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ELA G7:M1:U2:L15

End of Unit Assessment, Part 1a: Writing Body Paragraphs

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Long Term Learning Targets

  • I can cite several pieces of text-based evidence to support an analysis of literary text. (RL.7.1) 
  • I can analyze the development of a theme or central idea throughout a literary text. (RL.7.2)
  • I can write informative/explanatory texts that convey ideas and concepts using relevant information that is carefully selected and organized. (W.7.2)
  • I can produce clear and coherent writing that is appropriate to task, purpose and audience. (W.7.4) 
  • I can select evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research. (W.7.9) 
  • I can accurately use seventh-grade academic vocabulary to express my ideas. (L.7.6)

Supporting Targets

Learning TargetsOngoing Assessments
  • I can organize my details from A Long Walk to Water so they support my claim/thesis.
  • I can ensure my quotes are accurate and punctuated correctly.

  • Entry task
  • Student work on Planning Your Essay organizer
  • Exit ticket
  • Draft body paragraphs


AgendaTeaching Notes

1. Opening 

A. Entry Task and Introducing Learning Targets (5 minutes) 

2.  Work Time

A. Examining Row 4 of NYS Rubric (5 minutes)

B. Share and Discuss: Student Claims and Plans for Two Body Paragraphs (5 minutes)

C. Completing Plan for Body Paragraph 3 (10 minutes)

D. Writing Body Paragraphs for Essay (15 minutes)

3.  Closing and Assessment

A. Exit Ticket: Questions You Have about Your Essay (5 minutes)

4.  Homework

A. Finish the body paragraphs of your essay. Be sure that the details and quotes you plan to use are correct.

  • This lesson continues the scaffolding for the essay draft to be completed in the next lesson. As in Lessons 12–14, this lesson begins with students discussing the criteria on the NYS Expository Writing Evaluation rubric. This lesson completes the introduction to the rubric with a discussion of the Control of Conventions row. Students once again will look at vocabulary in the rubric and talk about the importance of using standard English conventions in their writing. 
  • Use sensitivity when framing the purpose and value of using standard English in formal academic writing. It is important for students to understand that this formal context requires use of formal written language, while they also clearly hear and feel respect for the many ways they likely use language in other settings. This is particularly important for students whose home language or dialect may be something other than “standard” English. Link this instruction directly to L.7.6: Different situations require different language use, and one way to be “college and career ready” is to know how to move effectively between various styles of oral and written communication. 
  • Students will have started filling in the information for their first two body paragraphs on their Planning Your Essay graphic organizer, and will have a chance to discuss what they have done so far as well as complete the third body paragraph. 
  • By sharing the plans for their first two paragraphs, they will have a chance to have a peer act as a reader who will give them some feedback on their thinking. If they need to revise or supply clearer support for their survival factors, they will have an opportunity to do so at this point. 
  • Once they have completed plans for the third paragraph, they will begin writing the body paragraphs. This begins Part 1 of the official end of unit assessment, which is students’ best independent on-demand draft of their essay. (Students write the introduction and conclusion in Lesson 16). Consider to what extent you want to support students in this work. 
  • For students who struggle with writing, you could have them write a four-paragraph essay instead of a five-paragraph essay. In that case they would plan and write two body paragraphs instead of three.
  • Students will need to refer to many resources during this lesson: See materials list below. Determine an efficient way to help students gather these materials. 
  • Ideally, students would draft their essays on computers. Arrange appropriate technology. If this is not possible, have students draft by skipping lines, so they have space to make revisions in future lessons. 
  • If your students are not familiar with expectations about computer use in the classroom, explain them during Part C of Work Time.
  • Decide which Discussion Appointment partner you want students to work with during this class. Prepare written directions for Discussion Appointments on chart paper, the board, or for a document reader for Work Time B.
  • Post: Entry ticket, learning targets.



ensure, accurate; conventions, standard English grammar, emerging, frequent, hinder, minimal 

NOTE: From Row 3 of the NYS Grade 6–8 Expository Writing rubric.

  • NYS Grade 6–8 Expository Writing rubric (from Lesson 12; one per student)
  • Writer’s Glossary page from Row 4 of the NYS Rubric (one per student) 
  • A Long Walk to Water (book; one per student) 
  • Students’ Gathering Evidence graphic organizers (from throughout Unit 1 and from Unit 2, Lessons 1-8) 
  • Survival anchor chart (begun in Lesson 1)
  • Students’ Planning Your Essay graphic organizer (begun in Lesson 14)
  • Computers (one per student) 
  • End of Unit 2 Assessment Prompt: A Long Walk to Water Essay (introduced in Lesson 10; included again in the supporting materials for this lesson)


OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Entry Task and Introducing Learning Targets (5 minutes)

  • Write the following quote from the NYS Grade 6–8 Expository Writing rubric on the board with the question that follows. (You also could have half-sheets of paper with this information on it to give to students as they enter.)

* “Coherence, Organization and Style: the extent to which the essay logically organizes complex ideas, concepts, and information using formal style and precise language.”

* “What does the word coherence mean? What is one thing you can do to make your essay coherent?”

  • When students are finished responding in writing to the above, cold call one or two students to get the definition of “coherence.” Then ask two or three students to volunteer ways to make an essay coherent. If you wish, collect these entry tasks to check on student understanding.
  • Focus the class on the learning targets. Point out that these targets are the same as those of previous lessons. Read the first target aloud and have students show you a Fist to Five indicating how well they think they are doing with this target.
  • Since there are two words that students may not know, ensure and accurate, call attention to those words and define them if needed before you ask students for a Fist to Five response in learning target 2. If students are not in the three-to-five finger range, ask some to explain their responses. Why are they still feeling insecure with these two targets?
  • Point out that the two words from the learning targets are on the Writer’s Glossary sheet for Lesson 15, which students will get at the start of the next activity. If some students are still insecure, ask others for ideas or give more support to students who need it during Work Time.
  • Check for understanding with the second learning target briefly. 

