Lesson Plan

How to Write a Thesis Statement.

In this app flow, students will be taught what a thesis statement is, pick out thesis statements in introductory paragraphs, write whole class thesis statements, and research a subject in which to write their own thesis statement.
Cynthia C.
Classroom teacher
McSwain Elementary School
Merced, CA
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My Grades 6
My Subjects English Language Arts, Social Studies

Students will be able to write a thesis statement. 

English Language Arts
English Language Learning
Grades 6 - 8
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook

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Show students the video Thesis vs Topic sentence.  After the video is shown, refer students to the last section of the video where it highlights the differences between a topic sentence and a thesis statement.  Have students write these difference in their writing notebook.  Create a class chart with these differences.  Be sure to reinforce the differences between a topic sentence and a thesis statement.  Students often have a difficult time distinguishing between the two.  

2 Direct Instruction.

Begin by having students pair share their understanding of a thesis statement.  Invite a few pairs to share out their understanding.  Correct as necessary.

Teach what a thesis statement is:

  • A single sentence in the introductory paragraph that presents the argument to the reader
  • Gives your conclusions about the topic you researched
  • Makes a claim
  • Tells the reader what to expect from the rest of your paper. 

 Go to Readworks.org and display passages for students.  Display only the introductory paragraphs.  Use such passages as:

  • Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?
  •  Always Remember.
  •  How Soccer Can Help us Understand Physics.
  •  Be a Juice Sleuth.  

Or choose passages individualized for your class.  

As a class, read the introductory paragraphs and pick out the thesis statements.  Refer to class chart on thesis requirements while deciding which sentence is the thesis statement.  Display as many introductory paragraphs and thesis statements as it takes for students to understand the concept of a thesis statement.  

Come to a class consensus of what a thesis statement includes.  Have students write consensus in their writing notebook and make a class chart.   

3 Guided Practice

Go to the Time For Kids Website. Look at subjects that can be used to practice writing class thesis statements. Some useful articles for this purpose are:

  • They're Back
  • Good Enough to Eat
  • A Massive Dinosaur Discovery

Or individualize subjects to meet the needs of your class.

As the subjects are displayed, brainstorm possible thesis statements.  Students can write these on their whiteboards or in the writing notebooks.  For every class thesis created, review the thesis requirements and class charts to make sure the class created thesis statement meets the thesis criteria.  Adjust as necessary.

Create as many class thesis' as necessary for students to understand the concept of a thesis.  

4 Wrap up

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Show Shmoop video "How to Know if Your Thesis Statement is Actually a Thesis Statement."  After the video, have students pair/share how to know if they have written a proper thesis statement.  Refer to class charts.  Invite a few pairs to share out.  Correct/reteach as necessary.  Refer to class created thesis statements for further analysis.  

5 Independent Practice.

Show students how to get to the Science for Kids Website.  Instruct students that they will explore the website and select a topic they would like to research and create a thesis statement for.  Once students understand their assignment, allow them to research their topic and create a thesis statement.  

Students will turn in their thesis statements.  Teacher will review these and use them to reteach/solidify the concept of writing a thesis statement.  

To reteach or solidify, display under document camera or make individual copies for students, and review each thesis selected for the review lesson. If individual copies are made, have students glue these examples in their writing notebooks for future reference.