- Have students brainstorm times they have learned valuable lessons by modeling and/or freewriting about one particular experience when they learned a life lesson.
- Tell students that they are going to write a paragraph about a life lesson. Distribute the paragraph prompt.
- Discuss topic sentences and evaluate the topic sentences on the prompt.
- Have students explain what makes some of the topic sentences stronger than others.
- Note: You could use a Google Form, survey, or poll to have students rank or rate the topic sentences, such as this survey.
- Have students use the mind map to list words about their lesson. Then have them answer the questions in complete sentences.
- Model for students how to write the first draft of their paragraphs. Have them type their work on MS Word or Google Docs.
- Collect the first draft and provide feedback on content (title, topic sentence, organization/chronological, flow, details, transitions, and concluding sentence). Ask students to revise based on your feedback.
Note: At this point, you may choose to have students provide peer feedback by either reading aloud their paragraphs in small groups or distributing their paragraphs with questions to answer about their peers' writing, such as the following:
- Did the topic sentence grab your attention? If so, how? If not, how could it be better?
- Was the story easy to follow? If not, where did you get lost?
- What parts did you like?
- What parts were confusing?
- What questions do you have?
- Was the conclusion effective? If so, how? If not, what suggestion do you have for the writer to improve it?
- Make sure to model peer feedback so that students understand the purpose and the process.
After students have revised, collect their second drafts. If more revision on content is needed, provide feedback on content. If not, provide feedback on mechanics (grammar, spelling, punctuation, word order, etc.). It may be helpful at this point to collect common errors that students are making and teach a mini-lesson before students edit their work.