How To Teach the Five Paragraph Essay
This argument is interesting not only in the content, but the perspective of the authors. These people teach adults mostly (that includes older teens as well). I have forty years of experience teaching elementary students to write. Try teaching a child or a group of children to write a paragraph in 2nd grade without a frame structure for them to follow. Basic sentence structure and basic non-fiction paragraph structure must be taught directly with many models and frames of how to put it together. It is very hard work. You teach main idea, basic points, details on the points and a conclusion. If you do not teach this structure, students do not learn how to write, period. The 5 paragraph essay is not the frame you use for narrative writing or poetry, so to say it does not work for all forms of writing is forgetting this fact. The 5 paragraph essay is a teaching tool for beginning writers. What grows from the frames through the early grades begins to branch out in the upper grades. The five paragraph essay for expository writing shows up in 5th grade or so. At this level, students are expected to be able to put together an essay that makes sense. At this point is when you start building the expression of voice and color in a writing piece. In middle school, we are still teaching basic writing formats, but with much expanded structures and expectations of individual expression. The 5 paragraph structure has a place, particularly with beginning writers of all ages. To expound on the benefits of more free style writing and not include ages and skill levels, leaves the argument half baked. Articles like these get read by elementary principals who fail to notice that the authors are not teaching children, but young adults, and could impose this on classrooms- get rid of frames, structures, and the 5 paragraph essay and leave young writers with no structure to follow. This does damage.
This whole argument reminds me of the argument in the 1990’s about “Whole Language” and “Phonics”. People thought it was an either or. Many threw out phonics. The truth is that the kids need both. This is true for writing also.
Five Paragraph Essay Outline Template
For standardized tests, students usually have to write a five paragraph essay, which should be 500 to 800 words long and include an introductory paragraph, three supporting paragraphs and a concluding paragraph.
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There’s nothing magical about five paragraph essays, either in the length or in the exact structure, but they are an excellent start to learning to write more developed essays for middle-schoolers and above. Before you begin teaching the five paragraph essay, you’ll want to give your student lots of practice with book reports, one paragraph summaries, and short fact based papers. Before they begin writing, they can also outline their thoughts in preparation for the essay. Here is a simple form for beginners to fill in. or on the picture if you’d like this printable.Most, if not all, high school and college standardized tests include a writing portion. Students are provided a writing prompt and must then write an essay on the topic. Writing for standardized tests can strike fear in the hearts and minds of students of all ages, but it doesn’t have to. If you know what to expect and understand how to write a five paragraph essay, you will be prepared to tackle any essay writing prompt.The reason five paragraph essays are so great for developing writers is because of the high level of structure. You are told exactly what goes where and in which order to put it. As a student just beginning that structure is absolutely necessary. It is true that before you can break the rules you have to understand them well and that is what the five paragraph essay does – it gives a great foundation for the rules so that students become comfortable with the rules and feel confident in their writing.As soon as a writer keeps these 5 paragraph essay outline pointers in mind, he would have no problem producing a well written five paragraph essay that his readers would certainly enjoy.My son’s first five paragraph essay was on “Mistakes My Parents Make That I Will Not.” We purposely kept it light and fun since this was an intimidating writing project to begin with.An artful attempt, but this does not ‘decimate’ the five paragraph essay. It only misses the point and context of it. I’ve seen many essays displaying creativity and cognitive organization which have laid the groundwork for more advanced writing. A myopic view of the form is more than likely to yield limited results.Writing a good essay is key to success in school -- period. However, some students never get the hang of it. Following this outline will help students write a great five paragraph essay and hopefully receive an A on their next assignment.Although not the only way to structure an essay, the 5 paragraph essay is a classic format and is easy to follow, especially for those who are new to the writing process. The structure of a five paragraph essay typically begins with an introduction, followed by three paragraphs that each deal with one main idea only. One idea per paragraph prevents too many ideas in one paragraph which can make an essay confusing to read. The last paragraph is a conclusion.