• Professional development
  • Planning lessons and courses

Planning a writing lesson

Writing, unlike speaking, is not an ability we acquire naturally, even in our first language - it has to be taught. Unless L2 learners are explicitly taught how to write in the new language, their writing skills are likely to get left behind as their speaking progresses.

lesson plan about writing an essay

But teaching writing is not just about grammar, spelling, or the mechanics of the Roman alphabet. Learners also need to be aware of and use the conventions of the genre in the new language.

What is genre?

Generating ideas

Focusing ideas

Focus on a model text

Organising ideas

  • Peer evaluation

A genre can be anything from a menu to a wedding invitation, from a newspaper article to an estate agent's description of a house. Pieces of writing of the same genre share some features, in terms of layout, level of formality, and language. These features are more fixed in formal genre, for example letters of complaint and essays, than in more 'creative' writing, such as poems or descriptions. The more formal genre often feature in exams, and may also be relevant to learners' present or future 'real-world' needs, such as university study or business. However, genre vary considerably between cultures, and even adult learners familiar with a range of genre in their L1 need to learn to use the conventions of those genre in English.

Stages of a writing lesson

I don't necessarily include all these stages in every writing lesson, and the emphasis given to each stage may differ according to the genre of the writing and / or the time available. Learners work in pairs or groups as much as possible, to share ideas and knowledge, and because this provides a good opportunity for practising the speaking, listening and reading skills.

This is often the first stage of a process approach to writing. Even when producing a piece of writing of a highly conventional genre, such as a letter of complaint, using learners' own ideas can make the writing more memorable and meaningful.

  • Before writing a letter of complaint, learners think about a situation when they have complained about faulty goods or bad service (or have felt like complaining), and tell a partner.
  • As the first stage of preparing to write an essay, I give learners the essay title and pieces of scrap paper. They have 3 minutes to work alone, writing one idea on each piece of paper, before comparing in groups. Each group can then present their 3 best ideas to the class. It doesn't matter if the ideas aren't used in the final piece of writing, the important thing is to break through the barrier of ' I can't think of anything to write.'

This is another stage taken from a process approach, and it involves thinking about which of the many ideas generated are the most important or relevant, and perhaps taking a particular point of view.

  • As part of the essay-writing process, students in groups put the ideas generated in the previous stage onto a 'mind map'. The teacher then draws a mind-map on the board, using ideas from the different groups. At this stage he / she can also feed in some useful collocations - this gives the learners the tools to better express their own ideas.
  • I tell my students to write individually for about 10 minutes, without stopping and without worrying about grammar or punctuation. If they don't know a particular word, they write it in their L1. This often helps learners to further develop some of the ideas used during the 'Generating ideas' stage. Learners then compare together what they have written, and use a dictionary, the teacher or each other to find in English any words or phrases they wrote in their L1.

Once the students have generated their own ideas, and thought about which are the most important or relevant, I try to give them the tools to express those ideas in the most appropriate way. The examination of model texts is often prominent in product or genre approaches to writing, and will help raise learners' awareness of the conventions of typical texts of different genres in English.

  • I give learners in groups several examples of a genre, and they use a genre analysis form to identify the features and language they have in common. This raises their awareness of the features of the genre and gives them some language 'chunks' they can use in their own writing. Genre analysis form 54k
  • reason for writing
  • how I found out about the job
  • relevant experience, skills and abilities
  • closing paragraph asking for an interview
  • Learners are given an essay with the topic sentences taken out, and put them back in the right place. This raises their awareness of the organisation of the essay and the importance of topic sentences.

Once learners have seen how the ideas are organised in typical examples of the genre, they can go about organising their own ideas in a similar way.

  • Students in groups draft a plan of their work, including how many paragraphs and the main points of each paragraph. These can then be pinned up around the room for comment and comparison.
  • When preparing to write an essay, students group some of the ideas produced earlier into main and supporting statements.

In a pure process approach, the writer goes through several drafts before producing a final version. In practical terms, and as part of a general English course, this is not always possible. Nevertheless, it may be helpful to let students know beforehand if you are going to ask them to write a second draft. Those with access to a word processor can then use it, to facilitate the redrafting process. The writing itself can be done alone, at home or in class, or collaboratively in pairs or groups. Peer evaluation

Peer evaluation of writing helps learners to become aware of an audience other then the teacher. If students are to write a second draft, I ask other learners to comment on what they liked / didn't like about the piece of work, or what they found unclear, so that these comments can be incorporated into the second draft. The teacher can also respond at this stage by commenting on the content and the organisation of ideas, without yet giving a grade or correcting details of grammar and spelling.

When writing a final draft, students should be encouraged to check the details of grammar and spelling, which may have taken a back seat to ideas and organisation in the previous stages. Instead of correcting writing myself, I use codes to help students correct their own writing and learn from their mistakes. Error correction code 43k

By going through some or all of these stages, learners use their own ideas to produce a piece of writing that uses the conventions of a genre appropriately and in so doing, they are asked to think about the audience's expectations of a piece of writing of a particular genre, and the impact of their writing on the reader.

If you have any ideas that you feel have successfully helped your students to develop their writing why not add them as a comment below and share them.

Further reading

A process genre approach to teaching writing by Badger, Richards and White. ELT Journal Volume 54(2), pp. 153-160 Writing by T Hedge. Oxford University Press. Writing by C Tribble. Oxford University Press Process writing by R White and V Arndt. Longman

Really innovative

  • Log in or register to post comments

It was very informative and…

It was very informative and helpful

Interesting article.

Useful information

This is a very nice and…

This is a very nice and informative article.

Thanks for this amazing article

Planning a Writing Lesson Plan

I believe this will make the lesson not only productive but also interesting. Thank you.

Thanks for a very interesting

Thanks for a very interesting and useful article.

Ideas first, then language

 Thanks for sharing the plan~

I found in my class that it is always 'Ideas firt, then language follows', similar to L1 writing.

Dear Catherine,

I found your article very useful and I love the advice you give. When I ask my students to write an essay, I tend to correct their mistakes for them and after reading the article I realized that I should be doing it the way you suggested. I learned from my mistakes by finding them out and correcting them not having them corrected for me. 

Thank you for a wonderful article.

I am grateful for you for this great article

Research and insight

Browse fascinating case studies, research papers, publications and books by researchers and ELT experts from around the world.

See our publications, research and insight

Literacy Ideas

Essay Writing: A complete guide for students and teachers

' data-src=


Essay writing is an essential skill for every student. Whether writing a particular academic essay (such as persuasive, narrative, descriptive, or expository) or a timed exam essay, the key to getting good at writing is to write. Creating opportunities for our students to engage in extended writing activities will go a long way to helping them improve their skills as scribes.

But, putting the hours in alone will not be enough to attain the highest levels in essay writing. Practice must be meaningful. Once students have a broad overview of how to structure the various types of essays, they are ready to narrow in on the minor details that will enable them to fine-tune their work as a lean vehicle of their thoughts and ideas.

Visual Writing Prompts

In this article, we will drill down to some aspects that will assist students in taking their essay writing skills up a notch. Many ideas and activities can be integrated into broader lesson plans based on essay writing. Often, though, they will work effectively in isolation – just as athletes isolate physical movements to drill that are relevant to their sport. When these movements become second nature, they can be repeated naturally in the context of the game or in our case, the writing of the essay.


essay writing | nonfiction writing unit | Essay Writing: A complete guide for students and teachers | literacyideas.com

  • 270  pages of the most effective teaching strategies
  • 50+   digital tools  ready right out of the box
  • 75   editable resources  for student   differentiation  
  • Loads of   tricks and tips  to add to your teaching tool bag
  • All explanations are reinforced with  concrete examples.
  • Links to  high-quality video  tutorials
  • Clear objectives  easy to match to the demands of your curriculum

Planning an essay

essay writing | how to prepare for an essay | Essay Writing: A complete guide for students and teachers | literacyideas.com

The Boys Scouts’ motto is famously ‘Be Prepared’. It’s a solid motto that can be applied to most aspects of life; essay writing is no different. Given the purpose of an essay is generally to present a logical and reasoned argument, investing time in organising arguments, ideas, and structure would seem to be time well spent.

