This is a lesson focused on writing thesis statements and topic sentences in preparation for outlining a research paper. While originally designed for high school, this lesson would easily work with middle school students without any tweaking!
In this lesson, I begin by introducing students to thesis statements. I have found it very helpful to introduce it as "topic, argument, reasons" and tell them to make sure to get all the way to their reasons! This lesson includes two practice examples regarding thesis statements - one about cats and one about dress codes. Each example includes a topic, an argument, and three reasons, and students are asked to write a cohesive thesis statement. They can do this individually, in groups, or as a class!
This lesson also introduces students to topic sentences, including where they go and why we need them. I liken them to "little thesis statements" for each paragraph or idea. There are two practice examples for topic sentences (cats and dress code, again) in which students must write a topic sentence for a provided reason and connect it back to the argument.
This lesson was originally concluded with students creating a research paper outline with my free template below (although you are free to do something different!).
FREE Research Paper Outline: http://bit.ly/ResearchPaperOutline
Created for Ms Moore's English Classroom