  • Checking in with learning targets helps students self-assess their learning. This research-based strategy supports struggling learners most.

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Examining Row 4 of NYS Rubric (5 minutes)

  • Ask students to get out their copy of the NYS Expository Writing Evaluation rubric, and give each student the Writer’s Glossary page from Row 4 of the NYS Rubric.
  • The vocabulary words from the learning targets and Row 4 of the NYS rubric are already on the Writer’s Glossary page. Ask students to read Row 4 of the rubric and add any other words they want to talk about.
  • Go through the words on the Writer’s Glossary page. First ask students if they know the meaning of each word. Then point out the definitions on the Glossary page and discuss if needed.
  • When you get to “standard English grammar,” say: “If standard means the way something must be done, how would that relate to the English language?” 
  • If necessary, you could give an example of “standards” in the gas mileage that cars must meet. Once they give you something like, “Standards must be the rules for English,” point out why a language needs to have rules for how words are put together. Say: “The standards for English mean that anyone in the world can understand what another English speaker is saying or writing if they both know and follow the rules.” 
  • Point out that their essays should be clear to any English speaker and have to follow the rules of standard English grammar. Ask them to give you a rule or two of English grammar to be sure they understand what you are explaining. If they cannot give examples, you might offer something like these: “Sentences need to have a subject and a verb,” or “In English, we capitalize the first word in a sentence.”
  • It is important that students begin to realize why their grammar matters when they write. They may have dialects or local speech patterns and words that are not understandable to English speakers elsewhere. There are many situations—conversations or personal writing—when other forms of English (and of course other languages) are totally fine. However, it is important to distinguish when a situation calls for or requires formal English (this relates to L.7.6). When they speak, their friends understand, but when they write, they are writing for a larger audience. As authors, it is their responsibility to be sure that readers can understand what they are saying about a topic. This is part of why they have been looking at the model essay so much: to start to get a feel for this more formal standard English. 

  •  ELLs may be unfamiliar with more vocabulary words than are mentioned in this lesson. Check for comprehension of general words (e.g., lawpeace, etc.) that most students would know.

B. Share and Discuss: Student Claims and Plans for Two Body Paragraphs (5 minutes)

  • Display the End of Unit 2 Assessment Prompt: A Long Walk to Water Essay (which students were first introduced to in Lesson 10). 
  • Ask students to meet with their assigned Discussion Appointment, and to take 5 minutes to do the following:
  1. Share claim and plans for the first two body paragraphs. 
  2. Help each other to be sure that ideas are connected and that quotes are used, punctuated, and cited correctly. (Refer students to the Tips on Using Quotes anchor chart.)
  3. Revise your plan to improve your factor, evidence, or quotes.
  • Circulate to listen in and support as needed. For students who may need more support, consider pulling a small invitational group. 

  • Asking students to provide feedback to their peers based on explicit criteria benefits both students in improving the quality and clarity of their writing. 

C. Complete plan for Body Paragraph 3 (10 minutes)

  • Be sure students have their texts A Long Walk to Water. Tell students to get out their Forming Evidence-Based Claims, Reader’s Notes on A Long Walk to Water, and their Gathering Evidence organizer to use to complete the factor and evidence they want to use for their third body paragraph. They also can refer to the Survival anchor chart in the class to get evidence and quotes for paragraph 3.
  • Remind them that at this point, they are just planning, not writing full paragraphs. Ask students to complete the Body Paragraph 3 section of their Planning Your Essay graphic organizer. Tell them that they may talk through their ideas with their partner, but should do their own writing. 
  • For students who struggle, consider having them write only two body paragraphs. If you do that, revise the directions below to meet the expectations for those writing two instead of three body paragraphs.

D. Writing Body Paragraphs for Essay (15 minutes)

Note: Ideally, students will write their rough draft of the essay on computers. If, however, the technology is not easily available or students would require a lot of time to use the technology because they need a great deal of assistance with the technology itself, they should write their drafts by hand.

  • When students are ready, tell them they can go ahead and write the three body paragraphs for their essays. (Students can begin this phase of writing at different times as they complete the plans for body paragraph 3.)
  • Circulate as students work, giving assistance as needed and being sure that all are making progress in completing the three paragraphs.
  • Giving individual support during writing offers all students the precise assistance they may need.

Closing & Assessments

ClosingMeeting Students' Needs

A. Exit Ticket: Questions You Have about Your Essay (5 minutes) 

  • Have the following questions on the board and give students a half-sheet of paper to write their answers.

* What problems are you having with your essay?

* What help do you need to complete your essay?

  • Thank the students and collect their exit tickets.

  • Having students reflect on their own needs allows all of them to express what the teacher might do to help them. The teacher also has the opportunity to determine what individuals may need in the completion phase of their essay drafts.


ELA G7:M1:U2:L15


  • Finish the body paragraphs of your essay. Be sure that the details and quotes you plan to use are correct. Also check that you have a clear topic sentence in each paragraph that names the factor for survival that you are discussing. Check that you have good evidence and explanations of how your evidence supports your survival factor.

Note: In Lesson 16, students will finish their draft. Plan to offer additional support to those students who will need it to finish their essays. Read the exit tickets from today. They should offer some idea of where students are in their writing and which students are struggling. In some cases, you may be able to answer student questions or give writing assistance with individual notes on the exit tickets themselves. If so, return those tickets to students at the beginning of the next lesson.

Supporting Materials


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