Old Man and the Sea Outline

My Honors kids have been struggling with thesis statements. They have great ideas, they just aren’t articulating them into arguments. And thus their papers (and grades) are suffering. So I decided to do something a little different for their Old Man and the Sea papers. I wanted to help them out.

For the past few days, I slowed things down. I started with the thesis statement, then the attention-getter, than the intro paragraph, and finally the paper outline. I took everything step-by-step. I broke it down. We talked about arguments. The students created their own paper topics. Then they wrote thesis statements and I worked individually with them. [To read more about that, click here].

Next was attention-getters, finding ways to bring the audience in. We talked about framing, and I read them the It’s a Frame Up! article.

Then introductions and the components of a good introduction paragraph: attention-getter, background information, title and author, thesis.

And finally, I wanted them to start thinking towards their rough draft, so I created an outline. This was a make-shift, rough outline sketch, but it would help the students think, especially, about their topic sentences and transitions. First, what were their ideas/three main points? Second, how were they organizing and introducing their ideas?


I posted the Outline to the Google Classroom site. This way I was able to post and edit the students’ outlines on the computer and give every student individualized, immediate feedback. I think this was very helpful and useful in getting students on the right track with their papers.

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