Given that essays can take a wide range of forms and that we all have our own individual approaches to writing, it stands to reason that there will be no single best approach to the planning stage of essay writing. That said, there are several helpful hints and techniques we can share with our students to help them wrestle their ideas into a writable form. Let’s take a look at a few of the best of these:


Whether students are tackling an assignment that you have set for them in class or responding to an essay prompt in an exam situation, they should get into the habit of analyzing the nature of the task. To do this, they should unravel the question’s meaning or prompt. Students can practice this in class by responding to various essay titles, questions, and prompts, thereby gaining valuable experience breaking these down.

Have students work in groups to underline and dissect the keywords and phrases and discuss what exactly is being asked of them in the task. Are they being asked to discuss, describe, persuade, or explain? Understanding the exact nature of the task is crucial before going any further in the planning process, never mind the writing process .


Once students have understood what the essay task asks them, they should consider what they know about the topic and, often, how they feel about it. When teaching essay writing, we so often emphasize that it is about expressing our opinions on things, but for our younger students what they think about something isn’t always obvious, even to themselves.

Brainstorming and mind-mapping what they know about a topic offers them an opportunity to uncover not just what they already know about a topic, but also gives them a chance to reveal to themselves what they think about the topic. This will help guide them in structuring their research and, later, the essay they will write . When writing an essay in an exam context, this may be the only ‘research’ the student can undertake before the writing, so practicing this will be even more important.


The previous step above should reveal to students the general direction their research will take. With the ubiquitousness of the internet, gone are the days of students relying on a single well-thumbed encyclopaedia from the school library as their sole authoritative source in their essay. If anything, the real problem for our students today is narrowing down their sources to a manageable number. Students should use the information from the previous step to help here. At this stage, it is important that they:

●      Ensure the research material is directly relevant to the essay task

●      Record in detail the sources of the information that they will use in their essay

●      Engage with the material personally by asking questions and challenging their own biases

●      Identify the key points that will be made in their essay

●      Group ideas, counterarguments, and opinions together

●      Identify the overarching argument they will make in their own essay.

Once these stages have been completed the student is ready to organise their points into a logical order.


There are a number of ways for students to organize their points in preparation for writing. They can use graphic organizers , post-it notes, or any number of available writing apps. The important thing for them to consider here is that their points should follow a logical progression. This progression of their argument will be expressed in the form of body paragraphs that will inform the structure of their finished essay.

The number of paragraphs contained in an essay will depend on a number of factors such as word limits, time limits, the complexity of the question etc. Regardless of the essay’s length, students should ensure their essay follows the Rule of Three in that every essay they write contains an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

Generally speaking, essay paragraphs will focus on one main idea that is usually expressed in a topic sentence that is followed by a series of supporting sentences that bolster that main idea. The first and final sentences are of the most significance here with the first sentence of a paragraph making the point to the reader and the final sentence of the paragraph making the overall relevance to the essay’s argument crystal clear. 

Though students will most likely be familiar with the broad generic structure of essays, it is worth investing time to ensure they have a clear conception of how each part of the essay works, that is, of the exact nature of the task it performs. Let’s review:

Common Essay Structure

Introduction: Provides the reader with context for the essay. It states the broad argument that the essay will make and informs the reader of the writer’s general perspective and approach to the question.

Body Paragraphs: These are the ‘meat’ of the essay and lay out the argument stated in the introduction point by point with supporting evidence.

Conclusion: Usually, the conclusion will restate the central argument while summarising the essay’s main supporting reasons before linking everything back to the original question.


essay writing | 1 How to write paragraphs | Essay Writing: A complete guide for students and teachers | literacyideas.com

●      Each paragraph should focus on a single main idea

●      Paragraphs should follow a logical sequence; students should group similar ideas together to avoid incoherence

●      Paragraphs should be denoted consistently; students should choose either to indent or skip a line

●      Transition words and phrases such as alternatively , consequently , in contrast should be used to give flow and provide a bridge between paragraphs.


essay writing | essay editing tips | Essay Writing: A complete guide for students and teachers | literacyideas.com

Students shouldn’t expect their essays to emerge from the writing process perfectly formed. Except in exam situations and the like, thorough editing is an essential aspect in the writing process. 

Often, students struggle with this aspect of the process the most. After spending hours of effort on planning, research, and writing the first draft, students can be reluctant to go back over the same terrain they have so recently travelled. It is important at this point to give them some helpful guidelines to help them to know what to look out for. The following tips will provide just such help: 

One Piece at a Time: There is a lot to look out for in the editing process and often students overlook aspects as they try to juggle too many balls during the process. One effective strategy to combat this is for students to perform a number of rounds of editing with each focusing on a different aspect. For example, the first round could focus on content, the second round on looking out for word repetition (use a thesaurus to help here), with the third attending to spelling and grammar.

Sum It Up: When reviewing the paragraphs they have written, a good starting point is for students to read each paragraph and attempt to sum up its main point in a single line. If this is not possible, their readers will most likely have difficulty following their train of thought too and the paragraph needs to be overhauled.

Let It Breathe: When possible, encourage students to allow some time for their essay to ‘breathe’ before returning to it for editing purposes. This may require some skilful time management on the part of the student, for example, a student rush-writing the night before the deadline does not lend itself to effective editing. Fresh eyes are one of the sharpest tools in the writer’s toolbox.

Read It Aloud: This time-tested editing method is a great way for students to identify mistakes and typos in their work. We tend to read things more slowly when reading aloud giving us the time to spot errors. Also, when we read silently our minds can often fill in the gaps or gloss over the mistakes that will become apparent when we read out loud.

Phone a Friend: Peer editing is another great way to identify errors that our brains may miss when reading our own work. Encourage students to partner up for a little ‘you scratch my back, I scratch yours’.

Use Tech Tools: We need to ensure our students have the mental tools to edit their own work and for this they will need a good grasp of English grammar and punctuation. However, there are also a wealth of tech tools such as spellcheck and grammar checks that can offer a great once-over option to catch anything students may have missed in earlier editing rounds.

essay writing | Perfect essay writing for students | Essay Writing: A complete guide for students and teachers | literacyideas.com

Putting the Jewels on Display: While some struggle to edit, others struggle to let go. There comes a point when it is time for students to release their work to the reader. They must learn to relinquish control after the creation is complete. This will be much easier to achieve if the student feels that they have done everything in their control to ensure their essay is representative of the best of their abilities and if they have followed the advice here, they should be confident they have done so.


writing checklists

ESSAY WRITING video tutorials

essay writing | essay writing tutorial28129 | Essay Writing: A complete guide for students and teachers | literacyideas.com

  • Teach IELTS
  • Teaching resources

Lesson plans - Writing

Close up of someone typing on a keeyboard

Browse our collection of free lesson plans to help you familiarise students with IELTS and prepare them for their Writing test. 

Academic Writing - Task One

Writing - task two.

Five-Paragraph Essay Lesson Plan: Producing Writing

*Click to open and customize your own copy of the Five-Paragraph Essay Lesson Plan .

This lesson accompanies the BrainPOP topic, Five-Paragraph Essay , and supports the standard of developing an organized piece of writing with a clear thesis, relevant details, and a concluding statement. Students demonstrate understanding through a variety of projects.


As a class, or individually, have students read Tim’s model essay, The Case For a Longer School Year. Ask:

  • What argument is Tim making in his essay?
  • What are his reasons or evidence for his argument?
  • Is Tim’s argument persuasive? Why or why not?
  • What is the purpose of the first paragraph? middle paragraphs? Last paragraph?


