Developing an Essay Writing Repertoire

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Wednesday, October 04, 2017


Developing an Essay Writing Repertoire




  • Expand our notions of the essay and essay formats
  • Develop skills to analyze and describe components of an essay for the purpose of using them flexibly in essay writing
  • Understand the role of mentor texts and their importance for writing instruction
  • Use mentor texts and inquiry-based revision processes to develop a writing repertoire

Day 1

8:30 – 9:15


Welcome and Overview

·         Introductions, goals, and norms

·         Reflection and discussion on teaching essay writing

9:15 – 9:45


Moving Beyond the Five Paragraph Essay

·         Read “The Politics of the Paragraph” by Michelle Kenney

·         What implications does Kenney’s message have for us as teachers?

9:45 – 10:00

Hearing from Research

10:00 – 11:30

Engage in a Lesson as Learners

·         Comprehension

·         Interpretation

·         Analyzing and describing the essay

11:30 – 12:30


12:30 – 1:45

Time to Write: Compose a “Write Like” essay

1:45 – 3:00

Break Included

Inquiry-Based Peer Revision

Revision based on Peer Review

3:00 – 3:30

Reflection and takeaways



Day 2

8:30 – 8:45

Overview of the day

8:45 – 9:45

Analyze and describe peers’ essays


·         Reflect on your peers’ analysis and description of your essay.

·         Revise a section of your essay based on your reflection.

Reflect on the process

·         What did you learn about essays and the use of writing moves?

9:45 – 10:30

Digging Deeper in the role of mentor texts

10:30 – 11:30

Break Included

Using mentor texts for revision

·         Explore mentor text options

Time to write: Revise openings using three different mentor texts


·         How did each of these openings change the piece?

·         What do each allow you to see or do?

·         What doesn’t it allow you to see or do?

11:30 – 12:30


12:30 – 1:15


Sharing our Writing

·         Creating a safe learning environment for public sharing


·         What role does sharing our writing play in developing a community of learners and in our growth as writers?

1:15 – 2:45

Break Included

Enactment: Craft lessons that support students to build their writing repertoires and support inquiry-based revision

2:45 – 3:30






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