by Elaine Gallagher Another technique that helps all students is called “scaffolding”. A scaffold is used by painters of a large building to help support them […]
Another technique that helps all students is called “scaffolding”. A scaffold is used by painters of a large building to help support them so they do not fall.
In teaching, SCAFFOLDING can be:
- Providing students with blank lines on which they can write their answers
- Outline of a map that they can fill in or grids that can be used to construct graphs
- Underlining key words in the instructions
- Providing pictures, diagrams, or story maps
- Clarifying what should be included in the student’s response
- Indicating what reference materials may be used
- Providing some background information or context
- Reminding them of classroom readings or discussion
- Giving hints
- Asking the student to focus on things the class has read or discussed
- Providing the students with a checklist they can use to check their work
Examples of performance assessments with and without scaffolding:
TASK ONE: without scaffolding
- Write an essay telling how life twenty years from now may be like the present and how it might be different. You may want to conclude with an evaluation: Will the future be better or worse than the present?
TASK TWO: with scaffolding
- When you studied American history, you studied the past and compared it to the present. Now, consider how life twenty years from now may be like the present and how it might be different. Some areas you might write about in your comparison are family life, transportation, education, food, housing, and government. You may want to conclude with an evaluation. Will the future be better or worse than the present?
EXPOSITORY ESSAY (WITH SCAFFOLDING)
The student will develop a topic or theme; organize written thoughts with a clear beginning, middle, and end; use transitional sentences and phrases to connect related ideas; and write coherently and effectively.
|DESCRIPTION OF ACTIVITY:Once the essay format has been taught and topics have been determined, direct each student to print, photocopy, or take notes on specific information that contributes to the expositional thesis of his or her paper. Provide a reference log for each student to complete about each source of material or information.|
Since the body of an essay typically includes at least three main points, direct each student to cut up the material into individual pieces of information and sort them into three piles – one for each of the main points of his or her paper. The paper slips can be stored in separate envelopes until the activity is completed.
At this time, each student must examine the information, one “pile” at a time, to determine which pieces of information best contribute to the paper’s thesis. Since the purpose of an expository essay is to inform or explain, each student must exercise caution to include facts with supporting details and examples. Personal opinions from authors, contributors, and the students themselves should not be included.
The student should use the data to write one cohesive paragraph in his/her own words for each main point of the essay. Transitional statements connecting the paragraphs should be added as needed. The resulting body of the paper should then be combined with the introduction and conclusion to complete the expository essay draft. A word of caution about plagiarism would be appropriate at this time.
Encourage students to use the “Student Checklist for an Expository Essay.” This will help them complete all of the requirements for the task and organize their thoughts.
Note: If computers and scanners are available, students can gather the information and cut and paste it electronically into three files within a folder rather than using scissors and envelopes.
Essays can then be written directly on the computer.
Student Checklist for an Expository Essay
___ Determine the main topic for your essay.
Determine the three main points for your essay.
___ Gather information relative to your topic
___ Complete the reference log for each source you site.
___ Divide the material/information you gathered relative to your topic into three piles, each representing a main point.
___ Carefully look at each pile of information to determine what pieces of information will best support your thesis.
___ Write a paragraph for the first main point.
___ Write a paragraph for the second main point.
___ Write a paragraph for the third main point.
___ Write transition sentences to connect each of the paragraphs.
___ Write a good introductory paragraph.
___ Write a good concluding paragraph.
___ Read through your entire paper and edit your work.
THIS ACTIVITY WILL HELP STUDENTS IMPROVE THEIR WRITING SKILLS.