  • Read aloud the description on the Five-Paragraph Essay topic page . 
  • Play the Movie , pausing to check for understanding.

Step 3: APPLY and ASSESS 

Assign the Five-Paragraph Essay Quiz , prompting students to apply essential literacy skills while demonstrating what they learned about this topic.


Students express what they learned about writing five-paragraph essays while practicing essential literacy skills with one or more of the following activities. Differentiate by assigning ones that meet individual student needs.

  • Make-a-Movie : Produce a movie where you present a persuasive argument that follows the format of a five-paragraph essay. 
  • Make-a-Map : Create a concept map that shows the features of each paragraph in a five-paragraph essay. 
  • Creative Coding : Code a meme that shows the benefits of using the five-paragraph essay format.

More to Explore

Related BrainPOP Topics : Deepen understanding of the writing process with these topics: Types of Writing , Writing in Sequence , Research , and Outlines . 

Teacher Support Resources:

  • Pause Point Overview : Video tutorial showing how Pause Points actively engage students to stop, think, and express ideas.  
  • Learning Activities Modifications : Strategies to meet ELL and other instructional and student needs.
  • Learning Activities Support : Resources for best practices using BrainPOP.

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

lesson plan about writing an essay

  • BrainPOP Jr. (K-3)
  • BrainPOP ELL
  • BrainPOP Science
  • BrainPOP Español
  • BrainPOP Français
  • Set Up Accounts
  • Single Sign-on
  • Manage Subscription
  • Quick Tours
  • About BrainPOP


  • Terms of Use
  • Privacy Policy
  • Trademarks & Copyrights

How to Teach Essay Writing

A guide on how to teach essay writing skills from the ground up

Jagseer S Sidhu / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 4.0

  • Resources for Teachers
  • Pronunciation & Conversation
  • Writing Skills
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Business English
  • TESOL Diploma, Trinity College London
  • M.A., Music Performance, Cologne University of Music
  • B.A., Vocal Performance, Eastman School of Music

As ESL students become more fluent, it's time to focus on how to use that fluency in specific tasks, such as making a presentation or writing an essay. The advanced topics you choose should depend upon what your students have planned for the future. In classes with mixed objectives, there's a need for balance to make sure that students who don't necessarily need the task at hand still profit from the lesson.

This is never truer than when teaching essay writing skills. Classes that are preparing for academic English objectives require the skills while " business English ," or English for specific purposes classes, might find the entire exercise a waste of their time. Chances are, you have a mixed class, so it is recommended to tie essay writing skills to other important skills — such as using equivalencies, the proper use of linking language, and sequencing in writing. Students not interested in essay writing skills will gain valuable experience in developing these skills regardless of the task.

Build Toward Essay Writing Skills

Start by modeling clear writing at the sentence level. The best way to approach essay writing skills is to start at the sentence level. Once students have learned to compose simple, compound, and complex sentences, they will have the tools necessary to write longer documents such as essays, business reports , formal emails, and so on. All students will find this help invaluable.

Focus on Equivalencies

I find the best place to start is with equivalencies. Before moving on, make sure students understand sentence types by writing a simple, compound, and complex sentence on the board.

Simple sentence: Mr. Smith visited Washington three years ago.

Compound sentence: Anna advised him against the idea, but he decided to go nonetheless.

Complex sentence: Since he was in Washington, he took the time to visit the Smithsonian.

Build up students' knowledge of equivalencies by beginning with FANBOYS ( coordinating conjunctions ), moving on to subordinating conjunctions, and finishing with other equivalencies, such as preposition and conjunctive adverbs.

Focus on Linking Language

Next, students will need to link their language, creating organization through the use of linking language, including sequencing. It helps to write out processes at this point. Ask students to think of some process, then use sequencing language to connect the dots. It's a good idea to ask students to use both numberings in a sequence of steps and linking through time words.

Writing Essay Practice

Now that students understand how to combine sentences into larger structures, it's time to move on to writing essays. Provide a simple essay to students and ask them to identify various structures and written objectives:

  • Underline linking language
  • Find examples of FANBOYS, subordinating conjunctions , conjunctive adverbs, etc.
  • What is the main idea of the essay?
  • How does the essay seem to be organized?
  • Essays generally contain an introduction, body, and conclusion. Can you identify each?

I like to help students by first explaining that an essay is like a hamburger. It's certainly a crude analogy, but students seem to get the idea of the intro and conclusion being like the buns, while the content is the good stuff.

Essay Writing Lesson Plans

There are a number of lesson plans and resources on this site that help with the many steps involved in developing the necessary writing skills. To focus on combining simple sentences into more compound structures, use a ​simple-to-compound sentence worksheet. Once students are comfortable at the sentence level, proceed from brainstorming through outlining to final essay production.

Challenges With Teaching Essay Writing

As previously stated, the main issue with essay writing is that it is not really necessary for every student. Another issue is that traditional five-paragraph essays are certainly a little old school. However, I still feel that understanding the structure of your basic hamburger essay will serve students well when putting together future written work.

  • 3 Tips to Improve Writing in English
  • Teaching Writing to Beginning ESL Students
  • Beginning Level Curriculum for ESL Classes
  • How to Teach Pronouns to ESL Students
  • Compound Sentence Practice for ESL and EFL Students
  • Top Lesson Plans for ESL and EFL
  • Beginning Writing Short Writing Assignments
  • Standard Lesson Plan Format for ESL Teachers
  • How to Teach the Present Continuous to ESL Students
  • Sentence Type Basics for English Learners
  • Compound-Complex Sentence Worksheet
  • ESL Essay Writing Rubric
  • Writing Cause and Effect Essays for English Learners
  • Writing English Drama Scripts in ESL Class
  • Lesson Plan: Label Sentences with Parts of Speech
  • Sentence Connectors and Sentences

My English Pages Logo

Browse MEP Blog →

  • Lesson plans
  • Learning theories

Writing Lesson Plan Stages (+ Sample in PDF)

  • April 28, 2021 September 22, 2023

Writing lesson plan stages

Writing Lesson Plan Stages

This article provides a description of the writing lesson plan stages. A link to a sample of the lesson plan is provided at the end of the article.

Writing As A Skill

A  writing  lesson involves training learners to develop writing skills. By definition, a skill is an ability developed through training and practice. Nobody is born a writer; we become writers. Even native speakers need to be taught how to write. The sub-skills involved in writing range from the knowledge of the alphabet to the ability to produce a coherent text. Here are a few examples of sub-skills:

  • Handwriting
  • Mechanics (spelling, punctuation, and capitalization.)
  • Grammar and vocabulary
  • Cohesion (i.e., the ability to use grammatical and lexical linking that holds a text together and give it meaning.)
  • Coherence (i.e., the ability to produce a coherent text so that the reader can follow the line of thoughts of the author.)
  • The knowledge of the genre (i.e., the categories of writing such as reports, essays, emails, formal letters, etc)

Obviously, we are not born with the above sub-skills. We develop them through practice and perseverance. The following sections provide the writing lesson plan stages that help learners develop these sub-skills.

You can also find a link to a writing lesson plan sample at the end of the article.

What Are The Stages Of A Writing Lesson Plan?

