Category Archives: Writing

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

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

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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 #goalSetting wksht for #languageArts #teachers

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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.)

 

#TimeSavers for #English and #LanguageArts teachers @ EnglishEmporium.WordPress.com

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Printable score sheet which uses the six traits of good writing to score students and help them set goals for future writing projects.

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

This is the six traits of writing score sheet that I used for more than 20 years in my English classroom. I like it a lot because it offers sections for “What you do well” and “What you need to work on.”

Remember that the PowerPoint scoring guides I’ve created (and editing guides) are available on this page in English Emporium, so if you want, you can use these PowerPoints to have the students self-score or score each other. That can save an English teacher a LOT of time!

You’re welcome to use this in your classroom, 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.)

Also, if the school where you teach offers a Secret Santa program, you might want to check out my Secret Santa blog at that link. It offers free poems, craft patterns, and gift ideas for Secret Santas/Secret Pals. The holidays creep up on us awfully quickly!

Here’s a #Writing #CoverSheet for All #Teachers in Every Subject!

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Writing Cover Sheet for Any Class Subject

Have you ever been asked to offer up a cover sheet that the science teacher, the math teacher, and even the PE teacher can use? Well as an English teacher, I’ve been asked to provide this many times. Here’s the one I use.

If you like my free printable worksheets, game ideas, and educational videos, please show your appreciation by liking, tweeting, and pinning! Thanks!

How to #Teach the Basics of the #5ParagraphEssay With a Sample #Outline

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Template showing how to do an outline for a five paragraph essay, using six quotations within the body paragraphs.

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Last week I posted my thesis statement graphic organizer. Today I’m posting the next step to creating a basic five-paragraph essay with a persuasive three-point thesis.

It’s the outline. Here’s an Outline Sampler that I use to help the kids see how simple it is to put together a five-paragraph essay with three main points.

You can project this Outline Sampler on a board or screen, so all the students can follow it as a simple guide. You might want to print copies for them as well. What can you expect for bumps in the road?

  • A lot of kids don’t understand when to indent in an outline.
  • Some students may not know that there’s an order to follow–first one, then the next, then the final main point from the thesis should be consistently in the same order.
  • Other students will forget to capitalize the A, B, and C in their outline.
  • They may not know how to do an introduction paragraph and a conclusion paragraph. That’s fine. In the initial stages, have them leave that blank until they can think something up.
  • There’s usually one kid who understands the concept of the outline too well. He or she will sometimes try to write the actual essay without making the outline first. This student will pretty much have an outline with complete sentences instead of brief ideas. Try to discourage them from doing this, since it’s important for them to follow each step in the writing process (as that’s part of the curriculum).

Well that’s it for today. I hope you find this Outline Sampler helpful.

 

Like last week’s post, this is a re-post. If you like my free printable worksheets, game ideas, and educational videos, please show your appreciation by liking, tweeting, and pinning! Thanks!

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

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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!

#Teach the Steps in the #WritingProcess With This #Educational Video!

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This isn’t one of my own videos, but I found it covers a lot of the stuff we English teachers focus on in the classroom. It’s fun to watch the narrator draw himself as he goes through the steps in the writing process too.

If you want a simpler, shorter, review-style video of the steps in the writing process, here’s the one I created. It goes through the same steps that are on the handout I posted last week.

If you like my free printable worksheets, game ideas, and educational videos, please show your appreciation by liking, tweeting, and pinning! Thanks!