High School Essay Writing Workshop

Rationale
The High School Essay Writing Workshop is an intensive one-week summer program designed to help high achieving incoming freshmen and sophomores become familiar with and master the components of analytical essay writing.   The workshop will focus on the key writing, reading, speaking and listening components of the Common Core in Language Arts.

Who Should Attend?
The program offers differentiated, personalized instruction for rising freshmen and sophomores who earned a C or better in 8th grade English.   

Curriculum (subject to change):
Monday:  The Perfect Paragraph
Introduction to the “perfect paragraph.”  Students will read a short excerpt from a work of fiction and then write a perfect paragraph response, using the template provided.  Instructor will provide immediate feedback and review for students all components of the perfect paragraph, including how to identify a theme.  Homework:  Read an assigned short story and type a perfect paragraph in response to the story (teacher provides writing prompt).

Tuesday:  “Jewel” Quote Selection and Analysis
Students will build on the perfect paragraph and practice the skills of picking a “jewel quote” in response to literature and writing compelling analysis of that quote.  Emphasis will be placed on moving beyond plot summary and learning to focus on the author’s themes and literary devices.  Homework:  Read an assigned short story and select three jewel quotes related to the author’s theme in the story.  

Wednesday:  The 4-Step Opening Argument and Outlining
Introduction to the four-step opening argument with visuals, guided practice and exemplars.  Students will use this opening argument format for their formal five-paragraph essay.  Homework:    Read a new text and select three jewel quotes in service to the author’s theme.

Thursday:  Rough Drafts and Revision
Students will write a two paragraph rough draft of an analytical essay in-class with teacher’s ongoing feedback and review based on the short story assigned as homework.    Emphasis will be placed on using the perfect paragraph format, jewel quotes and analysis that relates to the thesis.   Homework:  Type complete rough draft.

Friday:  Final Drafts and Writer’s Conferences
Students will peer edit final drafts and attend individualized writer’s conference meetings with instruction (and parent if requested).  Teacher will give each attendee an individualized rubric for review during their next year in high school.

Instructor: Lucy Filppu, English Teacher, Palo Alto High School
Contact: pawritingacademy@gmail.com