Beyond Five-Paragraphs

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Firstly, I’m a teacher-librarian not an English teacher. I don’t pretend to be an expert in either craft.  I’m commenting to support the thesis in Kimberly Hill Campbell’s article of Education Leadership ‘Beyond the Five-Paragraph Essay’. Years of research indicate the model isn’t a wonderful writing aide. So why are we still fighting it’s implementation in 2014?  Our school has mostly moved away from it in favour of other writing devices. As a librarian the outcome and eventual writing or production exercise does influence your course of action.

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“The five-paragraph essay format often puts students’ thinking in a box.  Ther’s a better way.”(Hill Campbell)

Many of colleagues have embraced a comprehensive inquiry model or PBL which starts with students generating big questions  not simply completing a  topic outline that fits 5 paragraphs or three boxes.  It’s valuable to emphasize organizational skills but in 2014 its finding personal meaning and filtering content within issues that is vital. Writing becomes a form of affirmation. Their writing is driven first by research and then by a deeper level of thinking.  Hill Campbell says, “developing an authoritative voice’. She claims the organization actually comes after the purpose of writing is generated- after the inquiry.  She discusses the virtues of not establishing predetermined formula of size or shape but let the student’s position statement and evidence dictate the organization and writing needs. I like her assessment.  Check her article out.

 

 

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Hill Campbell, Kimberly. “BEYOND The Five-Paragraph ESSAY.” Educational Leadership 71.7 (2014): 60-65. Canadian Reference Centre. Web. 14 Apr. 2014.< http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=rch&AN=95379320&site=ehost-live >

 

3 Comments

Filed under Book Reviews, Periodicals, Personal Learning Network, Professional Development, Teacher Professional

3 responses to “Beyond Five-Paragraphs

  1. I think that the 5×5 is done (mostly unintentionally) for the benefit of the teacher–it attempts to allow a more consistent (and easier) avenue for assessment–than for what it purports. At any rate, it IS time to change how we support our students’ learning and offer more flexibility and opportunity for creativity!

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