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    8th Grade Essays

    How many essays are you typically assigning for your 8th graders. My daughter is doing the regular 8th grade core next year, with Ref/Con for narrative through MPOA and 4FL through MPOA, everything else is home with mom. I have been looking through the materials for next year and I am looking at the essay ideas. I don't see them assigned in the lesson plans, but it is something important to me to teach, and teach well. I was thinking 1 a week may be overwhelming, but maybe one every other week? I would love to hear how it has worked for you!
    ~Michelle

    DD 13 (MP 8 - 4FL and Ref/Con through MPOA)
    DS 11 (MP 6 w/MPOA)
    DS 5 - MP K (My first Kindergartner with MP!!!)
    DD 2 - Board Books and Chaos

    #2
    Here's an idea to consider... Do you have in mind a basic 5 paragraph essay?

    Why don't you ramp up slowly over the course of the first lit book (or classics book), teaching what an essay is and how to write it week by week, adding elements as you go and brainstorming how that would come together with this text? Then, once you've finished a book, start to write an essay on that book. Coach the steps-what do the 5 paragraphs do, what's a thesis, etc. Write and revise the sections (use all the many skills from Classical Comp!). Then have your child prepare a draft, review it together, note a few places to improve, then tidy up. Revise again. Then have the student prep a final draft. That all might take two months on the first go round, but it's important to teach it rather then just assign it and grade it. A shorter overall paper at first is important because it's easier to work with fewer words while learning the parts and keeping it coherent.
    Reduce the entire timeline by half for the second essay. You'll be at Christmas probably by that point! Spring semester, assign 2 or 3 solo, always giving feedback and allowing revisions which get to a final draft.
    A good way to ask for a revised draft is to have them staple it on top of the previously marked draft so that you can see quickly what changes have been made, and if discussed suggestions have been taken into consideration or ignored. I like papers that undergo 2, preferably 3 revisions: rough draft, revised draft, final draft. If everything that was requested to be corrected on the revised draft is correct on the final draft, then that paper should get a high mark.

    At this age it's mastering the process that is most helpful. To recap, I'm suggesting 4, maybe 5, for the entire year, 1-2 pages each, especially on top of the regular Comp writing. 2-3 revisions for each essay. If you don't already have an essay rubric, I'd get one before you start so she knows where the target is so she can aim.

    My two cents. ❤️
    Festina lentē,
    Jessica P

    '22-'23 • 13th year HSing • 11th year MP
    DS Hillsdale College freshman
    DD 11th • HLN & Latin online
    DD 8th • HLN & Home
    DS 5th • HLN & Home
    Me • Memoria College, MPOA Fourth Form for Adults

    Teaching Third Form Latin and co-directing @
    Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School, est. 2016

    Comment


      #3
      I second pickandgrin. It gives her a chance to focus on putting together a quality essay and understanding the rewriting process rather than just writing quickly. It's good to learn to write quickly, but that can wait until later.
      Bean. Long time MP user. Almost retired homeschool mom and university faculty/ librarian.

      I apologize in advance for my typos and grammatical mishaps.

      DD (17) Graduated!
      Mechanical Engineering

      "School Administrator" to niece (9): MP 3A

      Comment


        #4
        Thanks for posting this question, Michelle.
        And thanks for the replies, this is very helpful for me this year as well.

        Monica
        2021-2022
        S - 15
        S - 13

        Comment


          #5
          3Blessings
          One of my kiddos just handed this "Outline for a Five Paragraph Essay" to me this morning and I thought of this thread! Hopefully this will be helpful. If anyone else knows anything on this from MP, please post it. I'm not as familiar with the intro material and appendices in the upper level books as some of you others are.

          https://www.bucks.edu/media/bcccmedi...July08_000.pdf

          Here's a printable organizer for this format: https://www.bucks.edu/media/bcccmedi...July08_000.pdf

          And here are questions for self-assessment by the student: https://www.bucks.edu/academics/asc/...ine/questions/


          Festina lentē,
          Jessica P

          '22-'23 • 13th year HSing • 11th year MP
          DS Hillsdale College freshman
          DD 11th • HLN & Latin online
          DD 8th • HLN & Home
          DS 5th • HLN & Home
          Me • Memoria College, MPOA Fourth Form for Adults

          Teaching Third Form Latin and co-directing @
          Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School, est. 2016

          Comment


            #6
            pickandgrin, here is a thread where it has been discussed before:

            https://forum.memoriapress.com/forum...aragraph-essay

            See in particular tanya's post about 2/3rds of the way down for the pdf for the Rhetorical Essay Guide.

            I really like the Bucks.edu pdfs, thank you for linking those, pickandgrin.
            '22/'23 - 5th MP Year
            HS Dad & HLN Teacher
            ​​​​​Married to Faculty HS Mom
            8S, 3nd MP @ Home & HLN
            6D, 1st MP @ Home & HLN
            5S, K MP @ Home & HLN

            Comment


              #7
              Nailed it, Beorn Thanks!
              Festina lentē,
              Jessica P

              '22-'23 • 13th year HSing • 11th year MP
              DS Hillsdale College freshman
              DD 11th • HLN & Latin online
              DD 8th • HLN & Home
              DS 5th • HLN & Home
              Me • Memoria College, MPOA Fourth Form for Adults

              Teaching Third Form Latin and co-directing @
              Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School, est. 2016

              Comment


                #8
                I was not ignoring this thread, for some reason I'm no longer getting the email notifications.

                pickandgrin Thank you so much for the advice, and the links! I think 4-5 essays sound completely doable over the span of a year. What prompted this question was looking through the short stories guide and realizing there are optional essays for every story / poem, but they include room for 10 different essays throughout the year. I was thinking there was no way to put that many in and have them be of any quality, especially if there are also essays in the literature guides and maybe classical studies? My daughter is also doing Ref/Con through MPOA, so I don't want to overwhelm that, but I think needs some assistance with forming and developing a thesis and supporting it.

                Beorn That link to the past thread was very helpful! Thank you!
                ~Michelle

                DD 13 (MP 8 - 4FL and Ref/Con through MPOA)
                DS 11 (MP 6 w/MPOA)
                DS 5 - MP K (My first Kindergartner with MP!!!)
                DD 2 - Board Books and Chaos

                Comment

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