Thesis Statement Teacher Resources

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Growing writers explore what it takes to develop and support a thesis statement with pre-fabricated ideas provided by the Virginia Department of Education. Learners take notes on what makes a thesis statement and a topic sentence, and move into a group effort where the paragraph crafters develop the parts of a paragraph from the given prompt (or one developed by the educator) and assemble the labor into a clear piece of writing. The activity is enforced by a worksheet where the thesis statement, topic sentence and supporting details are scattered and must be reassembled into a proper paragraph. Strategies for differentiation are available.    
Help your young writers produce high-quality topic and thesis statements that go beyond basic wording and really illustrate complex ideas and critical thinking skills. From however and compound sentence statements to using rhetorical questions and quotations, this instructional activity includes 11 methods for writing topic sentences. Prompt learners to try a few specific methods to convey a single idea, and then reflect on which one works best given the style and audience of their assignment!
Here is an inventive, and easy-to-implement lesson on the writing of topic sentences. Learners review what a topic sentence is, practice identifying topic sentences in an informational article, then play a really cool game. All of the worksheets and instructions needed for the game are embedded in this engaging plan. The four-page plan would be an ideal choice when teaching this important writing concept to your elementary schoolers.
Revision is an important part of the writing process. Focus on revising topic sentences and details with the plan described here. This is part of a unit, so pupils have already filled out a graphic organizer about traveling libraries that is part of a bookmark project. The activity lays out a plan for modeling and revision that asks writers to put their outlines into paragraph form as they improve their writing. This is a strategy that could be used outside of this unit.
At 32 slides, one would think this presentation on thesis statements is a bit too long, but it is the most important component of a well-written essay! Help your developing writers craft concise, interesting theses with this PowerPoint. Some common mistakes are introduced (using the first person, unclear language, stating a fact, etc.), and your class has to brainstorm how to fix it. Several slides of practice are included to ensure your kids walk away with a better sense of how to write an effective thesis statement. 
Essay drafts always have room for improvement. Show your pupils the holes in their essays by presenting the video (or matching slide show), or using the technique presented here as a model for your own teaching. In order to improve her argument, the narrator highlights the main points in one of her topic sentences, each point in a different color, and then highlights the corresponding evidence for each main point. She finds places to add evidence, and models how to revise. An excellent demonstration of how to strengthen an argumentative essay.
Eighth graders read copies of The Declaration of Independence, United States constitution, and the Bill of Rights. They write an opinion about the document they feel is most important in the history of the united states. This is their thesis statement. Students write essays supporting their opinions.
Distinguishing between topic sentences and supporting details is the challenge presented here. Learners examine pairs of sentences and label one the topic sentence and the other a supporting detail sentence. The exercise could be used as extra practice or to check for understanding.
Students rearrange three groups of sentences within three paragraphs in numerical order. In this topic sentences activity, students write a topic sentence for three already formed paragraphs and write three original topic sentences for five prompts. An unusually good activity!
The thesis is arguably the most important part of an essay. Go from purpose statement to thesis statement by following the steps in the video or presentation. The lesson plan focuses in particular on developing the argument portion of the thesis, leaving the sub-points for later. Part of a series of videos about persuasive writing, the activities here build upon previous lessons in a logical way that will help young writers unpack prompts and write effective essays. Take a glance at the provided presentation and coach's commentary for additional materials and explanation.
After reading on the topic of their paper, high schoolers work in pairs to assess how to write powerful, precise thesis statements. The introduction contains three statements: a universal statement, a bridge statement, and a thesis statement. The instructional activity is designed for research projects, but it could translate well to any essay that involves stating a claim or argument.
As a writer, if you have a weak introductory paragraph or thesis statement, you might lose your audience! Have your middle and high schoolers practice writing introductory paragraphs that include clear thesis statements in response to document based questions. Use this lesson plan to work on writing essays for document-based question, as well as to reinforce the concept of a strong thesis statement and introductory claim.
Students write a topic sentence to a paragraph and explain that it introduces the main idea. After a whole-class demonstration, students write a complete paragraph with their topic sentence and supporting sentences. There are some excellent examples of student work, and an idea for a graphic organizer, embedded in this plan. Very nice!
Upper elementary language arts classes practice identifying the topic sentence and supporting detail in a text. They read a nonfiction passage about a new communication invention, and write the topic sentence with three supporting details. Students also plan their own piece of writing on a graphic organizer.
In this content-area writing prompt worksheet, students sharpen their writing skills as they select 1 of 4 listed content-area writing prompts to complete. Students respond to 6 questions that require them to write topic sentences.
A strong thesis statement sets the tone for any piece of expository writing. In the second instructional activity of this series, young writers follow a step-by-step process to narrow down their topics and create an argumentative statement that can be supported with details. Warn learners against writing the words I think, but instead encourage them to state their opinions as if they were facts. Generate additional examples that model both strong and weak thesis statements to further support learners with this difficult stage of the writing process.
High school writers identify the purpose of both a topic sentence and a transitional statement. They write a topic sentence which denotes the paragraph topic and the author's stand on that topic. Then they write an effective transitional statement which connects the ideas of a preceding paragraph to those of a subsequent paragraph.
The thesis statement is at the heart of a well-developed essay, and as the narrator of this video emphasizes from the start, having no thesis statement would be like "taking a picture that's really out of focus." With this resource, walk your young writers through three basic steps to constructing a research thesis statement. Viewers are instructed to review their research questions, restate their questions as a complete sentences, and then to ask, "Am I teaching others something new?" While the video is part of an instructional series based on a particular reading and research question, the skills are transferable to whatever subject you are covering in your own class.
Having evidence to support a claim is something that we consistently emphasize to young writers. Begin that discussion with your class by presenting this video, which illustrates how to generate sub points for a thesis statement, as well as the importance of including those points within the thesis itself. Try pausing the video and having the class list ideas for possible sub points of the thesis presented in the resource. Then as a whole group, categorize and condense your list to formulate three major sub points to be added to the thesis.
Young writers often construct papers that lack focus and organization. While a thesis statement is designed to combat this issue, it is important that writers ask themselves the following questions: Did I state what I will be arguing? Did I state the reasons for my argument? Does it clearly tell the reader what my essay will be about? This resource delves into these questions, and will guide your class in determining whether an argument is worthwhile and how to draft a solid thesis statement for an argumentative essay. This is the second video in a series; however, you could also use it as a stand-alone lesson if you prefer.

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