Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Pre-writing activity

Tonight's homework is a short pre-writing activity for a persuasive essay assignment. The students need to write their thesis statement and three big ideas to prove their thesis. Then, they need to write 2 or 3 specific supporting details for EACH big idea. Here is an example:

Thesis statement: Since the government is requiring 180 extra hours of school per year, I think it would be best to add thirty full school days in the summer.

Big Idea 1. Continuity
Details: 1A. Students are less likely to forget what they have learned if they don't have a lengthy summer vacation 1B. Teachers won't have to plan their curriculum to stop neatly at the end of the book in June, but can go into July as needed.

Big Idea 2. Cost Effectiveness
Details: 2A. The school is open all summer long anyway 2B. Unlike adding 30 Saturdays during the year, you won't have to spend extra money on heat 2C. Parents would not have to spend so much money on child care and entertainment for their kids during the summer.

Big Idea 3. Opportunities for non-traditional learning
Details 3A. Summertime session would be a perfect opportunity to focus in on what students are behind and need remediation 3B. Students who are not behind could be provided with special enrichment situations or a gifted and talented curriculum.