wasn't sure which students would try to get away with it first, so I cheaply "hired" (for two small pieces of chocolate) a pair of my good kids from that class. They were told to pretend they were not discussing before writing, and for about six minutes they--indeed--pretended that they were trying to get away a no-talk partner-write. I let them get to their fourth or fifth sentence before I--in my best acting voice--loudly called them out for not talking before writing. I grabbed their partner-write essay and dramatically ripped it in half, telling them to "Start over! And this time follow my rules! I expect one whole minute of talking--and that's the minimum!--before you even put down the first word of your essay's next sentence." Three of us acted for the class that day, it cost me two mere pieces of chocolate, but I ended up with one class that really became good discuss-ers and negotiators during partner-writes.
Next year, and I'm saying this in case you choose to do this lesson as an introduction to critical analysis essays (instead of as a review, as I did), I am planning to have students create "Word Art" drawings and explanations for all of these academic vocabulary words listed above, and I will save the students' work from that assignment in a folder, and bring that folder out for students to critique right before writing our essays; that would serve as just a good review as our charade game did this year. What's "Word art"? I am glad you asked. This spring, when I challenged my eighth graders to design and create new vocabulary activities they could teach my seventh graders to begin using, they came up with some good ones, and "Word Art" is one that I think would work well with academic vocabulary. Basically, the students have to illustrate/decorate the letters of a vocabulary word(s) so that each letter relates somehow to the meaning of the word, and then they have to create a three- to four-sentence explanation of the choices they have made when illustrating. Below are some of their excellent examples, which--true enough--are not for the academic words I listed above, but which show how the word art activity looks when it's done thoroughly and properly by my three different grade levels. I can totally see the students being able to illustrate/explain the word setting or tone using the same activity. Anyway, that's how I'll review the vocabulary next spring for this assignment when I attempt to make this good assignment even better: by having the students create "word art" examples for our literary terms that we can bring out and look at.
Toefl Vocabulary - Learn English by toefl vocabulary
For the past few years, I have been really trying to improve upon my expository writing assignments. You know, the dreaded essays. My final exam for both seventh and eighth grade is a critical analysis essay of a novel we've recently read, and few kids ever enjoy writing those. I often precede the serious writing assignments with a silly one. The lesson on this page is a silly essay assignment that sets my writers up to be more successful on their final essay for me, but we have a fun time doing it; essay organization and vocabulary are both reviewed, and the kids have a fun time writing these.
Formal & Informal English · engVid
Extensive reading is the best way to develop your command of tough vocabulary. But cramming Shakespeare and Milton before the test is not very practical. So, we’ve done a little investigating and have compiled the top 100 vocabulary words of all time.