This is a high school level writing prompt that can be used with Biology, pre-AP Biology, AP Biology, or Zoology classes.
It can be used as an exploratory/research writing assignment prior to learning about different animal Phyla, or it may be written at the end of the unit as an assessment of student knowledge of Phyla characteristics and relationships.
This assignment includes a detailed writing prompt that asks students to write an in-depth paragraph classifying four animal Phyla by using five characteristics.
The next three slides are a Guided Student Outline Pre-Writing Activity. Students fill in the right side of the table in a step-by-step manner, to make sure that they are answering all parts of the writing prompt, and as a way to help organize their essay.
Students then use their Guided Outline to write their essay and explain their classification system.
There are three slides showing a Rubric, which lists all the points from the outline. This rubric may be used by the teacher to score student essays, by students to score themselves, or by students as they peer review one another’s writing. The Rubric adds up to 100 points.
The final slide shows an ANSWER KEY of basic information about Phyla characteristics that may be used by students.
There are 8 slides with Teacher Notes that explain the above information, grading ideas, and timing. Two of the slides give example timing (20 minutes to 4 days) to use with an inexperienced writing class that is doing exploratory research on on phyla characteristics while learning how to do scientific writing to a short assessment essay that practices timed writing and end-of-unit knowledge.
You will receive a Powerpoint document so you may use what parts are helpful to you and/or modify as needed for your class.