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Presentation on theme: "BUILDING THE ESSAY: BLUEPRINT TO HOUSEWARMING. My kids can’t write."— Presentation transcript:


2 My kids can’t write.

3 Oh, they can write, but their essays are a mess, and it takes me hours to grade them. Hmmm…

4 It sounds as though their organizational skills are poor. How do they prewrite? Sigh…

5 They web, cluster, whatever. They have their own styles of prewriting. When it hits the paper, though, it’s not well organized, and they hate revising. Hmmm…

6 Have you tried Four Square or some other organizational formula? ?

7 No, I don’t like formula writing. I think it inhibits their creativity. Hmmm…

8 How that relates to real life…

9 Why don’t you just stop and ask for directions or look at the map? I told you… I can figure it out. Just quit bugging me.

10 I built the whole house without even a blueprint! It looks pretty good, doesn’t it! Who says you have to have a plan?

11 Oh… it says “Read the directions carefully before you begin to assemble the…”

12 Writing an essay is just like the process of building a house. It takes a great deal of planning, work, fixing up the things that are done incorrectly, re-doing the things about which the clients change their minds, more planning, more work, more mistakes, more re-doing, etc. to build a house.

13 Building a house properly requires the following: A Process A Blueprint A Punch List (the list of repairs and finish work required to complete a large project, such as the construction of a house)

14 The Process: Planning, Executing, Modifying, Correcting, Selling The Blueprint: The organizational pattern for every part of the whole The Punch List: The assessment tool for checking off what the builder and contractor see that the tradespeople have accomplished and still need to do

15 Building Process - Planning, Executing, Modifying, Correcting, Selling Writing Process – Prewriting, Drafting, Revising, Editing, Publishing The Blueprint - The organizational pattern for every part of the whole Four Square – The organizational pattern for every paragraph in the essay The Punch List – The list of what needs to be done and has been accomplished The Rubric – The list of what needs to be done and has been accomplished Building Process vs. Writing Process

16 Dude, I need to write an expository essay. Dude, watch this Powerpoint.

17 Expository means explanatory. How do they do that? It’s easy! I’ll explain it to you. First, you…

18 Expository writing explains a process. My friend, your marshmallow roasting skills are excellent. How do you do it? Fellow camper, it is a highly technical process. Let me explain. First, you…

19 Expository Writing - A Process: How to do something How to make something How something happens How something works How something happened in history (a report) What happened in someone’s life (a biography) How to get somewhere,accomplish something, reach a goal, play a sport

20 Compare/Contrast (How things are similar and/or different) Problem/Solution (What the problem is/was and what the solution is/was/should be) What happened in a piece of literature (a review) How to pursue a hobby or job

21 How do I write an expository essay on “How to Build a House”? Simple! Building a house is a process, isn’t it? So…just use the writing process!

22 Writing process? What’s that? We used it in school, but I don’t remember the steps. You know… prewriting, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing…


24 We want to build a new house. Our apartment is too small, and our doggy is unhappy! We need ideas, a blueprint, and an architect. I like trees…

25 I’m the architect. I meet with the clients and draw the plans (the blueprints) for their house. My clients’ dog is so cute!

26 I’m the contractor. I take the architect’s blueprints, schedule the workers, and oversee the construction. The architect is so cute…

27 Safety first! Pre-planning for a safe building site will ensure success.

28 Don’t build here -- too close to power lines!

29 Level the building site.


31 The contractor called me to pour the concrete foundation. He put me on hold forever to talk to the architect…

32 The future homeowners’ friends are building the sidewalks.

33 The plumber figured out where all of the pipes go in the concrete slab.

34 OK – it’s time for me and the rest of the framers to put up the walls! Are those the homeowners? Cute dog! Oops…wrong 2x4!

35 The walls are up. The contractor called me to connect the floor plumbing to the wall pipes. This wrench is way too small…

36 Wires! Ya gotta have ‘em! I’m as crazy as they come!

37 Better get a roof on to keep the wires dry! Oops, I’m sliding! Look out below!

38 Insulate the attic and the walls! Sometimes I pretend this is cotton candy!

39 Weld the steel beam. Luke, you are my son. The force is strong in you.

40 Brick it up! What do you mean the chimney was supposed to be rock? Ask the homeowners if they think brick looks OK.

41 Time to call the painter!

42 Oops… wrong number.

43 Yeah, you’re the one!

44 We don’t call this “leaking”; we call this “normal atmospheric condensation.”


46 REVISE! Add trees to the yard; the dog wants more trees! Trees. I need trees.

47 REVISE! The air conditioning unit is frozen up. Call back the heat and air guys. We need a different unit.

48 REVISE! The living room light switch turns on the garbage disposal.

49 REVISE! Re-frame the family room wall; the homeowners want more windows! They want to be able to see the dog when he’s in the yard because he’s so cute.

50 REVISE! Put up a fence. The neighbors do not like your dog as much as you thought they would.

51 REVISE! This paint color looks much better! Sometimes you don’t know what you want until you see it!


53 EDIT! You built it on the neighbor’s property line!

54 EDIT! Plumbing didn’t pass inspection. There’s a leak in the slab. Bummer.

55 EDIT! The siding leaks. Replace the flashing and caulk it with 25-year latex paintable caulk.

56 EDIT! Bedroom wallpaper was hung in bathroom!

57 EDIT! Dude, fix this outlet; there’s no electricity to it!


59 Let’s have a housewarming party and show off our new house! Arf! Bow wow! I am happy!

60 Dude, now I understand the process, but how do I get started writing? Dude, first you have to brainstorm; then you have to use an organizer like a web, a cluster, an outline, or Four Square.

61 Which do you recommend? I know a lot of information about building a house because my dad is a homebuilder. Four Square. You organize each paragraph in a separate square.

62 First… Brainstorm… blueprints plans ideas architect contractor framer electrician light fixtures plumber bricklayer roofer landscaper decorator painter trees back yard neighbors the lot backhoe front end loader sidewalks flower beds open house windows bedrooms family room

63 …then try to figure out some logical way to divide it up into paragraphs.

64 All I can think of is 1. Before you build 2. The actual building 3. After you build. That’s great! That’ll work for the 3 paragraphs in the body of your essay! Now let’s organize it.

65 Trans.: In the first place Plan the building project Safety Builder must plan ahead Architect Blueprints Contractor Schedules all tradespeople Trans.: Now it is time for the actual building of the house... Do the project in a logical order Floor Plumbing, H&A Walls Wiring, cabinetry, brick Roof Insulation, shingles Trans.: Finally, the decorating Finish the project beautifully Inside the house Paint, stain, wallpaper Outside of the house Lighting fixtures, paint Landscaping Trees, flower beds As one can see, building a house can be challenging, exciting, and satisfying if the builder plans the project carefully, executes the project logically, and finishes the project beautifully. Building a house is challenging.

66 Paragraph 1 (Introductory Paragraph) DRAFT! Building a house is a challenging job. The builder must plan carefully, do the actual building projects in logical order, and then decorate the home beautifully. This is how a house becomes a home!

67 Paragraph 1 (Introductory Paragraph) DRAFT! