1. Starter: Before class begins, write some or all of the
following questions on the board:
is an essay? How would you describe or define it? What
does it look like?
are the purposes of essay writing? Name as many as
you can think of.
do you write an essay? What are the steps involved?
is the purpose of your final project essay on environmental
Give the class about 5-10 minutes to think about and
Spend several minutes discussing student responses. This
the teacher determine what
ninth graders already know about formal essay writing
and if they understand the goals of the essay they
are writing for their final presentation.
the class to see that an essay is another formal document,
a business letter or resume, which has a particular
and process to its writing. A formal essay can have
any number of paragraphs (usually no less than three)
most important is that students understand
a good academic essay has a beginning, middle, and
that the purposes of essay writing are also varied,
but the primary ones they should identify are to
to inform, to persuade, and to entertain. The steps
of essay writing also vary, but in general follow
prewriting, rough drafting, proof-reading, editing,
and final drafting.
to the class that in this lesson
they will review the first steps of essay writing:
brainstorming and finding an attention grabber.
Mini-Lesson: Prepare your overhead projector with the
transparencies you have
created concerning brainstorming
techniques. You may want to allow students some time to
copy this information into their notes for future use
and discuss each type of brainstorming format with the
class. Give further examples and answer questions as
they arise. Ask students to point out the strengths and
weaknesses of each format. Tell students to save
interesting statements and quotes to be used
grabbers at the beginning of their essays.
Practice Activity: Have students choose
of the four brainstorming
techniques that they like best.
them some time to think about and create two “brainstorming
sheets”- one done in each of the formats they
students practice using these tools, walk
around the room to answer any questions they might
have as they
progress. After about ten minutes, ask the class
to think about which of the two brainstorming techniques
found the most useful and why.
Writing Time: Allow students the remaining class time
to continue brainstorming and outlining their final
essays. Float around the room and ask students to share
their essay titles and various ideas they will cover
in their essays.
None for today.
to sift through their project information and research to find “attention
grabbing” statements, quotes, or facts relating to their
topic. Have the class bring in these quotes the following day,
written down and cited.