« YA Lit Review: 'Uglies' by Scott Westerfield | Main | Five Lies ELA Teachers Tell Themselves - #5: "Students are just lazy!" »


mama squirrel

Interesting to revisit this! And no, I don't hold you personally responsible for the "deaths"--you can't kill what's not dead.


Can't wait to see the other lies. The 5-paragraph essay and 4-6 sentences per paragraph is something forced onto me from mentors and colleagues. When I first found out about these things, I felt like I didn't know what I was doing as a teacher, despite the fact my students had been successful writers. Using these guidelines has produced medicore writers who pass the state- required writing exam. The students could do better writing without such confinements.

NYC Educator

Ya know, I've always felt that way about the five-paragraph essay, ever since I was first forced to teach it. Who the hell sits down to write a five-paragraph essay, ever?

Ironically, I've been having to teach ESL students how on earth they could pass the NY Englsih Regents exam, which is entirely inappropriate for them (but that's yet another topic).

The way I've devised is teaching them a very simplistic FOUR-paragraph essay, and it seems to work. But I'd be deluding myself (not to mention my students) if I were to pretend this skill, which I spend up to a year teaching, were useful for anything but passing that one test, which they need to graduate.

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

NY Times Education Section

Blog powered by Typepad