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This resource includes 5 unique text-based writing prompts (2 informational, 2 opinion, and 1 narrative). Students will read two non-fiction articles about cocoa farming in West Africa and its connections to deforestation and child labor. They will use the information from the articles to write evidence-based responses. The prompts are printed 4 to a page to save on printing costs and for students to glue into their writing notebooks.
I have hyperlinked to the articles within this resource, rather than including the actual text within the resource for copyright reasons. The articles come from NewsELA which is a FREE site.
If your students struggle with reading and understanding complex writing prompts, giving them practice reading closely and breaking down the prompt will help them improve their ability to comprehend what the task is telling them to do.
This is a great practice resource to use in your writing units, or you can also use it as a test prep resource for SBAC, PARCC or other standardized writing tests. So much of a student's success on those types of tests is just in understanding WHAT the question or task is telling them to do. This resource will give your kids that needed practice and help build their abilities.
I first started teaching students how to read and understand complex writing prompts when I was a middle school ELA teacher. The first year my PLC and I implemented this, our state writing scores skyrocketed! And they continued to improve as we continued specifically teaching kids how to close read and break down the directions in writing prompts.
The students went from feeling frustrated before they even began to feeling successful and confident in what they needed to write. My students this year even ASK to practice close reading writing prompts now! They love that lightbulb feeling of knowing exactly what they're supposed to do.