This is a 3 week STAAR expository essay unit, although it would work well with any essay unit. This unit has been used with ESL students and with students who have failed the test and needed a more intense and scaffolded approach to the essay. The entire unit is progressive, working with a teacher example and 4 prompts that the class and students use to build their essay. Each lesson can be modified easily based on your students' needs and each lesson has a brief explanation of how it was presented in my classroom.
Helpful? More STAAR UNITS HERE
that are geared for struggling learners and ELLs!
Day 1: STAAR essay overview and essay writing process through PPT notes that are color coded so students can see how the steps look in a finished essay as well.
Day 2: Teacher models how to highlight the main idea and brainstorm some topics from Teacher Example. Students in pairs complete prompts #1-2 and independently complete prompts #3-4. As a class, the subtopics which will be easiest to write about are chosen and highlighted for prompts #1-4. *Note slides 28-29 are from previous English 1 exams. Slides 30-33 are from previous 7th grade exams. This is so you can use what works best for your level of students*
A student packet can be created by printing: slides 27-29, 34-43 (English 1 level) or 27, 30-43 (7th grade level). This REALLY helps keep the kiddos organized as you go through the writing process.
Day 3: Teacher presents the PowerPoint on the thesis statement. Student may do a Kahoots! for further understanding or a worksheet. A quiz is also provided.
Day 4: Teacher models one more time writing a thesis for the teacher example.Then, teachers divides class into groups, with each group getting 4 sentence strips. The first prompt with the two subtopics is shown on the board. Groups write a thesis statement and teacher/class chooses the best one. Everyone writes it down on the worksheet.
Days 5-6: Teacher gives a "hook" handout to students. Using the teacher example, the teacher shows the 4 different hooks for the teacher example. An example is given for you to see. The class chooses the hook they like and write it in their packet/
Around the room, there should be a sign for each type of hook. Students are put into 4 groups, with 1 group at each type of hook. Groups have 5-10 minutes (adjusted to class level) to write an intro for prompt #1 using their hook. They write on a piece of paper and then put it on the front board. We read each one as a class. Students then choose which one they personally like and write it for the corresponding essay in their student packet.
Groups move to the next type of hook and the activity repeats with the 2nd prompt. By the end of the activity, every student will have written each type of hook and will have one introduction written for all 4 prompts. Usually takes 2 class periods. Remind students to write thesis at end of the each introduction.
* For English learners who may not be advanced enough in their language, a template for one of the hooks is provided on slide 60 and this can be completed in 1 day.
Days 7-8: Teacher models how to brainstorm. Then, students help the teacher brainstorm prompt #1 in their packet. Students then work in pairs to brainstorm prompt #2. The next day, depending on students’ needs, finish prompt #3 in pairs and prompt #4 solo.
Days 9-11: Now that the introductions are written, the teacher models how to use the brainstorming to write the body of the essay with the teacher example. Students work in pairs to write the bodies for prompts #1. The following day the teacher looks at the writing for prompt #1, analyzes as a class, and then students write the bodies for prompts #2, and then starts #3 individually. Students finish prompt #4 individually. Teacher constantly monitors writing and provides feedback.
Days 12-13: Go over the notes for a conclusion. Teacher mirrors each step with her own example. Students work on writing conclusions for prompts #1-2 in pairs. The following day students work individually on prompts #3-4.
Day 14: With teacher example, teacher goes through the completed essay and using the check list, makes revisions with the class. Students revise and edit together prompt #1-2
Day 15: They peer edit and revise #3. They self edit and revise #4.
Days 15+ Students work on writing an essay from beginning to end (3 prompts provided at an English 1 level, additional prompts are also given.
Students may spend the first day writing in pairs, second day individually if appropriate. Teacher may have students choose 2 of 3 prompts to write or all 3. Adjust for class level.
STAAR EOC Expository Essay by Paige Vetter is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Copyright © 2017 Paige Vetter
Permission to copy for single classroom use only.
Electronic distribution limited to single classroom use only.
Not for public display.