The writing lesson plan should include stages that guide the students to discover the distinctive features of a model text, a genre such as formal letters, reports, or essays. Then, ideally, the students should be invited to practice the language, the layout, and the format of the target genre we want to teach. This should be followed by the process competent writers follow when writing, namely, planning, drafting, revising, and editing. This is commonly referred to as  Process Writing:

  • Reading a model text that represents a genre such as an email, a report, an essay, an advertisement, etc.
  • Understanding the text, studying the genre, and analyzing its distinctive features (e.g., the language and the layout or format of the text.)
  • Assigning the topic and making sure the students understand it.
  • Planning (i.e., collecting ideas and making an outline)
  • Drafting (i.e., producing the first version of the task)
  • Revising (i.e., looking at the overall content and organization of ideas.)
  • Editing (i.e., tidying up the draft and checking for diction, grammar, spelling, and punctuation mistakes)
  • Producing the final draft

Lesson Plan Templates

Discover our Comprehensive English Lesson Plan Templates! Engage your students, save time, and elevate your teaching game.

👉 Get Started for $2.99!

Let’s delve into the different phases of constructing a writing lesson plan.

lesson plan about writing an essay

Structure of a Writing Lesson Plan

Here are the four writing lesson plan stages:

Stage 1 – Model Text

The first of the four writing lesson plan stages consists of providing a model text of a genre and analyzing its distinctive features. This can be done by assigning well-designed guiding activities to help learners identify:

  • The characteristic language of the genre (formal or informal, the expressions or vocabulary and grammar used to convey meaning.)
  • The linking words and transitions used to connect the sentences of the text.
  • The format or layout of the text.

Stage 2 -Practice

The practice involves working on the language and format of the genre. At this stage, the teacher assigns well-designed guiding activities to train the learners in using the right type of language, linking words, and layout. These can be in the form of matching, gap-filling, sentence completion, etc.

Stage 3 The Topic

Assigning the topic is not that easy. First, it has to be contextualized. Second, it has to be well understood by the learners.

1. Contextualizing the topic

The writing topic should be contextualized and should answer the following requirements:  who is writing what to whom and why?  Simply, asking the students to write about the advantages and disadvantages of smartphones is not helpful and is purposeless.

What should they write (i.e., what genre?): an email, an essay, an article, etc. And who is the audience? Are they the readers of a magazine, a friend, or conference participants? Finally, why should they write about the advantages and disadvantages of smartphones in the first place? Is it because they noticed that their mates have become addicted to their smartphones? Is the writing a reaction to an article in a magazine?

An improved formulation of the topic should consider all these elements.

You have noticed that many of your school mates have become addicted to their smartphones. Write a short article for the school magazine to talk about the advantages and disadvantages of smartphones to raise the their awareness of the positive and negative aspects of smartphones.

2. Understanding the topic

Learners should understand the topic. They should understand what genre they should produce, who they should write to, and why they are writing about that topic. To make sure they understand the topic, you may want to ask them to complete a chart.

Stage 4 – Process Writing

After understanding the topic, invite the students to go through Process Writing.

1. Planning

Learners are prompted to collect as many ideas about the topic as possible through tasks such as brainstorming, discussions, chart filling, quick writing, answers to questions, etc.

2. Drafting

This is the first version of the writing. Students shouldn’t be concerned with accuracy at this stage.

3. Revising

When they finish writing their first draft, students are encouraged to look at the overall organization of the text, paying attention to whether the ideas included are relevant, getting rid of those that don’t fit, and adding more ideas if need be. They should understand that the reader should be able to follow their line of thought.

At this stage, learners focus on tidying up their drafts. They check diction (i.e., the choice of words), grammar, and mechanics (e.g., spelling, punctuation, and capitalization.)

Editing can be done by the learners themselves (i.e. self-editing) or with the help of their peers (i.e. peer editing).

5. Final draft

The final draft is the final version of the text. To recognize and value the students’ productions, help them publish their writing online such as on the class blog, Facebook group, or wiki.

lesson plan about writing an essay

Check the writing lesson plan sample in PDF Format. Click here .

You are using an outdated browser and it's not supported. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.


Writing An Argumentative Essay: Planning The Essay


There may be cases when our downloadable resources contain hyperlinks to other websites. These hyperlinks lead to websites published or operated by third parties. UnboundEd and EngageNY are not responsible for the content, availability, or privacy policies of these websites.

  • Grade 7 ELA Module 2A, Unit 1, Lesson 16

Bilingual Language Progressions

These resources, developed by the New York State Education Department, provide standard-level scaffolding suggestions for English Language Learners (ELLs) to help them meet grade-level demands. Each resource contains scaffolds at multiple levels of language acquisition and describes the linguistic demands of the standards to help ELA teachers as well as ESL/bilingual teachers scaffold content for their English learning students.

  • CCSS Standard:

Related Guides and Multimedia

Our professional learning resources include teaching guides, videos, and podcasts that build educators' knowledge of content related to the standards and their application in the classroom.

There are no related guides or videos. To see all our guides, please visit the Enhance Instruction section here .

Can You Convince Me? Developing Persuasive Writing

lesson plan about writing an essay

  • Resources & Preparation
  • Instructional Plan
  • Related Resources

Persuasive writing is an important skill that can seem intimidating to elementary students. This lesson encourages students to use skills and knowledge they may not realize they already have. A classroom game introduces students to the basic concepts of lobbying for something that is important to them (or that they want) and making persuasive arguments. Students then choose their own persuasive piece to analyze and learn some of the definitions associated with persuasive writing. Once students become aware of the techniques used in oral arguments, they then apply them to independent persuasive writing activities and analyze the work of others to see if it contains effective persuasive techniques.

Featured Resources

From theory to practice.

  • Students can discover for themselves how much they already know about constructing persuasive arguments by participating in an exercise that is not intimidating.  
  • Progressing from spoken to written arguments will help students become better readers of persuasive texts.

Common Core Standards

This resource has been aligned to the Common Core State Standards for states in which they have been adopted. If a state does not appear in the drop-down, CCSS alignments are forthcoming.

State Standards

This lesson has been aligned to standards in the following states. If a state does not appear in the drop-down, standard alignments are not currently available for that state.

NCTE/IRA National Standards for the English Language Arts

  • 4. Students adjust their use of spoken, written, and visual language (e.g., conventions, style, vocabulary) to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and for different purposes.
  • 5. Students employ a wide range of strategies as they write and use different writing process elements appropriately to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes.

Materials and Technology

  • Computers with Internet access  
  • PowerPoint  
  • LCD projector (optional)  
  • Chart paper or chalkboard  
  • Sticky notes  
  • Persuasive Strategy Presentation
  • Persuasion Is All Around You  
  • Persuasive Strategy Definitions  
  • Check the Strategies  
  • Check the Strategy  
  • Observations and Notes  
  • Persuasive Writing Assessment


Student objectives.

Students will

  • Work in cooperative groups to brainstorm ideas and organize them into a cohesive argument to be presented to the class  
  • Gain knowledge of the different strategies that are used in effective persuasive writing  
  • Use a graphic organizer to help them begin organizing their ideas into written form  
  • Apply what they have learned to write a persuasive piece that expresses their stance and reasoning in a clear, logical sequence  
  • Develop oral presentation skills by presenting their persuasive writing pieces to the class  
  • Analyze the work of others to see if it contains effective persuasive techniques

Session 1: The Game of Persuasion

Home/School Connection: Distribute Persuasion Is All Around You . Students are to find an example of a persuasive piece from the newspaper, television, radio, magazine, or billboards around town and be ready to report back to class during Session 2. Provide a selection of magazines or newspapers with advertisements for students who may not have materials at home. For English-language learners (ELLs), it may be helpful to show examples of advertisements and articles in newspapers and magazines.

Session 2: Analysis of an Argument

Home/School Connection: Ask students to revisit their persuasive piece from Persuasion Is All Around You . This time they will use Check the Strategies to look for the persuasive strategies that the creator of the piece incorporated. Check for understanding with your ELLs and any special needs students. It may be helpful for them to talk through their persuasive piece with you or a peer before taking it home for homework. Arrange a time for any student who may not have the opportunity to complete assignments outside of school to work with you, a volunteer, or another adult at school on the assignment.

Session 3: Persuasive Writing

Session 4: presenting the persuasive writing.

