In my continuing effort to change how and why teachers approach essay writing, I’ve come across some amazing resources. One of the most discussed posts was one I shared, via Sarah Donovan, via Three Teachers Talk: Three Reasons to Stop Teaching The Five Paragraph Essay .
I am a huge fan of John Warren’s writing, Why They Can’t Write: I believe it should be required reading and professional development by every high school English and History teacher (and Science, Math, PE, Orchestra, Art, etc.) for one important reason: he provides a road map to where our students are headed. If the five-paragraph essay is the only path and scaffold to instruct students on organization, we have lost our why. So, this is not a hit on the five-paragraph essay structure as much as it is a call to look closely at the why of explaining organization. Continuing the curation of mentor texts and redefining what an essay looks like is of utmost important to me. I am constantly striving to reconsider, rethink, and reflect on the practice of teaching and learning about writing.
Some of my previous posts on this topic:
And Shawna Coppola wrote Writing Redefined (and I’m kicking my lazy, procrastinating self for not getting to my own writing book) and provided this take on multimodal learning: https://threeteacherstalk.com/2020/03/04/the-power-of-multimodal-composition/ Multimodal is my thing. Here are some more mentor text examples of essays in the wild and using multimodal pathways to redefine what an essay is: