I work exclusively with at-risk students, this means they are usually working well below grade level. I created this “outline” to help students who are unfamiliar or uncomfortable with the writing process, however, works well as a starter or first draft for any writer. The “outline” walks the student through the essay paragraph by paragraph and sentence by sentence. The outline explain what to write with a prompt and provides an example sentence
2. Tell the reader about the main characters. Example: The two con men Bill and Sam are traveling the country taking people for all the can, but if you read between the lines you get the feeling that they might not be as good of con men as they think they are. The Red Chief is a kid who is the devil incarnate doing his best to make Bill and Sam think they are in hell.
If completed properly, the student has a first draft that they can type up and start peer editing or a second draft. There are a grading rubric and formatting requirements that not only make the paper more formal but require many different settings be changed in order to familiarize the student with a word processor program.
This “outline” is for a 5 paragraph Book review essay, it is basically the traditional book report. The assignment asked students to read a book or short story and then give their opinion using evidence from the material to justify their views. I currently use this assignment in October when we watch a “scary” movie. Because of the attendance issues, we have with the population I teach I needed something for the students that missed the movie. Giving them this parallel assignment with a short story or the book they are reading independently. I have been using it for the past five years with a good degree of success.
Also included is a Notes sheet that helps guide the student before, during, and after reading the story. This gives them all the valiant information before they start the writing process.