When it comes to teaching writing, there is just so much to teach. To build strong writers, students need to be well-versed in sentence structure, grammar, and how to organize their ideas, just to name a few skills. One of the best ways to teach middle school ELA and high school English students to become stronger writers is by focusing on specific skills one at a time. This way, students are not overwhelmed, and teachers can more easily assess a certain writing skill.
Here is a look at ten resources middle school ELA and high school English teachers can use to help build strong writers.
Introduction and Thesis Statment Teaching Unit
Teaching students how to write a thesis statement is a crucial step in the essay writing process. Whenever I begin a new essay with my students, I always take some time to review thesis statement writing with my students by using this thesis statement teaching unit. This teaching unit comes with an editable presentation and student resources. This unit is also available in a money-saving bundle with print and digital teaching files: Essay Writing Teaching Unit.
|Thesis Statement and Introduction Writing Unit|
Topic Sentence and Body Paragraph Teaching Unit
Regarding paragraph writing, the topic sentence is one of the most important sentences of the entire paragraph. To ensure students stay focused and on-topic, learning how to write an effective topic sentence can make a huge difference. This topic sentence and body paragraph teaching unit comes with an editable presentation and student resources. This unit is also available in a money-saving bundle that includes both the print and digital teaching files: Essay Writing Teaching Unit.
|Topic Sentences and Body Paragraphs Unit|
Sentence Structure Teaching Unit
One of the best ways to help students improve their writing is to help them make it flow better. To do so, students need to learn about the four sentence types and how to vary them in their own writing. This sentence structure teaching unit teaches students about simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex sentences to help students learn how to expand their writing. This teaching unit comes with an editable presentation and student resources, and it is also available in a money-saving bundle: Sentence Structure Bundle.
|Sentence Structure Teaching Unit|
Writing Spotlight: Writing About a Quote
As students progress in their writing, it is time to help them level up to become even stronger writers. To do so, I like to use this writing spotlight lesson to teach my students how to write effective commentary sentences. By avoiding phrases like “this quote shows” and by using specific language instead, students’ writing improves drastically. This resource is for you if you are ready to help your students level up their writing. This resource comes in a money-saving bundle with print and digital teaching files: Writing Spotlight Bundle.
|Writing about Quotes Lesson|
Embedding Quotes Teaching Unit
Students struggle with this skill. Properly embedding quotes in their writing seamlessly takes time and practice. This embedding quote teaching resource introduces students to various ways to embed quotes into their writing. It also provides them with opportunities to practice the skill before trying it with their own writing. This teaching unit is one that you will go back to year after year.
|Embedding quotes lesson|
Independent and Dependent Clauses
Another skill that students need to know to become stronger writers is the difference between independent and dependent clauses. And while students learn about this in elementary school, it doesn’t always stick. I like to use this independent and dependent clauses teaching unit as a quick refresher to help students stop writing with fragments or run-on sentences.
|Independent and Dependent Clauses Unit|
Writing Spotlight: Writing in the Literary Present
Once my students begin to really demonstrate writing mastery, I take my writing instruction to the next level and challenge my stronger writers. To do so, I’ll use this writing spotlight resource and have them make sure that their writing is all in the third person or that they use the literary present tense on top of everything else I’ve taught them. By doing so, I am slowly building strong writers. This resource is for you if you are ready to help your students level up their writing. This resource comes in a money-saving bundle with print and digital teaching files: Writing Spotlight Bundle.
|Writing in the Literary Present Unit|
Descriptive Writing Teaching Unit
Adding more descriptive language to their writing is another way that students can become stronger writers. In this descriptive writing teaching unit, students will learn all about adding in sensory details and using strong verbs to add more description and details to their writing.
|Descriptive Writing Teaching Unit|
Peer Editing Stations and Rotations
One way to help students become stronger writers is by having them read and analyze their peers’ writing. This peer review station activity is great because students will read other students’ writing and check it for details.
|Peer Editing Stations|
Sentence Combining Bell Ringers
Looking for a quick way to get students to write every class period? Try sentence combining bell ringers. There are more than enough bell ringers to use for the entire school year, and each class period students will work to combine a series of simple sentences into strong compound-complex sentences without changing the meaning of the original passage. By working on sentence combining each day, students will gain more confidence in their writing.
|Sentence Combining Bell Ringers|