Middle School

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Enjoy using the PowerPoints to explore how fun reading and writing can be!

Writing to Test Prompts

In this era of testing, children often become concerned about having to write a response based on a prompt. But prompts can be a lot of fun! Use the PowerPoints below to help students learn easy steps that will help plan responses to prompts.

Teachers can decide at all grade levels if the activity will end with the pre-writing stage or will be developed into a full writing activity. I do strongly suggest that you allow the students to choose what prompts they want to complete.Studies show that students work best when they have some amount of choice in the classroom. The choice does not have to be big; simply allowing students to choose who they want to partner with or which prompt the would like to answer can make a big difference in their effort.

Of course, in a testing situation, and when you are practicing "on demand" writing, students will not have a choice. However, most work situations are similar to these two scenarios. There are times at work when you have a choice on what you would like to accomplish, and there are times when you are required to produce a specific product. Discussing how having a choice and having no choice is a life skill that will help them be ready for the real world may help some students (and I stress some!) understand the importance of working hard in both situations.

And don't forget to have fun!

Responding to a Quotation:

On some assessments, students in grades 6 through 12 may be asked to respond to a quote. This exercise actually can be utilized to help students develop exemplary writing skills. An excellent method of writing an introduction to an essay is by using a quote to hook the reader. These PowerPoints will help students identify the various types of quotes, decide how to respond to these types of quotes, and have a strategy to answer a quote that is unclear. Teachers can print out these PowerPoints in "Notes" format to access notes to make the presentation.

Writing to a Prompt: The Persuasive Essay

Similarly, students in grades 6 though 12 may be asked to respond to a prompt that requires the student to persuade others. When the writer takes a clear stance, the person reading the essay will at least accept that the writer has made several valid points. A simple strategy to set up a persuasive essay is to state what the opposition thinks and then explain why the writer thinks the opposition is incorrect. Often, these types of prompts require students to write a letter to someone. Therefore, the examples provided are in letter form. Notes are also provided for this presentation.

Besides the presentation, there are also two word documents that are directly from the presentation. Students are encouraged to use the persuasive essays presented and make them stronger by adding figurative language to each paragraph. By adding figurative language to something already written, students will be able to practice revising skills and will be less likely to resist writing.

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