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Painless Writing

Katie's animationI have been working with another teacher and I have learned so much from her successes. In part because she has gracefully succeeded at teaching areas that make me want to pull my hair out. One of those is teaching essay writing to low level English speakers. I have blogged about structured and fun writing. But to teach the basics, my general approach has been to do brain storming (with some graphic organizer) and then discuss the structure of the essay as review and have the students write.

But I have learned in the past year, that to improve most lessons, the teacher should just provide more schema activation (more examples). So I don’t know why I was banging my head against the wall with that basic writing lesson. The teacher I work with has a beautiful process for essay writing that begins like mine with brain storming on a graphic organizer. (Like this interactive graphic organizer) Then, however, she provides an important example. She shows them an essay she has written on the topic. She reads the essay aloud and then, the class goes back through the essay looking for its parts. They find the hook, then the thesis, then the topic sentences and details of each paragraph and the conclusion. Next, she hands out an outline of her essay and a similar blank handout for them to write their outlines. She shows them what she wrote on the outline about her hook and then they write a hook. She repeats this process until their outlines are done. Finally, the students are able to work on their own and produce wonderful essays. Look here at one of the first draft of one of their essays.

All in all, I have always loved teaching writing, but at the beginning I found it to be a painfully slow and daunting process for students (and me). And I should have realized that they just needed more examples and more ways to organize their thoughts before they wrote.

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4 Responses to “Painless Writing”

  1. keitaro27 Says:

    i wish you were my teacher. thanks for the post

  2. bahar Says:

    im realy intrested i wish i can conected with you

  3. User links about "writing" on iLinkShare Says:

    […] | user-saved public links | iLinkShare 4 votesPainless Writing>> saved by rulubebe 0 days ago3 votesWriting an article!>> saved by jtbjustin 2 days […]

  4. katiemitchell Says:

    I always read my comments, Bahar. So we can connect here.

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