Category Archives: Teacher Tools

How to #Teach the Basics of the #5ParagraphEssay With a #Thesis Graphic Organizer

Standard

Handout for Teaching Introduction to Thesis Statements and the Five Paragraph Essay FormatIn our school district, students are first introduced to the fundamentals of a five paragraph essay in the sixth grade. It’s a brand new concept to them, so I teach them the most basic thesis, which uses three main points, before we embark on the writing of our first five-paragraph essay.

If you’re unfamiliar with this method of organizing an essay, it’s pretty simplistic. The writer chooses a topic like, say, pets for example. Then he/she writes a thesis that is designed to prove which of the three kinds of pets is the best. So I might have  a thesis that looks something like this:

If I had my choice between horses, cats, and dogs, I’d choose dogs as the ideal family pet.

Now the writer embarks on the creation of an essay that proves this thesis. He/she must include an introduction (which typically precedes the thesis), a paragraph about the first main point (horses), a follow-up paragraph on the second main point (cats), and a paragraph in which they praise the third main point (dogs). Finally, they re-state the thesis with a summary at the start of the final paragraph and wrap the whole thing up with a couple of sentences of conclusion.

This is, at its foundation, a persuasive essay. It’s a tough thing for concrete-operational learners to grasp–the fact that an essay, with a person’s opinion embedded in its body, can follow a specific structure. Yet this format is used for public speaking quite universally. So it’s an important skill to teach and to have students learn.

For today’s post, I’m sharing the Thesis Statement Graphic Organizer that I use whenever I’m starting my unit on persuasive five-paragraph essays. I hope you’ll find it as helpful as I have, for simplifying the essay for those concrete-operational learners.

Once they’ve finished filling out the organizer, you can even have them cut this graphic organizer into strips, lining up their pieces in this order:

  • on top: the thesis
  • next: topic one’s list of facts
  • next: topic two’s list of facts
  • next: topic three’s list of facts

Now have them write a re-stated thesis with a summary, cut it out, and stick it at the bottom. Each of these pieces will represent a single paragraph in their essay. This is a particularly helpful exercise for tactile learners.

 

(This is a re-post of an older post on thesis statements.) If you like my free printable worksheets, game ideas, and educational videos, please show your appreciation by liking, tweeting, and pinning! Thanks!

Advertisements

#EnglishEd: How to Teach Apostrophes

Standard
Image shows an example of how to teach apostrophes, demonstrating that an apostrophe acts as a divider to show possession. EnglishEmporium.WordPress.com is the URL pictured in the bottom right corner  of this pictograph. If you visit English Emporium, it offers an explanation for how to use the pictograph to make the apostrophe concept make sense to your students.

Please visit EnglishEmporium.WordPress.com for great tips and tricks on how to teach concepts for English and reading.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This pictograph shows how to teach apostrophes in a way that students will understand and retain. Draw the pictograph on your whiteboard or show this pictograph on your projector. Explain that the apostrophe acts as a divider.

Let’s start with the red divider. The red divider shows that only one cow “owns” the spots we’re talking about.

The yellow divider shows that multiple cows “own” the spots.

Now that you’ve shown your students this pictograph, erase part of the “divider” line or project the following image:

Image shows an example of how to teach apostrophes, demonstrating that an apostrophe acts as a divider to show possession. EnglishEmporium.WordPress.com is the URL pictured in the bottom right corner of this pictograph. If you visit English Emporium, it offers an explanation for how to use the pictograph to make the apostrophe concept make sense to your students.

Please visit EnglishEmporium.WordPress.com for great tips and tricks on how to teach concepts for English and reading.

The arrow still points to the owner of the spots.

For more examples and helpful tips on teaching apostrophes, please visit my apostrophes page, right here on English Emporium.

#Medieval #ResearchPaper Topics for #Teachers @ EnglishEmporium.WordPress.com

Standard
Image of a scanned list of medieval research topics, ranging from Joan of Arc to farming during the middle ages.

Visit EnglishEmporium.WordPress.com for more free lesson plans and worksheets for English teachers and librarians.