  • Endangered Species: Persuasive Writing offers a way to integrate science with persuasive writing. Have students pretend that they are reporters and have to convince people to think the way they do. Have them pick issues related to endangered species, use the Persuasion Map as a prewriting exercise, and write essays trying to convince others of their points of view. In addition, the lesson “Persuasive Essay: Environmental Issues” can be adapted for your students as part of this exercise.  
  • Have students write persuasive arguments for a special class event, such as an educational field trip or an in-class educational movie. Reward the class by arranging for the class event suggested in one of the essays.

Student Assessment / Reflections

  • Compare your Observations and Notes from Session 4 and Session 1 to see if students understand the persuasive strategies, use any new persuasive strategies, seem to be overusing a strategy, or need more practice refining the use of a strategy. Offer them guidance and practice as needed.  
  • Collect both homework assignments and the Check the Strategy sheets and assess how well students understand the different elements of persuasive writing and how they are applied.  
  • Collect students’ Persuasion Maps and use them and your discussions during conferences to see how well students understand how to use the persuasive strategies and are able to plan their essays. You want to look also at how well they are able to make changes from the map to their finished essays.  
  • Use the Persuasive Writing Assessment to evaluate the essays students wrote during Session 3.
  • Calendar Activities
  • Strategy Guides
  • Lesson Plans
  • Student Interactives

The Persuasion Map is an interactive graphic organizer that enables students to map out their arguments for a persuasive essay or debate.

This interactive tool allows students to create Venn diagrams that contain two or three overlapping circles, enabling them to organize their information logically.

  • Print this resource

Explore Resources by Grade

  • Kindergarten K
  • Share full article


Supported by

Writing curriculum

Argumentative Writing Unit

Writing prompts, lesson plans, webinars, mentor texts and a culminating contest, all to inspire your students to tell us what matters to them.

lesson plan about writing an essay

By The Learning Network

Unit Overview

On our site, we’ve been offering teenagers ways to tell the world what they think for over 20 years. Our student writing prompt forums encourage them to weigh in on current events and issues daily, while our contests have offered an annual outlet since 2014 for formalizing those opinions into evidence-based essays.

In this unit, we’re bringing together all the resources we’ve developed along the way to help students figure out what they want to say, and how to say it effectively.

Here is what this unit offers, but we would love to hear from both teachers and students if there is more we could include. Let us know in the comments, or by writing to [email protected].

Start With Our Prompts for Argumentative Writing

How young is too young to use social media? Should students get mental health days off from school? Is $1 billion too much money for any one person to have?

These are the kinds of questions we ask every day on our site. In 2017 we published a list of 401 Prompts for Argumentative Writing categorized to provoke thinking on aspects of contemporary life from social media to sports, politics, gender issues and school. In 2021, we followed it up with 300 Questions and Images to Inspire Argument Writing , which catalogs all our argument-focused Student Opinion prompts since then, plus our more accessible Picture Prompts.

Teachers tell us their students love looking at these lists, both to inspire their own writing and to find links to reliable sources about the issues that intrigue them. In fact, every year we get many contest submissions that grow directly out of these questions. Several, like this one , have even gone on to win.

But even if you’re not participating in our contest, you might use these prompts to invite the kind of casual, low-stakes writing that can help your students build skills — in developing their voices, making claims and backing them up with solid reasoning and evidence.

And, if your students respond to our most recent prompts by posting comments on our site, they can also practice making arguments for an authentic audience of fellow students from around the world. Each week we choose our favorites to honor in our Current Events Conversation column .

Find Lesson Plans on Every Aspect of Argument Writing

Over the years, we’ve published quite a few lesson plans to support our annual argument writing contests — so many, in fact, that we finally rounded them all up into one easy list.

In “ 10 Ways to Teach Argument-Writing With The New York Times ,” you’ll find resources for:

Exploring the role of a newspaper opinion section

Understanding the difference between fact and opinion

Analyzing the use of rhetorical strategies like ethos, pathos and logos

Working with claims, evidence and counterarguments

Helping students discover the issues that matter to them

Breaking out of the “echo chamber” when researching hot-button issues

Experimenting with visual argument-making

In 2021, we also developed An Argumentative-Writing Unit for Students Doing Remote Learning that can help teenagers guide their own learning.

Teach and Learn With Mentor Texts

You probably already know that you can find arguments to admire — and “writer’s moves” to emulate — all over the Times Opinion section . But have you thought about using the work of our previous Student Editorial Contest winners as mentor texts too?

Here are ways to use both:

Learn from the Op-Ed columnist Nicholas Kristof’s writing process : One edition of our “Annotated by the Author” Mentor Text series is by Mr. Kristof. See what he has to say about the writing challenges he faced in a recent column and how he did the kinds of things students will have to do, too, from fact-checking to fixing grammar errors to balancing storytelling with making a larger point.

Get to know one writer’s rhetorical style : Many teachers use an “adopt a columnist” method, inviting students to focus on the work of one of the Times Opinion columnists to get to know his or her issues and rhetorical style. In 2019, an English teacher in Connecticut wrote for our site about how he does this exercise, in which his students choose from among columnists at The Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal.

Use the work of teenage winners to help your students identify “writer’s moves” they can borrow: Teachers have told us there is no better way to prepare students to enter our contest than to have them examine the work of previous winners.

On our current site, you can find the essays of the top winners and the runners-up from 2017-202 3. Invite your students to read one and answer the questions we pose in all our Mentor Texts columns : “What do you notice or admire about this piece? What lessons might it have for your writing?” Then, have them borrow one or more of this student’s “writer’s moves” and imitate it in their own work.

We have also published two Learning Network books , one that collects 100 of the best student essays from this contest all in one place, categorized by subjects like “Teenage Life Online,” “Gender and Sexuality” and “Sports and Gaming,” and the other a related teacher’s guide to using them in the classroom.

Here is a roundup of ideas from 17 teachers and students for ways to use these “authentic, powerful and unafraid” student essays in several classroom contexts.

Finally, two new entries in our Annotated by the Author series feature student editorial contest winners from 2020 discussing their work and sharing tips: Ananya Udaygiri on “How Animal Crossing Will Save the World” and Abel John on “Collar the Cat!”

Get Practical Tips From Our Related Videos and Webinars

Video player loading

The video above, “ How to Write an Editorial ,” is only three minutes long, but in it Andy Rosenthal, the former editor of the Times Opinion page, gives students seven great pieces of advice.

Both students and teachers are welcome to watch our popular on-demand 2017 webinar, “ Write to Change the World: Crafting Persuasive Pieces With Help From Nicholas Kristof and the Times Op-Ed Page ,” which includes a wealth of practical tips from Mr. Kristof, as well as from Kabby Hong, a Wisconsin English teacher who works with this contest annually, and his student, Daina Kalnina, whose 2017 essay was one of our top winners that year.

Finally, you can watch our 2021 on-demand webinar, Teaching Argumentative Writing , that focuses on two key steps in the process: finding your argument, and using evidence to support it. You will also get broad overview of how to use our writing prompts and the work of our student winners to help your own students find topics they care about, and craft solid arguments around them. You can also watch an edited version of this webinar below.

Enter Our New Student Open Letter Contest: March 13-April 17, 2024

The culmination of this unit? Our new Open Letter Contest.

An open letter is a published letter of protest or appeal usually addressed to an individual but intended for the general public. Martin Luther King’s Letter From Birmingham Jail , the recent letter signed by over 1,000 tech leaders about the dangers of A.I. and this funny 2020 letter addressed to Harry and Meghan are all examples of this rich tradition.

Just as we did for our long-running Editorial Contest, we invite students to make an argument in 450 words about something that matters to them, and persuade us that we should care, too. But this time, students must address themselves to a specific target audience or recipient, institution or group — one that has the power to make meaningful change.

