Monday, September 2, 2013

Five Paragraph Essay Fun

Tuesday marks the start of the second week of my Composition and English 10 classes.  To start of the semester with my Composition students, I decided it would be best to start with the basics- the five paragraph essay.  Now, teaching the five paragraph essay raises A LOT of controversy in the English teaching world.  It seems like every English teacher has an opinion about whether the five paragraph method should be taught and how to do it.  I will admit, while I think it is important to provide the students with the knowledge of the framework of the five paragraph essay, I don't want to teach them such a structured format that the students literally "plug in" information, wrecking any chance for them to write with voice, exercise artistic freedom, or develop an appropriate and natural flow to their writing.  I suppose my theory follows Pablo Picasso's idea - "learn the rules like a pro so you can break them like an artist."

That said, I whipped up a Prezi presentation to present the five paragraph essay format to my students.  You can borrow the Prezi I used by clicking here.

As a fun way to test how well my students are understanding the information, I created a Five Paragraph Essay BINGO game, complete with four different BINGO cards and a corresponding question sheet for the teacher to read (answers are provided.)  This game also provides a nice gateway to a quick review of an terms and concepts that students still have questions about or have difficulty understanding.

A snazzy BINGO tip I learned from a veteran teacher in Tucson is to use plastic overhead projector sheets and whiteboard markers instead of trying to use small BINGO pieces that frequently get lost and/or become a distraction.  I found that regardless of the age of the students you are working with, the whiteboard markers seem to be an easier way to go.

Take a sneak peek at the download below.  If you like what you see, snag your own copy from my Teachers Pay Teacher's store!  Don't forget to leave me some kind feedback!  

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