“School Uniforms Essay.” That’s the title. Or maybe simply “Essay.” And just as likely— no title at all.
It’s time to teach them how to craft a title.
I love teaching students how to craft a title because most of the time a great title is right there in what they’ve already written. They just need to pull some powerful phrases from their writing and form them into a title using perhaps a colon and possibly their thesis statement/claim.
I model how to do this using an argumentative essay I wrote titled “Dancing Eyes: How One Teacher’s Moves Leads Others to Shine” (included in the download). This is an essay in which I argue a colleague, Mr. Jones, should be named teacher of the year. Students are able to see the title ideas I formed from words, lines, and phrases in my essay.
After completing this lesson, I require students to brainstorm at least three titles for their current piece of writing. Most of the time the titles are so good the students have a hard time choosing.
Give this crafting titles lesson a try and stop cringing at those non-titles on the top of your students’ papers.
*This lesson is best completed digitally, but I have included the Pdf for your convenience.