Writing Workshop for Middle School: Teaching Students to Write Effective Essays

Created ByMarilyn Pryle
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This book gives an in-depth description of 10 expository writing assignments to be used alone or in a writing workshop setting. Each writing assignment includes a description, 3 mini-lessons, an assignment sheet for students (with checkboxes), a rubric, brainstorming sheets and mentor texts (also called sample reading). I also explain how to set up and maintain a writing workshop, and how the 10 assignments and mini-lessons are scaffolded in order to progress in complexity as the year goes on. I also discuss test preparation for essay writing on standardized tests. Here is the Table of Contents:

Chapter 1: Starting Out
How to Use This Book
The Classroom

Chapter 2: Up and Running
The Workshop in Motion
Grading
Desk Time and Conferencing
Notebooks
Minilessons
Editing/Revising Checksheets

Chapter 3: Essay Prep
What is an Essay?
Topics for Writing

Chapter 4: Assignment #1: Introductory Letter

Chapter 5: Assignment #2: Process Essay

Chapter 6: Assignment #3: Compare & Contrast Essay

Chapter 7: Assignment #4: Persuasive Essay

Chapter 8: Assignment #5: Letter for Social Change

Chapter 9: Assignment #6: Book Review

Chapter 10: Assignment #7: Arts Review

Chapter 11: Assignment #8: Personal Essay

Chapter 12: Assignment #9: Short Story Analysis

Chapter 13: Assignment #10: Analysis of a Poem

Chapter 14: Final Preparations for the Test

Appendix A: Forms to Photocopy
Spelling Practice Sheet
Editing/Revising Checksheet 1
Editing/Revising Checksheet 2
Editing/Revising Checksheet 3
Editing/Revising Checksheet 4

Appendix B: Minilesson Quick Reference

Appendix C: Additional Minilesson Supplements
Persuasive Essay General Topics
Words Instead of “Said”
List of Additional Poem Titles Arranged by Poetic Technique
to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences.
Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.
Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
Total Pages
177 pages
Answer Key
N/A
Teaching Duration
N/A
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