Thursday, 22 November 2012

Thesis Statement Partners

Level: Intermediate and above

Materials Needed: paper


o   To teach students the rules of writing successful thesis statements, prepare a pair of good and bad thesis statements, each of which exemplifies a rule (see the sample thesis statements below). Put each thesis statement on a slip of paper. Make sure there is a slip for each student. You may need to increase the number of sample thesis statements according to the number of students you have.

o   Make copies of the rules and sample thesis statements for all students.     

Time: 20 minutes


-   Shuffle the slips of paper. Give the instructions:

“Here I have some sample thesis statements. Each thesis statement has a pair or two pairs, which are either the improved or the poor version.
Your task is to pick one thesis statement first. Then, you will find the pair or pairs of that thesis statement. When you find your partner, you will analyse them and decide which one is the good one and which one is the bad one. Then, you will come up with a rule explaining your sample thesis statements.”
Students pick a slip of paper and then mingle to find the student who has the pair of that thesis statement.  

-   When students find the pairs, they analyse their statements and decide which one is good and why.

-   Closely monitor the students at this stage and provide support if necessary.

-   When students come up with the rule, they write it on the board.

-   When all the rules are put on the board, go over them together with the class and make corrections if necessary.

-   Distribute each student the handout on which you have both the rules and the examples.

-   If your students are not kinesthetic, you may prefer to ask students to do the same task on a worksheet.

Personal Comment:

-   Asking students figure out the rules of thesis statements rather than providing them with the rules is always much more helpful. What I have witnessed is that students tend not to forget the rules when they themselves figure them out.

This activity is from my book, The Activist. 

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