How to Offer Students Choices on Essay Themes and Remain Sane
An article on banning sports, video games, and pets for middle school English essays got many by surprise in the near past. The majority of the teachers appreciate this development because they are the only topics students want to write on.
Some teachers reported that the ban had resulted in writing improvement by some students. Instead of banning students from writing on specific experiences, teachers ought to challenge them to do better. Many students, over time, have indeed written essays about the big game. However, it is unbelievable that a student will write a scintillating article about the same topic one day.
If there are reservations about the type of stories people can tell, then romance and Renaissance painter’s novelists will be in trouble. At all times, the trick is to fashion the story in a way you are able. You can offer a slice on one of the universal topics on regret, discovery, war, or love. This article talks about how students can go deep, take the work to the next stage, and still have some sanity through the process.
Similarly, teachers with the list of banned topics should work on these concepts with her students, but with exciting issues to begin. The teacher should only adopt what works for their classroom, which might mean pushing students out of their comfort zone and writing on topics they did not select.
- Allow your students to have a focus
Do not allow your students to narrate the whole story or even the entire season. Instead, allow them to write what they think the goalkeeper was thinking for the last few minutes. They can even write about how it feels to wear a uniform for the initial time or have a handshake with a team that defeated you.
- Switch perspectives
When you inform students from different points of view, often, they will grab inanimate objects. Moreover, they go-ahead to the author on the game from the scoreboard or ballpoint of view. While this can be fun and interesting to read, changes in perspective will go a long way to deepen their writing and nurture empathy.
- Increase sensory detail
When you get a flat essay on a big game, invite the writer to enhance the piece’s sensory details. It is a monumental task for novice writers, but a novelist achieves this on one page only. Beginner authors pay attention to visual details and forget to include sound, touch, smell, and taste.
- Get personal
Inquire from the writer who is narrating the story. Look at the possibility of anyone else from the team narrating the story. If this point of view is possible, then how can you tweak it to appear yours. Add features that can identify you from the crowd. For example, if your great-grandchildren found this piece in the dust, what features can he or she pinpoint to know it is you.
- Switch forms or genres
Does your student have the requisite skills to transform a boring essay on the big game into a heart-thumping mystery? A solution here is not to choose an alternative but to use a different format to expand the story the student is narrating.