I use this adaptation of an actual student essay to achieve several goals: 1) to reinforce the differences between the Puritans and the Rationalists, 2) to illustrate how to organize and write an effective essay, 3) to recognize and deconstruct the Assertion, Evidence, Commentary structure of body paragraphs, and 4) to help prepare for standardized timed writing. I use this document after I have given students notes on Rationalism. This lesson contains an adaptation of an actual student essay, questions that direct students to deconstruct the essay for organization, structure, purpose, assertion, evidence, commentary, signal words, text structure, and an answer key. It correlates with the end of the Puritan unit and the beginning of the Rationalist unit in American Literature. Students will deconstruct an essay to identify and understand the components of a good 5 paragraph essay. My students find this lesson particularly effective in their understanding of proper use of evidence; it is a keystone lesson for my 11th grade End of Course Timed Writing test preparation.
This lesson typically takes about 40 minutes start to finish. It meshes nicely with my associated lesson Rationalism Unit Introduction PPT and Cloze listed here: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Rationalism-Unit-Introduction-PPT-and-Cloze-1998594