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In this packet you’ll find the handouts you need to guide students through a unique adaptable ELA project in which a literary character fills out a brag sheet, chooses colleges of interest, picks an essay question, and outlines and writes a college essay.
Not only does this project help students analyze a literary character in a creative way, it introduces them to important aspects of the college process generally and the college essay writing process specifically. The number one issue I see in editing students’ college essays is a lack of specific examples in showing who they are. This project requires them to focus on using specific details and anecdotes in their character’s essay, reinforcing this important concept for their own college essay writing process.
The College Application Project: This handout briefly outlines the project and provides the five essay question options. You’ll want to pass this out first.
Character’s Top Five Schools: This handout instructs students to brainstorm what schools might be of interest to their character. This could be homework or you could schedule some computer lab time for an in-class workshop.
Character’s Brag Sheet: This handout asks students to consider what their character would have accomplished in school. It would work well as either homework or an in-class workshop, and helps prepare students for the essay brainstorm/outline that comes next.
Character’s Essay Brainstorm/Outline: This handout is a chance for students to get some thoughts down on paper regarding their chosen question. As everyone will have different questions, it is not a step-by-step guide, but rather a chance to brainstorm their ideas before writing.
Project Rubric: Pass this out to students well before the due date for the project, and instruct them to turn it in as the cover page for the entire project. This page not only lays out the rubric for the essay itself, but provides a checklist of all papers that should be included in the final project when it is turned in. It will help students stay organized and help you grade their work quickly and fairly.
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