Mini Lesson On Thesis Statement Middle School

Lesson Topic:

·Thesis statement

Learning Objectives:What should students be able to do at the end of this lesson?

·The student will write a thesis statement for their research paper.


Materials Needed:

·Steps to Writing a Research Paper PPT

·Thesis Statement PPT

·Thesis(document for reference)

·The Thesis Machine

·Research Paper Graphic Organizer.

·Prior to class have chart paper filled out with the Thesis Machine Formula.

Level of Bloom’s Taxonomy:


Background information: what do I need to know to teach this lesson?

Instructional Procedures:How will I…?

…recall prior relevant information?Make connections to prior learning?


….present new material?

·Begin the lesson by having the students pull out their questions graphic organizer and their brainstorming web.Explain to the students that these brainstorming pieces will help guide them to determining a position statement, which will be their thesis statement.They will need to look through the brainstorming to find a position on their topic.For example, I could have brainstormed about apples and decided to write about how I think apples are colorful, juicy and delicious.My thesis statement would support my opinion that apples are the best fruit because they are colorful, healthy, and delicious!

·Show the students the powerpoint that shows Step 3 – writing a thesis statement.Go over this slide briefly and then jump to the powerpoint on writing a thesis statement.

·The writing a thesis statement powerpoint shows examples to the students on how to take a position on what they are writing about.The students will learn that they must state their opinion in the thesis statement and then at the very end of the powerpoint there is a “formula†for writing a basic thesis statement.

·Give the students the handout that has the formula on it and have them work on their thesis statement based on the formula.

·Prior to class write the formula on a piece of chart paper.Go over the formula with the students using the apply idea.Show the students how to use the formula step by step one more time – this time they should be writing their ideas with you while you are writing on the chart paper about apples.Show the students how to reference their idea webs and questions while formulating the thesis.

·After the students have had their thesis statement okayed by the teacher they need to copyit over to the Research Paper Graphic Organizer.Then they need to put their three sub ideas from their idea webs, onto that graphic organizer.


This year’s writing instruction will focus on the pursuit of good writing, with explicit instruction to help students begin to master some of the complex and nuanced qualities of exceptional writing. The goal is for students to improve their writing and simultaneously develop myriad approaches to writing that empower students to effectively evaluate and improve their own writing and thinking. To this end, students will participate in writing workshops of at least forty-five minutes three to five times a week.

The writing workshop begins with a mini-lesson of five to thirty minutes and continues with independent writing, during which time I circulate among writers and meet with individuals or small groups. At any point during the writing workshop, students may share their written work in progress and receive constructive feedback from their peers and me. The writing workshop may conclude with this oral student sharing of written work, with a group discussion of what writers accomplished or what problems emerged, with my observations, or with a follow-up to the mini-lesson. The writing workshop is a quiet and productive period. Writing is thinking so silence is needed to help all writers think and write well. The only noise besides pencils moving across paper is the quiet talking that occurs during writing conferences. During the writing workshop, students develop most of their own writing projects, even during genre studies, writing passionately about what matters most to them.

The writing workshop mini-lessons provide a writing course of study. They draw on a combination of impromptu lessons based on student need and lessons that incorporate key writing instruction critical for every sixth grade student. This year’s mini-lessons have been amassed from a wide variety of sources over the past two decades, but the core of most of the lessons has been informed by Nancie Atwell’s work with junior high school writers and generously shared in her books, In the Middle: New Understandings about Writing, Reading, and Learning and Lessons that Change Writers. Other key resources have been the Resources for Teaching Writing developed by Lucy Calkins with her colleagues from the Reading and Writing Project, as well as the work of Old Adobe Union School District’s writing liaison group, with whom I worked to help enhance our Wonders of Writing program.

The mini-lessons fall into four distinct categories: lessons about topics, lessons about principles of writing, lessons about genres, and lessons about conventions (please note that sometimes conventions will be taught out of the context of writing mini-lessons as separate grammar lessons). Each day’s mini-lesson is akin to a group writing conference, where students share problems they are having as writers, determine solutions to writing problems, evaluate examples of outstanding writing, learn strategies for developing topics, learn and try different genres of writing, develop and experiment with literary techniques, and gain a better mastery and understanding of conventions.

During the daily mini-lesson, students will take notes in their writing binders so that throughout the course of the year, they may refer back to what they’ve learned to inform their writing in an ongoing manner. Students will also create a mini-lessons table of contents for ease of later reference. Some, but by no means all, of the writing mini-lessons are posted here.

The Writing WorkshopHow to Write Compelling Fiction, Short Story Structure
What Is Writing?Ways to Develop a Character
Heart MappingGrounding Dialogue in Scenes
Writing TerritoriesSetting, More than Just a Backdrop
Advice to PoetsSetting Exploration, Stepping into the Picture
Where Poetry HidesPlotting with Tools, Part 1
Good TitlesPlotting with Tools, Part 2
Proofreading for SpellingHow to Write Compelling Fiction, A Second Look
The Rule of Write about a PebbleReview, Short Fiction Resources and Techniques
The Power of IStudent Fictional Narrative Samples
Beware the ParticipleTraveling Back, Historical Fiction
Engaging Beginnings/Leads, Begin InsideStudent Historical Fiction Samples
The Rule of So What?Essay Genre
Conclusions, End StronglyEssays, How Do I Scratch the Itch?
Breaking Lines and Stanzas and PunctuatingThesis Statements
Cut to the BoneEssay Organization and Planning
Use RepetitionSome Transition Words and Phrases
Figurative Language, Two Things at OnceConclusions, Experiment with Essay Conclusions
Some Additional Literary DevicesResponse to Literature Genre
Polishing Poems and ProseResponse to Literature Components and Organization
Poetry GenreCritical Review Genre
Free Verse PoetryEffective Critical Book Reviews
Spoken Word PoetryCritical Review, A Beginner’s Guide
Where I’m From, Poetry of Place and IdentityCritical Review Components and Organization
Paint Me Like I Am, Poetry of IdentityThe Vocabulary of Critical Review
The Marks We Leave, Poetry of LegacyCritical Review, Beyond Book Reviews
Vanquishing the Monster, Poetry of EmpowermentTroubleshooting, Surefire Ways to Weaken Your Writing
Passionate Pontification, Poetry of Fervent VoiceHow a Thesaurus Can Help
Praise Poetry, Celebration of IdentityThe Truth aboutI before E
Student Free Verse SamplesSome Foreign Words Used in English Texts
Some Additional Poetic FormsRoot Words and Prefixes
Personal Narrative GenreSuffixes, To Double or Not
Questions for Personal Narrative WritersOther Suffix Rules That Mostly Work
Effective and Ineffective Personal NarrativesA Brief History of Some Common Punctuation Marks
Drawing and Talking to Find TopicsEssential Punctuation Information
Narrowing the TopicHow to Correct Comma Splices
Narrative Engaging Beginnings/LeadsHow to Punctuate Dialogue
Manipulate PacingHomonyms
The Rule of Thoughts and FeelingsFour Capitalization Confusions
Conclusions, Reflective CloseWriting Numbers
Student Personal Narrative SamplesIndicating Titles
Fictional Narrative GenreMe or I?
What’s Easy about Writing Bad Fiction?Who or Whom?
What’s Hard about Writing Good Fiction?Yours, Mine, and Ours
Problems to Explore in FictionReflect and Intensify
The Main Character QuestionnaireVague Confusion
Character Exploration, Stepping into the PictureDaily Editing and Vocabulary Exercises
Considerations in Creating a Character

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