Teaching Critical Writing 2

One of my standard grade classes are writing critical essays on MacBeth at the moment.  The aim of Friday’s lesson was to reinforce what I had taught to them that week about contextualising and explaining quotations, and also to remind them of what they had learnt earlier in the year about topic sentences and the purpose of quotations.  

As the class entered the room and got organised I was writing a model paragraph.  The digital projector was on so the class could see exactly what I was doing as I was doing it.  This was not intentional, I should say; I simply hadn’t had time to write the paragraph earlier in the morning.  The results were fantastic though.  The pupils were curious about what I was doing and were interested to see me going through the writing process that they were about to carry out.  As I finished the paragraph I became aware that the class were having wee discussions about the paragraph and why it was good.  When I actually asked for comments everyone wanted to participate.  It was great!

Each feature of writing that they picked out was recorded on the paragraph using the review tool on Word and simple highlighting.  The annotated paragraph was then printed out and copied for each pupils to have a copy.  All in all a very satisfying lesson for all.

Have attached the annotated model paragraph.  The formatting has gone a bit weird – my home PC causing it, no doubt.  The section of text being commented on was easier to differentiate in the original.

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