Let me tell you, it was worth it. We became GB fans this year while trying to help our students write organized, but not formulaic, essays. *Enter her essay structures.* In case you're unfamiliar with these structures, Gretch and her students have developed about 119 of them to help students write logically and have plenty to say. They look like this:
Hello beautiful structure for the 9th grade literary story!
These are also lovingly referred to as Kernel essays. To use this method, set the timer for 5ish minutes and have students write 4 sentences- one for each box of the structure.
If students respond only to what is in each box in a complete sentence, they have a rough outline of an essay that ACTUALLY SAYS SOMETHING! Students can then expand the story and provide detail through Ba-Da-Bings and Pitchforking. Those words are Bernabeinese for some excellent and user-friendly strategies. Thankfully, Gretch is very generous in providing lots of online resources that are F-R-E-E-E.
Check out her site: http://www.trailofbreadcrumbs.net/
Everything you could possibly want plus things that are too good to even imagine are under the 'Teaching' tab. Don't hesitate to comment here with questions about how I use the strategies in my own class. I'd also love to know what you've used with success.
More great GB resources from her book, Crunchtime, can be found here.
Oh, I nearly forgot the best part! Lori and I got to take a picture with Gretch because we're cool like that!
ETBFFE= English Teacher Best Friends Forever and Ever