Parts of an Essay
To begin, students will create an image or symbol to describe an essay. There are no right or wrong answers, but students will need to support their choice in symbolism or images. As they create and share their images, they will discuss what they liked about the others, what theirs represented, and what is missing.
2 Direct Instruction
By utilizing the videos on BrainPop, students will gather information about what SHOULD be in an essay. They will be hunting for key words such as introduction, conclusion, topic sentences, thesis, and sentence type. After watching the video, they should fill out the graphic organizers attached to each video.
Ideally, students would search and gather this information independently (practicing search parameters and deciding whether they have gathered enough information). However, students may need a checklist for which videos they must watch in order to have sufficient information to meet the objectives.
3 Guided Practice
Here, students will create note cards with the information they gathered from BrainPop. By using the NoodleTools function, students can organize their ideas and information in piles, and then brainstorm the best way to present the information to someone else.
In Noodletools, students share their projects with teachers and can ask questions for clarification of information. Additionally, each note card provides a space to write down the "new" information, summarize it in their own words, and extend the information to ask a question. In this case, teachers must check for understanding of each objective (does the student provide the correct definition of thesis and topic sentences, or have they missed the point entirely).
By organizing the information in this way, students are not only creating important summaries, but are also chunking new or reviewed information to maintain mastery of the objectives.
4 Independent Practice
Using the information gathered from BrainPop (and after discussion and catch up with classmates and teacher), students should then present their own comic describing the parts of an essay. This might include characters discussing the parts, or a character attempting to create an essay and thinking about what they need to add, etc.
Once the comic is complete, students can check their work by finding the important vocabulary and details within the text of their comic. Typically, students are able to identify what is missing based on a quick word search. Providing students with a rubric or checklist for what their comic must contain will provide guidance while still assessing their understanding of the material.
In the follow up activity, students should go back to their original drawing/symbolism of an essay and adjust it based on what research they've completed and the information they've been provided. This allows them to think critically, identify their growth in knoweldge, and use the information they gathered to make a good judgement on what an essay must have.