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Look over what you’ve written. Do any of the responses suggest anything new about your topic? What interactions do you notice among the “sides”? That is, do you see patterns repeating, or a theme emerging that you could use to approach the topic or draft a thesis? Does one side seem particularly fruitful in getting your brain moving? Could that one side help you draft your thesis statement? Use this technique in a way that serves your topic. It should, at least, give you a broader awareness of the topic’s complexities, if not a sharper focus on what you will do with it.
Question: Write the the question you have been assigned
or the prompt you are going to answer with your essay in the box below.
I think this is a winning idea for several reasons! First of all, I’m really intrigued by the idea of flipping the writing instruction so that students are doing more of their writing practice in the classroom where the support is available. I would imagine that this would lead to less student frustration and that students are finding themselves better equipped to tackle the roadblocks that occur during writing. I like the fact that this activity asks students to work collaboratively to create thesis statements and build off of each other’s ideas. Also, I really like the fact that the teacher models editing and thinking out loud. This is a great way to show students what you mean, rather than just telling them. Finally, making this activity fun with music and good-natured competition will most likely make for more engaged students. Love the fact that this idea can be adaptable to other mini writing lessons. Thanks for the great idea!
These patterns can give a "lift" to your writing. Practice them. Try using two or three different patterns for your introductory paragraph and see which introductory paragraph is best; it's often a delicate matter of tone and of knowing who your audience is. Do not forget, though, that your introductory paragraph should also include a thesis statement to let your reader know what your topic is and what you are going to say about that topic.