Whether students choose their parents, teachers, school board members or mayor; a member of Congress; the head of a corporation; or a metonym like “Silicon Valley” or “The Kremlin,” they should ask themselves, What do I care about? Who can make changes, big or small, local or global, to address my issue or problem? What specifically do I want them to understand and do? And how can I write this as an “open letter,” meaningful not just to me and the recipient, but to a general audience?

More information will be published soon. Until then, you can find ideas and inspiration in our related writing unit and via the work of past Editorial winners .

As always, all student work will be read by our staff, volunteers from the Times Opinion section, and/or by educators from around the country. Winners will have their work published on our site and, perhaps, in the print New York Times.

lesson plan about writing an essay

B2 writing

Are you a learner at B2 English level (upper intermediate) ? This section offers writing practice to help you write clear, detailed text on a wide range of topics related to your interests. Texts include essays, reports, reviews, messages and emails.

Each lesson has a preparation task, a model text with writing tips and three tasks to check your understanding and to practise a variety of writing skills. Make a start today.

Choose a writing lesson

A covering email

A covering email

Learn how to write a covering email to accompany a job application.

  • Read more about A covering email
  • Log in or register to post comments


Learn how to write a curriculum vitae, often called a CV in the UK or résumé in American English. 

  • Read more about A CV

A letter of complaint

A letter of complaint

Learn how to write a letter of complaint.

  • Read more about A letter of complaint

A report on working abroad

A report on working abroad

Learn how to write a report on working abroad.

  • Read more about A report on working abroad

A summary of a line graph

A summary of a line graph

Learn how to describe a line graph.

  • Read more about A summary of a line graph

An advert

Learn how to write an advert.

  • Read more about An advert

An email to request time off

An email to request time off

Learn how to write an email to request time off work.

  • Read more about An email to request time off

An email to your professor

An email to your professor

Learn how to write an email to your university professor.

  • Read more about An email to your professor

An informal email to a friend

An informal email to a friend

Learn how to write an informal email to a friend.

  • Read more about An informal email to a friend

An opinion essay

An opinion essay

Learn how to write an opinion essay.

  • Read more about An opinion essay

Comparing two charts

Comparing two charts

Learn how to write about and compare two pie charts.

  • Read more about Comparing two charts

Giving instructions by email

Giving instructions by email

Learn how to write an email to give instructions.

  • Read more about Giving instructions by email

Learn to write in English with confidence

Our online English classes feature lots of useful writing materials and activities to help you develop your writing skills with confidence in a safe and inclusive learning environment.

Practise writing with your classmates in live group classes, get writing support from a personal tutor in one-to-one lessons or practise writing by yourself at your own pace with a self-study course.

Explore courses

Online courses

Footer:Live classes

Group and one-to-one classes with expert teachers.


Learn English in your own time, at your own pace.

Footer:Personalised Tutor

One-to-one sessions focused on a personal plan.

Footer:IELTS preparation

Get the score you need with private and group classes.  

EL Education Curriculum

You are here.

  • ELA G5:M3:U2:L10

Writing an Opinion Essay: Planning

In this lesson, daily learning targets, ongoing assessment.

  • Technology and Multimedia

Supporting English Language Learners

Universal design for learning, closing & assessments, you are here:.

  • ELA Grade 5
  • ELA G5:M3:U2

Like what you see?

Order printed materials, teacher guides and more.

How to order

Help us improve!

Tell us how the curriculum is working in your classroom and send us corrections or suggestions for improving it.

Leave feedback

These are the CCS Standards addressed in this lesson:

  • W.5.1: Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.
  • W.5.1a: Introduce a topic or text clearly, state an opinion, and create an organizational structure in which ideas are logically grouped to support the writer's purpose.
  • W.5.1b: Provide logically ordered reasons that are supported by facts and details.
  • W.5.4: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
  • W.5.5: With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.
  • W.5.9: Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
  • W.5.9b: Apply grade 5 Reading standards to informational texts (e.g., "Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text, identifying which reasons and evidence support which point[s]"").
  • SL.5.1: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 5 topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.
  • I can plan an essay that states an opinion and has reasons that are supported by facts and details. ( W.5.1, W.5.4, W.5.9b )
  • I can give kind, helpful, and specific feedback to my partner. ( W.5.5, SL.5.1 )
  • Opinion Writing Planning graphic organizer ( W.5.1, W.5.4, W.5.5, W.5.9b )
  • Strategically pair students for the peer critique in the Closing with at least one strong reader per pair.
  • Review the Opinion Writing Checklist ( see the Tools page ).
  • Post: Learning targets and applicable anchor charts (see Materials list).

Tech and Multimedia

  • Continue to use the technology tools recommended throughout Modules 1-2 to create anchor charts to share with families; to record students as they participate in discussions and protocols to review with students later and to share with families; and for students to listen to and annotate text, record ideas on note-catchers, and word-process writing.

Supports guided in part by CA ELD Standards 5.I.A.1, 5.I.A.3, 5.I.A.4, 5.I.A.5, 5.I.C.10, 5.I.C.11, 5.I.C.12, 5.II.A.1, 5.II.A.2, 5.II.C.6 , and 5.II.C.7

Important points in the lesson itself

  • The basic design of this lesson supports ELLs by referring to the Factors for Success anchor chart from Unit 1 to plan their essays, inviting students to draw on conclusions from the text-based discussion to form their focus statements, allowing time for discussion throughout the lesson, and explicitly reviewing the characteristics of opinion writing as a class.
  • ELLs may find it challenging to go from annotating the Model Essay: Branch Rickey in Work Time A to planning their own opinion essays with the graphic organizer in Work Time B without having seen this process modeled. Consider filling in the graphic organizer with components of the model essay in Work Time A, providing students with concrete examples to refer to during their planning (see Meeting Students' Needs).

Levels of support

For lighter support:

  • Encourage students to use the focus structure from the Language Dive in Lesson 9, but it was _____, to write their focus statement, supporting students in using linking words and phrases to connect ideas. Challenge students to think of more than one way they could use this linking language to write their focus statement.

For heavier support:

  • Consider color-coding the text in the displayed Opinion Writing Planning graphic organizer to match the corresponding information in the Painted Essay(r) template, signaling the information that goes in each section. For example, in the introduction paragraph box, the text "What context do you need to give to your reader?" would be color-coded red; "State your opinion:" would be green; all text in "Proof Paragraph 1" would be yellow; etc.
  • Multiple Means of Representation (MMR): Students provide kind, helpful, and specific feedback during a peer critique of their opinion writing planning. As this familiar learning target is displayed, consider inviting students to share examples of this type of feedback from previous lessons and note their responses for visual display.
  • Multiple Means of Action and Expression (MMAE): Continue to support a range of fine motor abilities and writing needs by offering students options for writing utensils. Also, consider supporting students' expressive skills by offering partial dictation of student responses.
  • Multiple Means of Engagement (MME): Since peer review can be threatening to some students, continue to emphasize the benefits of peer review and feedback for all students. Make this activity relevant by reminding students that writers have editors who provide feedback for their writing through each step in the writing process, which improves their writing.

