This unit focuses on content development in writing and teaches students how to write effective paragraphs. This is a complete unit with a helpful table of contents, an interactive presentation, exercises for students, paragraph rubrics (varied), and a bonus descriptive paragraph assignment with rubrics (varied).
The presentation is designed to help students understand why content development is so important in writing and to help them improve and evaluate the content development in their own writing. The presentation contains a sample essay that students will evaluate for content development, and it contains four exercises: (1) the first helps student establish opinions (or main ideas or theses), (2) the second has students focus on one opinion (main idea or thesis) and elaborate upon it asking who, what, when, where, why, and how questions, (3) the third shows them how to brainstorm on the main idea and organize their thoughts using clustering, and (4) the fourth is the culminating exercises in which students write a well-developed body paragraph using the tools they just learned.
The rubrics provided in the unit are designed to be used in a variety of classrooms. The standard rubric evaluates paragraphs and is for the classroom which uses the A-F grading scale and requires MLA formatting for all documents. Additional rubrics are included for use in classrooms which do not require MLA formatting and/or classrooms which eliminate the D grade.
The descriptive paragraph assignment is included as a bonus, and it is a fun activity that helps students write a well-developed paragraph using a topic sentence and sensory images. Students are asked to write a paragraph about their favorite childhood toy, using all five senses.
This unit can be used in a variety of classrooms, from Grades 6-12 to Higher Education/ Post-Secondary classrooms. I have personally used this presentation, these exercises, and these assignments and rubrics in English classes in 8th, 9th, and 10th grades. I have also used these same materials in learning support and ENGL 1101 classes at the college level.
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