Outlining with Essays I & II

I: Write this on a piece of paper or your chalk-board.

Autobiography of __________

  I. What is your name?
 II. Where do you live? city, state
III. Why are you famous?
IV. What is interesting about you?
 V. What is your character? honest, friendly.... 

The children should answer the questions about themselves in outline form (I., II., ...). They should write the answers as either sentences or phrases, but not a mixture of both. The things which they write can be fact or fiction, and in the present, past, or future. When they have completed their list, they should then write a short essay based on the information that they wrote in their lists. They should proof read their essay before finally reading it aloud to the others. Sometimes, I tape the oral readings with a camcorder.
*Tell the children that the dots behind the Roman numerals should line up vertically. When you write the questions on your board or paper, be sure that you have the dots that follow the Roman numerals lining up (as a good example).
*Tell them to capitalize only the first word and the proper nouns in the topics. All of the important words in the title are capitalized.

II: Write this on a piece of paper or your chalk-board.

My Favorites

  I. Toys
     A. Write a favorite toy
     B. Write another favorite toy
 II. Foods
     A. Write a favorite food
     B. Write another food
III. Places
     A. Write a favorite place
     B. Write a second favorite place.

Have the children write the answers in true outline form. Have them write in phrase form (no sentences in this one). When they are finished, they should, by following the outline, be able to write a very short essay about their favorite things.

Have your children make the outline themselves. Give each of them a ruler to make the straight vertical lines necessary for the proper parallel form or have them crease their papers to make 'lines' to go by.
*As you do this lesson, point out that each topic that is divided has at least two subtopics. A topic can not have only one subtopic. See the example below:

My Favorites

  I. Toys
     A. Legos (this is wrong)
 II. Foods
     A. Mashed potatoes
     B. Raw carrots
III. Places
     A. My room
     B. The living room

*The topic 'Toys' above can not be divided into one part as I have done here (in red). Topics MUST have at least two subtopics in order to be divided at all.

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Donna Young

dated personal journal for the household planner

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