PRINT VERSION Essay Apprentice - Writing Lessons, Basics for Struggling & Low-Level Students

PRINT VERSION Essay Apprentice - Writing Lessons, Basics for Struggling & Low-Level Students

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This Essay Apprentice Writing Program introduces basic writing skills in a fun and effective way, helping students gain confidence in their writing as they learn - or relearn - the essentials of writing a good sentence, a good paragraph, and a good set of paragraphs. 179 pages of simple, practical activities that help students learn the step-by-step process of creating writing they can be proud of.

I wrote Essay Apprentice to help a group of 12th graders who had failed the California state exit exam more than three times. EVERY SINGLE STUDENT (who actually showed up for class) passed the essay portion of the exam that year. It is full of step-by-step process work with a ton of repetition.

Here's what one customer said about Essay Apprentice: Kathy B. said: wow best thing I have bought! I teach at risk 9th-11th graders who come to me with 3rd to 5th grade skills, and I have to get them ready to pass state standards to graduate. These are the kids that have multiple suspensions, hate school, and authority. I have no curriculum so this is awesome THANK YOU

  • It can be extremely effective in helping students who are really struggling to put together one or two paragraphs, let alone an entire 5 paragraph essay. This program does not have any juvenile clip art or fonts, so it is PERFECT for helping students in grades 9-12 who are particularly struggling, without making them feel like they are doing "baby" work. It is particularly effective with special education and English Language Learners.
  • It can also be used in grades 5-8, to introduce and/or review the basics of good writing. A scaffolded approach helps students learn step by step, working their way to a five paragraph essay.

For students who can write at least two paragraphs, but are struggling to get to 5 paragraphs, you may want to check out our Essay Architect Writing System, the second book in our essay writing series.

Heidi E. said: This is amazing! I'm using the SRA Reading & Writing program ( I like how it teaches grammar as patterns and not rules) and I use the writing extentions program, but it can be a bit "baby-ish" for my ninth, tenth and eleventh grade students. I downloaded this to use as a supplemental and it works so well! We kind of alternate each week between working on grammar with the text and applying that to the writing activities in this program. LOVE IT!

This unique, research-based, yet practical Essay Apprentice Writing Program includes:

Creative Writing Exercises to focus on purposes and types of writing, including:

  • Writing to Entertain: Cartoon Strip
  • Writing to Entertain: Horoscope
  • Writing to Entertain: Poetry
  • Writing to Inform: Recipe of Me
  • Writing to Inform: Quick Messages/Notes
  • Writing to Persuade: Personal Advertisement

Sentence Construction Activities focused on writing clean, succinct sentences that make sense:

  • Sentence Structure
  • Fragments
  • Main and Subordinate Clauses
  • Simple and Compound Sentences
  • Punctuating Sentences
  • Expanding Sentences
  • Sentence Variety
  • Sentence Combining
  • Using Modifiers

Paragraph Construction Activities to help students develop focused and coherent paragraphs:

  • Paragraph Structure and Formatting
  • Developing Paragraph Details
  • Types of Writing
  • Writing Thesis Statements
  • Writing Introductions
  • Writing Conclusions and more!

Preparing for Formal Writing through whole-class and small group Activities:

  • Structure of the Essay
  • Evaluating Essays
  • Verbal Discussion of Ideas
  • Organizing Ideas
  • Writing Group Essays

Evaluating Model and Non-Model Essays with:

  • What Should an Essay Look Like?
  • Peer-Editing and Evaluation Activities
  • Sample Model and Non-Model Essays

Preparing for Individual Writing with:

  • Verbal Discussion of Ideas
  • Writing Thesis Statements
  • Individual Organization of Thoughts
  • Pre-Writing Process
  • Writing Individual Essays

Resources, Tips, and Hints, including:

  • Using a Dictionary and Thesaurus
  • Reading an Essay Prompt
  • Essay Templates
  • Show, Don't Tell
  • Using Idioms
  • Precise Word Choice
  • Vivid Verbs
  • Misspelled and Confusing Words
  • Plus 15 Student Essays for Evaluation! 

Corbin little said: LOVED THIS RESOURCE! It breaks down each step of writing for students and provides helpful practice for things such as topic sentences. This really helped me ensure that my students understand how to recognize a quality topic sentence and thesis statement before I could ask them to write their own. HIGHLY RECOMMEND