Earlier this week, I challenged my students with the 11-minute essay that Gretchen Bernabei uses with her students…only we did ours in 9 minutes. The text structure she uses is this: Truism–>How this is true in a book or personal life–>How this is true in a move or TV show–>How this is true in history–>What I think or wonder. Because 4th graders don’t know all that much about history (and because our truism was about pets), I omitted the paragraph about how it’s true in history.
The students were excited about this challenge I set forth for them. I gave them 1 minute for paragraph 1, 3 minutes for paragraph 2, 3 minutes for paragraph 3, and then 2 minutes for the final paragraph. The truism they were expected to write about was: Pets are an important part of a family.
Considering this was their first attempt, I thought it went extremely well. Were they perfect? No. Will they EVER be? No. But this was an eye-opener for them (and for me, too)! When they were finished, I told them that they had just written an expository essay in 9 minutes. The looks on their faces was priceless! They were so darn proud of themselves, beaming from ear to ear!
Curious about how they did? Click here to see a sample of what they wrote. 😉
This has been an amazing week in writing. Here’s to hoping it continues!!