Landing Fourth-Graders Learn to Write Thesis Statements

Landing Fourth-Graders Learn to Write Thesis Statements photo

Landing School fourth-graders in Melissa Harechmak’s class are writing personal essays using Writing Workshop, a new program initiated by the district in partnership with Columbia University’s Teachers College Reading and Writing Project.

According to Ms. Harechmak, each Writing Workshop unit lasts about three to four weeks, and consists of lessons that are 10-15 minutes each. The first lesson in each unit always begins with a teaching point. Currently, her class is learning that writers support their thesis by developing different types of facts to reinforce it.

The students began by brainstorming a thesis statement. Once it was developed and received approval from their teacher, the students were then asked to come up with three mini-stories to support it. Students are working collaboratively to help each other develop ideas and meet with their teacher during conferences to review their progress.   

Ms. Harechmak said the goal of each unit is to engage students to work together to come up with a story that models the teaching point. 

“Through these guided lessons we’re creating a love of writing and building habits for our students as they continue their development as writers,” Ms. Harechmak said.    

After drafting their mini-stories, students will sort and organize their ideas to begin the first draft of their essay. Once the independent writing is complete, Ms. Harechmak will review and edit each student’s writing. Students will then make revisions and will collaborate with their classmates to seek further suggestions.