Key:  Lesson-Specific Vocabulary  (L);  Text-Specific Vocabulary  (T);  Vocabulary Used in Writing  (W)

  • states, support, specific, reason, evidence, use my strengths (L)
  • Close Readers Do These Things anchor chart (begun in Module 1)
  • Academic Word Wall (begun in Module 1)
  • Vocabulary logs (from Module 1; one per student)
  • Opinion Writing Planning graphic organizer (one per student and one to display)
  • Model Essay: Branch Rickey (from Lesson 9; one per student and one to display)
  • Working to Become Effective Learners anchor chart (begun in Module 1)
  • Directions for Opinion Essay (from Lesson 9; one per student and one to display)
  • Opinion Writing Checklist (from Lesson 9; one per student and one to display)
  • Colored pencils (green, yellow, blue; one of each color per student)
  • Preparing for a Text-Based Discussion: Jackie Robinson note-catcher (from Lesson 7; one per student)
  • Discussion Notes Form: Jackie Robinson (from Lesson 8; one per student)
  • Promises to Keep (from Unit 1, Lesson 1; one per student)
  • "This I Believe: Free Minds and Hearts at Work" (text; from Lesson 2; one per student)
  • Listening Closely: "Jackie Robinson: Royals to Obamas" note-catcher (from Lesson 4; one per student)
  • Factor for Success anchor charts (begun in Unit 1)
  • Domain-Specific Word Wall (begun in Unit 1, Lesson 1)
  • Opinion Writing Planning graphic organizer (example, for teacher reference)
  • Sticky notes (two per student)
  • Working to Contribute to a Better World anchor chart (begun in Module 1)
  • Directions for Peer Critique (from Module 1; one to display)
  • Peer Critique Protocol anchor chart (begun in Module 1)
  • Language Dive I Practice: Model Essay: Branch Rickey homework (from Lesson 9; one per student)
  • Language Dive I Practice: Model Essay: Branch Rickey homework (example, for teacher reference)

Each unit in the 3-5 Language Arts Curriculum has two standards-based assessments built in, one mid-unit assessment and one end of unit assessment. The module concludes with a performance task at the end of Unit 3 to synthesize their understanding of what they accomplished through supported, standards-based writing.

Copyright © 2013-2024 by EL Education, New York, NY.

Get updates about our new K-5 curriculum as new materials and tools debut.

Help us improve our curriculum..

Tell us what’s going well, share your concerns and feedback.

Terms of use . To learn more about EL Education, visit  eleducation.org

  • Our Mission

Planning Writing Lessons for the Early Elementary Grades

Teachers can provide thoughtful instruction that supports the sustained development of young students’ literacy skills.

Elementary student writing while teacher assists other students

Often, attempting to plan effective and purposeful writing instruction raises many questions: What does lesson planning look like? How will I manage so many students who may be in different stages of their writing? How often should they be editing and revising? The list doesn’t stop there.

By utilizing on-demand writing for assessment and long-range writing for scaffolded practice of applying various writing techniques, teachers can approach their instruction with intentional and tailored lessons that meet the needs of the learners in the classroom, as well as help students develop self-regulated behaviors when crafting a piece of text.

On-Demand Writing

Just like any area of instruction, assessment is critical for knowing what the students’ strengths and areas of growth are, and on-demand writing is how teachers can gather that evidence. An on-demand piece of writing simply means that the teacher provides a specific prompt for the student to write to for the purpose of anecdotal data. For example, let’s say a second-grade teacher prepares for a narrative writing cycle. In the first couple of days before the cycle begins, they’ll ask students to write a narrative about something fun they’ve experienced (with their family or a friend). 

After the prompt is given, students get one or two days to write and are provided with all necessary tools to carry out the process of developing a piece of writing without additional modeling or instruction. Effective tools might include graphic organizers, writing paper, tools for editing, and a writing checklist. However, the teacher will not model how to use the tools. The teacher is informally assessing if the students know how to use these resources to develop a story.

After students complete their piece, the teacher collects them for analysis. It is critically important to determine realistic expectations for what writing should look like throughout various points of the year, so creating a common rubric as a grade level is a great way to stay on the same page for analyzing the assessment. 

Writing growth, similar to reading, happens along a continuum of skills. At the beginning of the year, a second grader can’t be expected to write like an end-of-the-year second grader because they haven’t been taught the grade-level skills necessary to do so yet. On-demand benchmark assessments along the way will gradually raise the expectation of what that student should be able to do. Websites such as Reading Rockets and Achieve the Core provide useful anchor examples of real student writing in various genres that provide annotated explanations of students’ overall writing ability and possible next steps for instruction.

As students engage in daily lessons about crafting a narrative within the instructional cycle of a long-range writing piece, another on-demand prompt may be given at the halfway point of the cycle to track growth and drive future instruction. This could be the same prompt as before or a prompt given in response to a story or passage the student has read.  

It’s important to remember that it’s easy to fall into the trap of using writing prompts daily for students to produce writing simply because it’s easy to manage. If we use this approach exclusively, we rob our students of the opportunity to dive deeply into producing self-chosen, elaborate pieces full of voice and author’s craft.

Long-Range Writing

Long-range pieces give students the autonomy to choose their own writing topic while the teacher assists in walking them through the process. This type of instruction instills the executive-functioning behaviors needed when students are asked to write a piece on demand. When considering how to implement this type of writing instruction, it can be overwhelming. Breaking down long-range instruction using the following components allows for a more manageable approach.

Keep your lesson mini: A mini lesson is 15 to 20 minutes long and organized in a gradual release format, and it allows the teacher to model a specific, focused lesson. For example, narrative writing could be broken into the following mini lessons for a beginning-of-the-year cycle for second grade: introduce and describe a setting, introduce and describe the character, edit on the go (this means to stop and edit before we add more writing), describe the first event in the narrative, introduce a problem, etc. Essentially, each lesson will invite students to add to their story one chunk at a time.

Model, provide independent practice: The teacher begins by modeling one learning target using a well-crafted organizer . An effective organizer teaches students that each genre has a specific structure. As learners begin to recognize the pattern in text structure, they can replicate it when assessed in on-demand pieces. For example, the teacher can start by using a text that clearly introduces and describes the setting, and then read that page out loud and ask students what they notice about how the author introduced the setting.  

Next, students are invited to help the teacher write a setting to a story together by offering verbal suggestions. The teacher records the students’ ideas and writes an example introduction in the organizer. Then students think about an idea for an introduction of a setting on their own and are prompted to talk to a partner about their story. The students verbally rehearse what they plan to write, as this provides them an opportunity to organize their thoughts and prepares them to get started as soon as they are released to write independently, using the same organizer that the teacher used to model the mini lesson.  

The benefit of this approach is that it gives the teacher time to provide specific feedback over the same crafting element. Having every student write their complete thoughts directly in the organizer in a chunked manner allows for a better visual of where to correct capitalization and punctuation. Essentially, each lesson should invite students to write one or two complete sentences that can be quickly edited before adding the next part of the story.  

Share and reflect: Close each lesson by bringing students back together so that they have an opportunity to share what they’ve produced. This time celebrates students’ creativity, as well as giving them an opportunity to reflect on how they can improve their writing.   

Both on-demand writing and long-range writing are vital in developing confident writers across various genres. It’s important to approach them with a cyclical scope and sequence that allows students to learn the craft, structure, and development of narrative, informative, and opinion styles of writing. By scaffolding and supporting students’ growth in each genre of writing, learners will begin to automatically apply these techniques more independently as the year progresses because of the solid foundation that has been built. 


  1. Writing Lesson Plan Template

    lesson plan about writing an essay

  2. creative writing lesson plan

    lesson plan about writing an essay

  3. Argumentative Text Grade 9 Lesson Plan

    lesson plan about writing an essay

  4. Crystal How To Write An Essay Lesson Plan

    lesson plan about writing an essay

  5. Writing Lesson Plan

    lesson plan about writing an essay

  6. College Level Lesson Plan Template Lovely Best Custom Academic Essay

    lesson plan about writing an essay


  1. Skill of Illustration with example lesson plan writing

  2. Original Writing Lesson Plan Writing Process #2023

  3. Lesson Plan Writing Video

  4. Lesson Plan Writing vid

  5. Writing techniques|| How to plan a writing| how to improve writing skills||Communication skills

  6. Lesson Plan Writing Video


  1. Planning a writing lesson

    As the first stage of preparing to write an essay, I give learners the essay title and pieces of scrap paper. They have 3 minutes to work alone, writing one idea on each piece of paper, before comparing in groups. Each group can then present their 3 best ideas to the class. It doesn't matter if the ideas aren't used in the final piece of ...

