When it comes to teaching argument essays in the high school English classroom, I prefer to provide the students with some choice for their essay topics. By including students in the essay topic selection process, they feel more included in the process, but they will also be more engaged because they will feel like they have a say in their assignment. When assigning a hot topic or controversial issue argumentative essay , I always let students select a topic in which they are passionate. However, I also make it clear that their topic cannot be discriminatory or hateful in any way and that they must fund valid and credible evidence to back up their claims. When I do this in the classroom, I also like to make sure that only one student per class has the same topic. I unusually have essay topic sign-ups in two different ways, and both are first come first serve. One way that works is that I usually open up topic selection either before or after school. The students know about the day in a...
One of the simplest ways to get to know your new students at the start of a new school year is to have them write about themselves. This is one of the reasons why I typically assign a personal narrative essay or personal statement within the first couple of weeks of school. I don’t grade these essays critically, and I don’t look for specific grammatical errors, either. Instead, I am interested in getting to know my students. I want to know who they are. I want to know where they come from. I want to know what they’ve experienced. I want to know their hopes, their dreams, their failures, and their fears. Getting to know my students through their personal narratives allows me to have a glimpse into their life –one that if often times very beneficial for me as their English teacher. Assigning a personal narrative at the beginning of the school year doesn’t have to mean assigning a full, five-paragraph essay. These personal narratives can be anywhere between a sentence lo...