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J/S high LA and computer teacher Alberta, Canada

I am with Richard but for a

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I am with Richard but for a different reason. When students know there is a "correct" answer then what ever they write is never good enough and they want the correct answer. How can they hope to complete with what someone else wrote?

I often have gr.9 students write an intro one day and then an ending to the same essay topic a different day. On a third day they write the body. Then they are free to make adjustments as needed.

Sometimes we write the body paragraphs, then a conclusion and then the intro. This shows them that they don't have to write the intro first. Many students find this a relief and it takes away the stress of essay writing.

Some fun topics I use are How to eat Spaghetti, My Super Powers, Convince your parents to let you have an odd pet-- skunk or hippopotamus or fly, etc., .

Essay Conclusions: A Kinesthetic Approach
I really like this approach for teaching conclusions and have helped my students attain great success using this. I found it years ago on the internet and made some modifications. Sorry I don't know where or the teacher who posted this.

Objective: Students
-will understand the essential elements of a conclusion.
-will write a coherent conclusion to an essay.
-will be able to identify the elements for a strong ending.

Materials: You the actor.

Lead-in: Stand in front of the class with my hand on her forehead, as though looking at an approaching train. Ask, "What am I doing?" After students comment, tell them I am demonstrating one of the essential elements of a strong conclusion; the writer must look to the future.

Procedure: I will use gestures to explain the four elements of a conclusion.

Use my hand to reach over my shoulder and pat my back. This represents the need to "touch back" to the main idea of the essay, as stated in the thesis paragraph.

Second, put my hand on my forehead and look right around to left to demonstrate the importance of looking to the future.

Third, hit my heart with my fist to signify the importance of going to the heart of the matter; What difference does it all make? Why should the reader care?

Finally, pull my arm back like I am about to let go of a slingshot while extending the other arm forward. This is the "zinger" or final statement that leaves the reader thinking, "Wow!"

After explaining the four conclusion elements, ask the class to join in and gesture along with me, "Touch back; look to the future; go to the heart; end with a zinger."

Invite the students to repeat the words for the actions, perform actions in rows, all boys, all girls, etc.

Assessment: Students can be assessed on the conclusions they write or rewrite using the 4 types.

I often ask for only 3/4. Sometimes I pick the 3, but mostly I let them pick 3 to use.

If you believe you originally wrote this or posted it please let me know.

Teacher trainer, English Language Fellow, Ibn Zohr University, Morocco

Ouch, you do realize that you

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Ouch, you do realize that you are preparing your students to write the kind of essay that most university composition teachers spend an entire semester trying to get your students to un-learn? Those first year comp classes will very likely ask your students to show how others have seen the issue, and then suggest that it fails to account for the subjective or objective perspective of the writer (that is, personal experience or observation). The conclusion will not be recapping information but a resolution of the original idea and the new information. A real essay (see Montaigne) is not pounding the reader on the head with 3 reasons and then (since by then, the reader is stunned) telling again what she was clearly too dumb to understand the first time. Instead, it is a conversation between two, intelligent beings. Try that with your students and you might be surprised how much better they write when they use their conversational skills and are asked to listen as well as speak.

Director, Antioch Center for School Renewal

This? Makes me so very, very

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This? Makes me so very, very happy. I struggled to teach conclusions both in writing and public speaking. I can't wait to share this with my former colleagues!

Producer LD Podcast, Digital Media Consultant, Author

I LOVE this! What a great

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I LOVE this! What a great idea! Or even have students write everything but the last paragraph, and have someone else write their conclusion... the possibilities are endless, and much more intriguing - sort of like everyone writing a paragraph in a story, moving it along.
I now want to try this myself- I've just got to find grownups who want to play along!

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