I just got done writing the foreword (that’s the very fancy name for “I wrote the first page – I’m fancy like that….NOT!) for my new book on how to teach kids to write. If you had told me even two years ago I would be writing a book on writing, I would have told you to check into rehab for the profound drug problem you have. Seriously – you would HAVE to be smoking something pretty powerful to even consider me as a writing teacher.
But, I realized that “So..do you have any super easy -to-use books on how to teach writing?” was the most common question I was asked. And, quite honestly, telling people that teaching writing was not my area of expertise got kinda old.
So, I started figuring out what questions I had about writing (which was basically everything) and I realized that teaching writing should be as simplified as teaching reading is. It’s really a series of steps that, when taught over and over and over again, became automatic for kids.
Long story longer (I love it when people say that because it means that they intend to drone on and on and on even more…guilty as charged…have you met me?), I put together all of the things I figured out how to do to teach any kid how to write. And you know what? It’s hard.
But it’s do-able! In fact, it’s super do-able. As in, if I can do it, you can DEFINITELY do it. Like for reals.
So, I’m going to share with you some huge lightbulb moments for me – you know, the things that you learn and you silently think, “Umm…I don’t know HOW I taught this before because I was obviously a total dork.” You see…the real thing is? Learning how to teach things is a process – and I don’t really care what you knew how to yesterday as long as you learn what you need to to make your teaching better today.
I hope that you start here with how to write a thesis statement…the easy and super duper simple way.
Grab a piece of paper and try it for yourself! (I gave you a sample in italics next to each step so you can see what I’m talking about!)
Step 1: State the Topic/Answer to the Main Question that will be Answered. (Football is a popular sport for middle school boys.)
Step 2: State the Topic/Answer to the Main Question that will be Answered. (Football is an important sport for middle school boys to play because it helps use their strategic thinking and physical strength.)
Step 3: Give One Point/Reason in Support of your Idea. (Middle school boys have a lot of energy that they need to get out of their system.)
Step 4: Give the Next Point/Reason in Support of your Idea. (Middle school boys can get energy out of their system while using their brains for strategic thinking about the plays against the opposing team.)
Step 5: Give the Last Point/Reason in Support of your Idea. (Middle school boys can use football as a structured alternative to fighting or inappropriate physical contact throughout the school day.)
Step 6: List One Possible Opposing Point/Reason. (Football is mindless and too dangerous for young boys to play.)
Step 7: Pop your responses into the thesis frame here:
______(insert Step 2 response)___________ is important because _______(insert Step 3 response)_______________, _______(insert Step 4 response)_______________ and _______(insert Step 5 response)_______________.
And then here’s my completed sample: Football is an important sport for middle school boys to play because it helps them use their strategic thinking and their physical strength. Middle school boys can use football as a structured alternative to fighting or inappropriate physical contact throughout the school day. They can also get energy out of their systems while using their brains for strategic thinking about the plays against the opposing team.