  2. PDF Lesson Plans LESSON PLANS for Teaching Teaching Writing riting

    Teaching Writing Lesson Plans for Teaching Writing 1111 W. Kenyon Road Urbana, Illinois 61801-1096 800-369-6283 or 217-328-3870 www.ncte.org ... Print Advertisement: Writing an Argumentative Essay —Susan P. Allen 199 69. An Advertising Campaign: Using Rhetorical Appeals —Miles McCrimmon 202

  3. Essay Writing: A Complete Guide for Students and Teachers

    Many ideas and activities can be integrated into broader lesson plans based on essay writing. Often, though, they will work effectively in isolation - just as athletes isolate physical movements to drill that are relevant to their sport. When these movements become second nature, they can be repeated naturally in the context of the game or in ...

  4. PDF Cambridge English: First Lesson Plan: Writing

    WRITING (1 hour 20 minutes) Part 1 You must answer this question. Write your answer in 140-190 words in an appropriate style on the separate answer sheet. 1 In your English class you have been talking about work. Now, your English teacher has asked you to write an essay. Write an essay using all the notes and give reasons for your point of view.

  5. Lesson plans

    Writing - Task Two. Lesson plan. Description. Developing arguments. With a focus on planning and preparing to write, this lesson develops students' ability to examine the question and generate ideas. By analysing the use of cohesive devices in two different ways to balance an argument, students are encouraged to provide coherent and cohesive ...

  6. Essay Structure Lesson Plan

    Use this lesson plan to teach your students the basic structure of a five-paragraph essay. Students will watch a video lesson that explains each component, apply knowledge in active writing, then ...

  7. PDF Lesson plan: Structuring your essay

    Lesson plan: Structuring your essay Timing Content/Activity Materials Before the start Warming up: students introduce themselves to each other and talk about their reasons for ... but there will be elements of planning and writing/content in the session but in terms of how it links with structuring. At end of session I will point you to further ...

  8. PDF Lesson Plan B2 First for Schools Writing Part 1

    Read the sample question. You are going to work with your group and think of ideas that give both sides of the argument in response to a B2 First for Schools Writing Part 1 question. Use the notes and brainstorm For and Against well-balanced argument in the essay. Think of your own ideas. Write all of your arguments into the For and Against.

  9. Five-Paragraph Essay Lesson Plan: Producing Writing

    Step 2: BUILD KNOWLEDGE. Read aloud the description on the Five-Paragraph Essay topic page . Play the Movie, pausing to check for understanding. Step 3: APPLY and ASSESS. Assign the Five-Paragraph Essay Quiz, prompting students to apply essential literacy skills while demonstrating what they learned about this topic. Step 4: DEEPEN and EXTEND.

  10. How to Teach Essay Writing for ESL Classes

    Essay Writing Lesson Plans. There are a number of lesson plans and resources on this site that help with the many steps involved in developing the necessary writing skills. To focus on combining simple sentences into more compound structures, use a simple-to-compound sentence worksheet. Once students are comfortable at the sentence level ...

  11. Writing Lesson Plan Stages (+ Sample in PDF)

    The writing lesson plan should include stages that guide the students to discover the distinctive features of a model text, a genre such as formal letters, reports, or essays. Then, ideally, the students should be invited to practice the language, the layout, and the format of the target genre we want to teach.

  12. All About the Informative Essay

    Share and write three details under each idea. Tell students that they just created an outline for an informative essay. Discuss possible topics for the essay. Examples might include: How to Succeed at School, Three Keys to Academic Success, and How to Rock Your Report Card. This lesson includes an anchor essay which students will mark up, a ...

  13. ELA G7: Writing An Argumentative Essay: Planning The Essay

    In this lesson, students start a Writing Improvement Tracker that they will return to after writing the essay in each module for the rest of the year. The purpose of this is to develop students' awareness of their strengths and challenges, as well as ask students to strategize to address their challenges. Self-assessment and goal setting ...

  14. Can You Convince Me? Developing Persuasive Writing

    In addition, the lesson "Persuasive Essay: Environmental Issues" can be adapted for your students as part of this exercise. Have students write persuasive arguments for a special class event, such as an educational field trip or an in-class educational movie. Reward the class by arranging for the class event suggested in one of the essays.

  15. Argumentative Writing Unit

    Writing prompts, lesson plans, webinars, mentor texts and a culminating contest, all to inspire your students to tell us what matters to them. ... On our current site, you can find the essays of ...

  16. Efficient Essay Writing Lesson Plan

    Efficient Essay Writing Lesson Plan. Instructor Sharon Linde. Sharon has an Masters of Science in Mathematics and a Masters in Education. Cite this lesson. Teach your students how to approach and ...

  17. PDF Informative Writing

    this type of writing will have a long lasting effect, and will provide useful tools for other types of writing. In particular, the ability to research and findfacts to support their persuasive, research, and opinion writing when necessary. Gathering and summarizing key information will also be a powerful tool for academic reading and

  18. Lesson 4: Writing an informative essay

    Suggested Pacing: ~15 minutes. Directions: Say to students: "You completed an evidence chart as part of the previous lesson. We are going to use this handout today to write our evidence paragraph.". Say, "Writers use evidence to support the ideas in their essay. In our topic statement we wrote facts about storytelling.

  19. B2 writing

    This section offers writing practice to help you write clear, detailed text on a wide range of topics related to your interests. Texts include essays, reports, reviews, messages and emails. Each lesson has a preparation task, a model text with writing tips and three tasks to check your understanding and to practise a variety of writing skills.

  20. Lesson Plans for Writing

    This winter-themed lesson plan, which incorporates the book Tree of Cranes by Allen Say, teaches students about Japanese traditions and customs. They will review the basic elements of a narrative story, and then write their own narratives about a special event or moment in their life. ... The hardest part of writing an essay can be the first ...

  21. PDF Writing Mini-Lesson: Introductions and Conclusions

    1. (2 mins.) Launch today's lesson by naming the skills students have already learned that will support them in today's writing activity: Read Fences Outlined and drafted an essay about the theme of Fences . 2. (3 mins.) Have students follow along with the Essay Introduction section of their handout as you

  22. Writing an Opinion Essay: Planning

    These are the CCS Standards addressed in this lesson: W.5.1: Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information. W.5.1a: Introduce a topic or text clearly, state an opinion, and create an organizational structure in which ideas are logically grouped to support the writer's purpose. W.5.1b: Provide logically ordered reasons that are supported by ...


    2. Plan—5 minutes Before you can start writing, you need to know what you're going to write. Consider the following points to determine what you'll write about in your essay: •Develop your thesis statement (central claim). A thoughtful (perhaps multi-sentence) thesis that indicates a clear position and establishes a line of

  24. Planning Early Elementary Writing Lessons

    Keep your lesson mini: A mini lesson is 15 to 20 minutes long and organized in a gradual release format, and it allows the teacher to model a specific, focused lesson. For example, narrative writing could be broken into the following mini lessons for a beginning-of-the-year cycle for second grade: introduce and describe a setting, introduce and ...

  25. Writing Lesson Plan.docx

    Writing Lesson Plan I have chosen to use the book Owl Moon written by Jane Yolen. The book is short enough to use during a mini-lesson, nearly each page provides the opportunity to exemplify word choice to students. The author uses figurative language, similes, vivid verbs, and stunning adjectives and adverbs. She paints such a descriptive picture through her words that students could close ...

  26. Teachers are using AI to grade essays. Students are using AI to write

    Teachers are turning to AI tools and platforms — such as ChatGPT, Writable, Grammarly and EssayGrader — to assist with grading papers, writing feedback, developing lesson plans and creating ...