Expository Essay Writing Scaffold 7th Grade

Writing essay for middle school is the base for an essay on school in higher grades. These middle school essay topics can cover one to five paragraphs, so they don’t need to be too long.

Middle school essay examples include a variety of short essays such as narrative, persuasive and analytical. The middle school essay format is simple and fairly easy to work with on each of these styles.

To write a middle school essay outline the first step is to identify the type of essay you need to write. Usually Middle school essays topics are designed to focus very specifically on a single story or to delve into one particular topic.

The most common type of essay for middle school s usually 5 paragraph essay. Like most essay structures, the 5 paragraph essay uses an introduction, a body and a conclusion. It’s a nice, easy essay format to follow and allows students to focus on the topic they are writing about.

The Introduction

Your introduction is where you present what the middle school essay is about. The introduction will contain a thesis statement. A thesis statement or essay hook is usually one sentence that summarizes the main point of the essay.

The Body

The majority of the content will be contained in the body. In the 5 paragraph essay, the body is three paragraphs long. Each paragraph includes one supporting point that provides more information or proof about your thesis statement.

Transition each paragraph in the body into the next. Transition words work well for this and middle school essays are the perfect place for students to practice using their transitions and making sure the essay is easily read.

The Conclusion

The conclusion of a short essay should be the most memorable part for a reader. In the conclusion, you summarize the main points of the essay. The conclusion can summarize the introduction or thesis statement by rewording it.

Finally, before turning the middle school essay in, you should proofread it and correct any errors in grammar, spelling and readability.

This article is the second in a two-part series on supporting ELL literacy, sponsored by Middlebury Interactive Languages. Click here to read the first post in the series.

In recent years, many schools have raised the bar on writing instruction. We now expect middle and high school students to do the kind of written analysis and critique that was once limited to the college classroom.

When you teach English-language learners (ELLs), the concern is that this kind of increased expectation can lead to an even wider achievement gap. That’s why we recently asked educators in our WeAreTeachers Helpline group to share their best tips for scaffolding writing instruction for ELLs at the secondary level. Here’s what they had to say:

  1. Consider writing in their native languages: If your students are at “entering” or “beginning” WIDA levels, you might consider allowing them to write in their native languages and then to use a translator app or tool to interpret their work. Be sure to spend some time comparing the two versions side by side so that students can begin to see what their ideas and thought processes look like in English.
  2. Use dictation: “I have students use Dragon Dictation to dictate their responses out loud,” says teacher Erin M. “Then I work with the students to teach them to group topics together into paragraphs and to use a dictionary and thesaurus to add detail words.”
  3. Review writing prompts: “I give ELL students the same writing assignments as the rest of the kids, but I make sure to define any unfamiliar words in the prompt itself,” says Emily B. Do a verbal check for understanding before students start writing to avoid confusion and frustration down the road.
  4. Give students sentence stems: It’s a good idea to give students sentence stems and phrases for the different types of writing you will be doing all year long. So provide a narrative-writing word bank, an argumentative word bank and an informational word bank, for example.
  5. Encourage outlining: If writing full sentences is a challenge, encourage outlining as a first step. “I had a student who couldn’t write a paragraph in 11th grade,” says Lauren P. “So I gave him the same assignments but had him bullet-point his ideas. We then worked one-on-one to form sentences. We started with just one well-developed paragraph, but as the year progressed, he’d write a little more.”
  6. Provide models from literature: “For example,” says Erin. M., “if we were writing a reflective piece, I would show them paragraphs or selections from favorite books or articles that were reflective to use as examples for structure and even word use.”
  7. Try the four-square writing method: In this model, students simply divide a piece of paper into four sections to use as a graphic organizer for persuasive or informational writing. They write their topic/argument at the center and then one reason or claim with supporting details in each of the four boxes. As students progress, you can encourage them to add more details and evidence to their graphic organizers.
  8. Grade selectively: Choose one or two skills that you want to target for each writing assignment, and focus the majority of your grading and commentary on those skills. For English-language learners, sometimes those skills might be about language acquisition (e.g., vocabulary, syntax), and other times, you might want to focus on a deeper understanding of writing (e.g., argument building).

Want more support for your English-language learners? Learn more about Middlebury Interactive Languages’ exciting new curriculum focused on closing the ELL achievement gap.

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