Right now we are working on the novel “Shakespeare’s Secret” by Elise Broach. It’s a great novel filled with Shakespearean/Elizabethan history, references, and intrigue…but that’s not really the topic of this post. As we read the novel, we work on various activities, one of which is chapter written responses. I’m not a fan of a bunch of short answer questions for each chapter or a chapter synopsis, as I’d prefer to give my students 1 or 2 “meatier” questions to work on…something that would involve higher order thinking, analysis, and application. The problem I have, however, is that a paragraph answer is too brief for this type of analysis, while a five paragraph essay is simply too long. My solution is a one page response, but my students have some trouble determining a main idea and finding supporting details. Since I love the P.E.E.L. framework, I’ve created a simple graphic organizer to help them layout their main idea, supporting details, and text-based evidence. As I explained in a previous post, instead of including the “L” as a link to the next paragraph, we use “L” as linking to a connection (text-to-text, -to-self, or -to-world) and my students tend to prefer “explanation” then “evidence” in their writing (and I agree with them).
So, simply click on the image below for the free printable. Students simply record their ideas in the chart and then write out their written response.