For the ELA state test extended response, I have my students learn a very formulaic essay style that they can later tweak. The first page of this document contains a help sheet that lays out how to write a paragraph in these essays (where the requirements are stated in a question and also in bullet point form). The next section contains an essay based on the story "The Bell That Knew The Truth" (not included). The bullets I based the essay on were: why is the problem difficult? How did the judge get the their to confess? I cut this essay up based on the structure of the paragraphs (if you follow the layout on the "help sheet" you can see where to cut the pieces, it's VERY formulaic). Kids worked in pairs to put the puzzle together. For homework, the kids got a copy of the third section- the essay template and tried to write their own essay based on the work they'd done in class. The final sections of the document include the puzzle and template for a second story "Spaghetti" (Not included) The bullets here were: What is the main character like at the beginning of the story? What is he like at the end? What caused him to change?