Transitions are like Waiters (DISTANCE LEARNING): Lesson for ANY Essay!

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Secondary Sara
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Now includes Google, PDF, *and* Office versions! Transitional words, phrases, or sentences are like great waiters: they improve the timing and flow of the entire meal (essay) to control your satisfaction.

Use this easy simile to teach your students why transitions matter and how to use them. This handout can be used as a full 45-minute lesson, an activity for a mini-lesson, or a writer’s workshop tool just to differentiate for the students who need it.

This handout (PDF, Google Slides, and editable PPT files), applicable to argumentative OR informative essays, was designed as an introduction for students who have not been taught this content before, but it also serves as a great review lesson for older students, or for any learner who just needs to hear something multiple times.

This lesson includes an introduction, definitions, a mentor text to see them used in context (an excerpt from an essay), a “recipe” checklist for good transitions, some words of caution, and then an immediate formative assessment opportunity.

Use this lesson to collect formative data in two ways. First, students attempt to write their own transitions; then, an exit ticket asks students to summarize what they have learned to see what stuck out to them and whether or not they “got it”.

Check out the entire series of lessons!

• FREE: Conclusions are like Dessert

Thesis Statements are like Menus

Introductions are like Free Samples

Body Paragraphs are like Courses

Evidence is like Seasoning

Proofreading is like Checking your Teeth

NOTE: This product is INCLUDED in my Five Paragraph Essay BUNDLE and is also featured in my Essay Mega Bundle! Check them out to save big!


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Total Pages
2+ pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
45 minutes
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Use words, phrases, and clauses to clarify the relationships among claim(s) and reasons.
Use appropriate transitions to clarify the relationships among ideas and concepts.
Use words, phrases, and clauses to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among claim(s), reasons, and evidence.
Use appropriate transitions to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among ideas and concepts.
Use words, phrases, and clauses to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence.


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