It would seem that the well-structured compositions that children write in dozens should evoke a sense of hunger for free expression. Here’s a theme, a pen, an approximate quantity – create it! Share your opinion! But is it so simple?
Any teacher who has ever seen the sadness in the eyes of a child meditating over a blank sheet of paper would agree with me that this could be a problem zone for students.
In this article, I will share with you a model for the presentation of a creative essay. Here are the main components of this model:
- preliminary discussion;
- the formation of personal involvement of students;
- putting the topic into context;
- providing clear and detailed evaluation criteria ;
- detailed feedback.
So, let’s look at the set of techniques available to each teacher to improve the quality of the student’s essay. For ease of reference, we will go through the students’ top quotes regarding such tasks in the order they appear in the lesson.
1. Denial. “I don’t think anything of it.”
“Really, not a thought in your head?” – We’re surprised. I wonder what you yourself are thinking right now about the environmental issue in South Africa. What about the last season of Formula 1? It’s highly probable that nothing and you would contact WriteMyPaper4me. Why is that?
In the absence of information, the subject of the essay simply doesn’t exist in the minds of the students or exists only nominally.
So, the answer is self-evident: a lack of information. You don’t know who the top three Formula 1 racers are or what the level of air pollution is in South Africa. In the same way, your student, due to age and experience, may banal not know the general list of professions that are available to him to write on the topic of his future profession – not to mention more specific topics.
Conclusion: hold a preliminary discussion during which the students will get acquainted with the factual background and basic concepts or will formulate them themselves, even if the general essay itself is concerned.
The preliminary notes will help them overcome the “fear of a clean page”.
2. Anger. “Why shall I write if I can tell? And what’s the weird topic?”
“Why shall I write?” Why to write – we know, but children may not know, and it is unlikely that a lecture on the formation of speech abilities through written expression will bring them closer to understanding. What should we do?
First of all, suggest that children observe themselves and compare the concentrated condition in which they are when writing something and the ” dispersed” condition when talking. Ask them: how could constant concentration improve their oral speech?
“What’s a stupid topic?” Something that we have no personal connection to is not supplied by our good brain any resources to perform. And what does the theme you propose have to do with a child’s life?
Maximize the personal involvement of your students on the topic.
3. Bidding. “Can we cut it down a bit and make one paragraph?”
A very deep problem may hide behind this question- there are no words to express a thought, and it is not only about foreign languages. Be sure to provide students with links to various texts on a similar topic, on which children can understand the context of the problem.
Another important point is to clearly state the criteria by which you will evaluate the essay. By giving children detailed and specific criteria for evaluating an essay, you encourage them to reread and correct it, thus developing their skills in speech reflection.
It has been proved that a situation of uncertainty (absence of evaluation criteria or their fuzziness) generates even more anxiety than an exaggerated emphasis on them.
Note that most of the techniques presented here are performed BEFORE the direct performance of the task.
Yes, this approach requires much more effort than just reading the manual. However, if your goal is not to turn every essay into a dry and hated by children exam, this model will undoubtedly justify your efforts.