Writing Definition Essays guides your students step by step through the process of creating an essay that explains the meaning of an interesting word. Students define the term in multiple ways, provide examples, explore connotations, outline etymology, give synonyms and antonyms, and use other types of details to elaborate on their terms. Instructions, activities, examples, interactives, and downloads help students find key terms from their studies or their everyday lives and research the terms to fully explore their meaning. You can present this unit right from your interactive whiteboard.
First students warm up by explaining a school-appropriate slang term to someone from an older generation, helping the person understand how the word is used. Then students read a sample definition essay that fully explores the meaning of courage. After responding to the sample essay, students work step by step through the process of explaining their own selected terms.
- Prewriting activities help students select interesting terms to define. They gather denotations, connotations, examples, etymology, synonyms, antonyms, and other details. They also write thesis statements to focus their essays.
- Writing activities help students organize their thoughts into a definition essay that grabs the reader's interest, presents the term, and defines it. Students learn effective explanatory strategies for beginnings, middles, and endings and read a sample essay by another student.
- Revising activities help students arrange their details to match the reader's questions about the term. Students also learn to craft a voice that connects with readers and shows their interest in the word they are defining. A peer review and a revising checklist help student complete their revisions.
- Editing activities help students ensure subject-verb agreement and pronoun-antecedent agreement. An editing checklist guides students in correcting punctuation, capitalization, spelling, usage, and grammar.
- Publishing activities encourage students to share their clean, final copies with others and reflect on what they have learned.