Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8, 9-12

This lesson accompanies the BrainPOP topic, Five-Paragraph Essay, and addresses standards about developing an organized piece of writing with a clear thesis, relevant details, and a concluding statement. Students demonstrate understanding through a variety of creative projects.

Step 1: ACTIVATE PRIOR KNOWLEDGE

As a class, or individually, have students read Tim’s model essay, The Case For a Longer School Year

Ask:

  • What argument is Tim making in his essay?
  • What are his reasons or evidence for his argument?
  • Is Tim’s argument persuasive? Why or why not?
  • What is the purpose of the first paragraph? middle paragraphs? Last paragraph?

Step 2: BUILD BACKGROUND

  • Read aloud the description below the Movie player.
  • Play the Movie, pausing to check for understanding.
  • Pair students and have them read one of the two Related Readings articles, then share what they learned with each other.

Step 3: APPLY

Students synthesize their ideas and express them through one or more of the following creative projects. They can work individually or collaborate.

  • Make-a-Movie: Produce a movie where you present a persuasive argument that follows the format of a five-paragraph essay.
  • Make-a-Map: Create a concept map that shows the features of each paragraph in a five-paragraph essay.
  • Creative Coding: Code a meme that shows the benefits of using the five-paragraph essay format.

Step 4: REFLECT & ASSESS 

  • Reflect: After sharing creative projects with each other, students reflect on what they’ve learned about the five-paragraph essay. Prompt them by asking questions such as:
    • How will using the five-paragraph essay format make your writing more convincing? 
    • Where have you seen examples of arguments constructed in ways similar to the five-paragraph essay formula?
  • Assess: Wrap up the lesson with a Five-Paragraph Essay Quiz.
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