A lesson teaching middle school students how to write a thesis statement should use a simple step-by-step process that teaches them exactly what a thesis statement is, explains the difference between argumentative statements and facts, and encourages the class to become an active part of the learning process through collaboration and discussion. By the end of your lesson, students should be able to write their own thesis statements at home.
Write a factual statement on the board, such as "The sky is blue." Then write an argumentative statement, such as "The sky is bluest in the summer." Show the students the difference between the two statements and explain that a thesis must an arguable statement.
Write a broad question on the board, such as "What would make school less boring?" Call on students to offer answers, and list some of the best on the board.
Turn the answers into arguments by combining them with the question to form a single thesis sentence, such as "School would be less boring if group work was maximized in the classroom."
Assign a separate topic and instruct students to brainstorm and develop their own thesis statements at home.
- Pick topics that are of interest to middle schoolers, such as school or aspects of pop culture.
- Create a collaborative atmosphere by inviting students to interject their own opinions and beliefs, thus personalizing the learning process.
- Limit the amount of time you spend talking "at" students. Format your lecture like a conversation in order to stave off classroom boredom and torpor.
Neil Richter began his writing career in 2007. He has served as a writing tutor and published reviews in the local Illinois newspaper "The Zephyr." Richter holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in English literature and film from Knox College in Galesburg, Ill.