Enviro Essay Prep: TFK has Perfect Timing

Magazine Cover

It’s not often that the perfect resource lands on your doorstep just when you need it, and yet, this year, the magazine Time for Kids has seemed to be consistently doing that. Perhaps it because we are doing so much work around environmental issues, but the magazine for students has been a wonderful resource for my classroom. (No, I am not a paid flack for Time, but really, for five bucks a year, this magazine is a steal, particularly when it comes to non-fiction reading and current events.)

Yesterday is a prime example. I’ve written about our work around developing a persuasive essay on an environmental theme. We’ve done the brainstorming, and the graphic organizing, and today, they will begin the writing of the introductory paragraph. I was looking around for some reading to keep exposing them to environmental topics when, bam, here comes my supply of Time for Kids with a double issue all about the environment. It was jam-packed with interesting articles on rain forests, the Everglades, endangered animals, kids who are making a difference and more.

We read through a few of the articles, sparking a lot of discussion around the balance between environmental projects and economic growth. One feature in particular was helpful — the opinion piece on the phase out of incandescent light bulbs in which both sides of the debate laid out their case. This is exactly what they are doing in their essays, so we were able to pick apart some of the rhetorical devices and weighed words used when making an argument to persuade the other side.

Meanwhile, today, as they start working on how to begin their essay in an interesting way, I am going to share my opening paragraph on my own essay I am writing (with them) on Fuel Cell Technology. I have used the comment feature in Word to make notes to them about what I was thinking as I was writing — a sort of meta-writing made visible. A lot of my students were feeling as if they weren’t sure what goes into an introduction as opposed to what goes into the body of the essay.

Here is what I will share with them:
Opening Paragraph Sample for Essay
Peace (in the world),

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