In Term Three, when studying a new novel, I reminded the boys of our use of the GSCE in planning for an essay, however I did not make it compulsory. I decided to give them the option of choosing how they would plan so they could defer to their preferred method, but, in hindsight, this was a mistake. Less than quarter of the class decided to use it in their planning. While I cannot categorically say that it improved their essays, it is evident that the boys who chose to use it produced essays of which they could be proud. It also got mentioned as we start to plan speeches for debates we are going to hold in class. As my English classes move towards examinations, my plan is to make the GSCE compulsory in planning their essays. From here, we can build on our use and understanding of the GSCE for planning. With more practise, the GSCE will become second nature and will be a very useful tool to prepare for the essays they will complete in years to come.
These carefully chosen responses show the boys’ understanding of the importance of planning and paragraph structure. This is certainly supported by their fine attempts at structuring their paragraphs. Planning for an essay is so important, as was demonstrated by the first comment. This is a terrific habit to take on board for their future learning.
Tips on Planning an Argumentative Essay
While it is unlikely the table “gave… ideas” it is certainly evident that the boy understood the value of the table and the feedback shows that it has helped with their planning and essay structure. Crucially, the boys still need to come up with the ideas themselves, which had to come from their previous learning on the novel.