A Custom-Built Essaypop Lesson for Ms. K

Miss K, an essaypop user in Hawaii, wanted one of her narrative writing lessons set up in the platform, so we decided to help her out.

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Written by essaypop
Updated over a week ago
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Ms. K's writing lesson supports a fairly typical middle-school task, asking students to write a multiple-paragraph narrative about a personal incident that they brainstormed earlier using a graphic organizer. It is a lesson from the Springboard curriculum which Ms. K and her colleagues use.

Here's the slide deck that Ms. K provided us with that details the lesson steps. And here is the lesson itself which you may access yourself if you are an essaypop user. Have a look; it's a great lesson!

We built the lesson in essaypop using our proprietary CMS wizard which is a tool that all essaypop users have access to. Building or uploading favorite lessons with this tool is actually quite easy and fun.

Here's a quick article that shows how to use this tool on your own.

After reviewing Ms. K's lesson, we decided it would be best to use a basic story-telling template that starts students off with exposition, rising action, climax, and resolution structure.

In this article, you are able to see how the lesson was organized and set up to be delivered to Ms. K's students. What we hope you'll be impressed with here is not only the step-by-step method that students use to approach writing a personal narrative but also the scaffolding and other supports that surround the whole student writing experience.

So let's take a look at Ms. K's lesson and how it is supported by the essaypop writing platform. Keep in mind, you can expand any screenshot simply by clicking on it.

As you can see below, the lesson, once built, resides in the lesson library. When a teacher builds a lesson, it will be found in the lesson library under the category called My Prompts. Lessons can also be stored in a school's shared library as seen here. Shared lessons can be accessed by any staff member at a particular school, and this is a perfect place for grade-level and subject-specific writing lessons.

When the lesson tile is clicked, teachers are taken to the detail assignment itself. Here they can read through the particulars of the lesson, and if they decide they want to use it, they simply click the assign button. Here you can see that we've brought all aspects of Ms. K's lessons into the essaypop platform.

Once the lesson is selected, it will then be stored in the teacher's assignments area where it will be ready to assign to individual students and classes.

When the assignment tile is clicked, the teacher is taken to the essay dashboard, where modifications can be made and parameters for the assignment can be set. As you can see, there are quite a few things you can do with the lesson, including creating a pre-write experience, setting up a timed writing experience, and setting up assessment options.

Teachers can also modify and differentiate the lesson and cater it to the specific needs of their students. This also is where teachers will assign the lesson to specific classes and activate the interactive and collaborative Hive environment (more on this later).

Another useful essaypop feature allows teachers to write alongside their students using the exemplar mode. When teachers click the orange exemplar button, they are immediately taken to the same writing view that the students see; in this mode, they are quite literally having the student experience in essaypop and will see what students see.

You'll notice that students (or a teacher writing an exemplar) can begin with a pre-write activity that you can create for them or that they can set up for themselves, or they can go directly to the writing area. Ms. K's lesson involves some pretty extensive brainstorming, so we've recommended that she use this feature.

When students do go to the writing area, they will begin composing their stories with the writing template that has been selected by the teacher. Remember, essaypop provides numerous templates to support different kinds of writing. Since Miss K is setting up a narrative writing assignment for her students, we, again, decided to select a basic storytelling template that begins with the story's exposition and then moves into colored frames that represent rising action, climax, and resolution.

This template not only provides students with the basic structure to construct a personal narrative but also provides them with explanations, models, and examples that they will need as they proceed through the writing. In the past, Ms. K's students would compose everything on a basic Google Doc, and of course, would not have access to such rich and scaffolded guidance.

Miss K has already written a personal narrative to help guide her students with a real-life example of good, personal-narrative writing, and as you can see here she has placed the different aspects of the story into the appropriate, plot-specific frames. Her students will be able to see her exemplar when they go to the interactive Hive area of the platform.

Notice also, that writers are able to manipulate and customize the original template by adding additional frames and moving and rearranging the frames to best suit the essay or story. So while students start with a fixed template, they are able to “flex” the template's structure as they write.

Essaypop also features three distinct writing views that support different modes of writing that students prefer. The classic framed view seen in the screenshots above is the most popular word-processing area. But some students prefer a more traditional document view as seen here. Other students like the more zoomed-in focused view. Students can bounce from view to view, writing and experimenting with what works best for them, and they'll never lose any of their work regardless of which view they've written in.

Students go to the Hive to view their work and the work of others. The Hive is the social and interactive heart of the essaypop platform and is a highly engaging place to receive commentary and feedback. It's also where teachers will assess and comment on student work.

For more information on how the Hive works, please view this article.

When students are finished, they can click the eyeball icon and preview their work as seen here; they are also able to export to any preferred format for printing or turn-in purposes.

Ms. K's personal narrative lesson is awesome to begin with, and we had a great time dropping it into the essaypop writing platform. We hope seeing the process unfold is helpful to one and all.

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