Here’s my list of medieval research topics. If you’re an English or history teacher, you may find this and my other research-paper related blog posts helpful:

Hopefully there’s something useful in that stack of stuff I’ve used over the 23 years that I worked as an English teacher. If you like my free, printable worksheets, lesson plans, and activities, please show your appreciation by pinning these on Pinterest, tweeting about them, and/or sharing them through other social media. Just be sure to mention where you found them!

#Research Paper Topics for #Educators: #Scientific #Inventors @ EnglishEmporium.WordPress.com

Standard
Image shows a scanned list of scientific inventors in alphabetical order, to be used as a list of topic choices for research projects.

Visit EnglishEmporium.WordPress.com for more free worksheets, teacher tools, and lesson plans.

Here’s a list of scientific inventors in alphabetical order. You can use this list for research paper projects in your classroom or library.  It’s nice to have a list in alphabetical order, so you can issue encyclopedias to students accordingly.

I should also point out that English Emporium already has a ton of stuff on research papers available for you to download and print, including:

Hopefully there’s something useful in that stack of stuff I’ve used over the 23 years that I worked as an English teacher. If you like my free, printable worksheets, lesson plans, and activities, please show your appreciation by pinning these on Pinterest, tweeting about them, and/or sharing them through other social media. Just be sure to mention where you found them!

Topics for #ResearchPapers: #Artists List for #Teachers @ EnglishEmporium.WordPress.com

Standard
Image of a scanned list of artists and painters in alphabetical order.

Visit EnglishEmporium.WordPress.com for more free teachers’ tools, worksheets, and lesson plans.

When I was a brand-new English teacher, I used to wonder what topics to use for research papers. The first time I tried teaching research papers, I let the students choose their own topics. Ha ha ha! Sure, I got some great research papers on skateboarding and Minecraft, but I also got some real duds.

One kid even did a so-called research paper on cow manure, just so he had an excuse to use the “sh” word in class when quoting local dairymen he had interviewed!

Kids can be soooo creative that way.

To help anyone who’s struggling with research papers, I’m going to post lists of possible research topics over the next few months. Today I’m starting with artists. Next I’ll post a list of inventors. And at the end of this series of blog posts, I’ll make a list of medieval research topics available to you.

I should also point out that English Emporium already has a ton of stuff on research papers available for you to download and print, including:

Hopefully there’s something useful in that stack of stuff I’ve used over the 23 years that I worked as an English teacher. If you like my free, printable worksheets, lesson plans, and activities, please show your appreciation by pinning these on Pinterest, tweeting about them, and/or sharing them through other social media. Just be sure to mention where you found them!

Free Hi-Lo Book About #Bikes for #ReadingTeachers

Standard

That’s the first Hi-Lo book I’ve written, and I guess you could call it a sort of VideoBook. I’d like to make more of these, perhaps branching them into a series.

We’ll see what I come up with next. You can follow my YouTube channel to see any other VideoBooks I make. Here’s a link.

Free #goalSetting wksht for #languageArts #teachers

Standard
Printable writing log with boxes for setting goals and reflecting on the six traits of writing.

For more free printable templates, classroom activities, and teacher tools, visit EnglishEmporium.WordPress.com

Printable writing log with boxes for setting goals and reflecting on the six traits of writing.

For more free printable templates, classroom activities, and teacher tools, visit EnglishEmporium.WordPress.com

Goal setting is so important for students! This goal-setting handout was something I gave my students at the start of the school year, and we tried to fill every box with writing scores by the end of the school year. It was a challenging goal to accomplish, but if you give scores for first and final drafts of a single paper, it’s not impossible.

And in case you missed last month’s post, I have a six traits scoring form that matches this goal-setting chart. I also have a number of PowerPoints that guide students through self-evaluation or peer-evaluation of writing, to save the English/language arts teacher time.

You’re welcome to use this goal-setting chart with your students, but please show your appreciation by sharing, liking, and/or pinning it with a link back to this website. Thanks! (Those links, by the way, will take you to my various social media pages where you can find this post, if it’s a recent one.)