Wednesday, January 2, 2008

SRA Persuasive Essays

When I took over the SRA class about one month into last school year, I had many materials provided for me. I had a workbook from which I could assign exercises. The students already had classwork folders and a set routine. In some ways, I became a caretaker of the class. Yes, I helped the students, and sat with them and helped them to revisit and revise answers to questions. In a larger sense, however, I simply followed a formula that had been been previously provided for me and was, in a sense, individual-agnostic.

During my time in that class, however, I noticed a dearth of persuasive essay prompts. The students could work on the prompts found in the workbook, but there were only about three or four of them. My personal stamp on the class became the persuasive essays that I assigned to the students as practice. When I first realized that there were not many essay prompts, I thought of a few on the spot to help students who needed more practice. Later, I wrote down the prompts, so that I could choose from a list, rather than having to rethink each time. Finally, over the last month, I explicitly fleshed out my prompts and typed them into a tidy packet. I will make photocopies of this packet. On opening day of school, one copy of each of the prompts will be in every student's folder. Now, no one should be wanting for any more practice writing prompts.

To download and view a copy of the complete SRA persuasive essay packet, please click here.

Written: 8/17/07

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