Personal Essay Unit of Study

Right now, we are working on personal essays in writing.  I am using the UOS Personal Essay (Calkins) book as my basic skeleton, tweaking where needed.  Today, my kids began drafting their thesis statements.  I am so impressed with the work they were doing!  Some of their ideas were just phenomenal!

Some of the ideas so far:

  • Many families today are complicated, but half-siblings, step-parents, and significant others are all real family to many kids.
  • The state should not be allowed to mandate the snacks permitted in school, especially for celebrations and birthdays.
  • Kids should be allowed to vote in the presidential election
  • School lunches should be healthier.
  • Older siblings are a pain in the butt.
  • Our school should offer movies at lunch time.
It was amazing to watch my students really push their thinking this week.  At first, they struggled with their daily entries, complaining that they were really hard.  But once we did a lesson on pushing our thinking with conversation prompts, it was like the floodgates opened!  The thinking has gotten deeper and the ideas have just been astonishing.  
Tomorrow we will take a break from our essays to work on some election ideas (thanks for the inspiration, Stacey!)  But I can’t want to get back into our essays next week and see where these first-draft theses lead!

One Response

  1. I always love the way their notebook writing gets deeper during this unit!

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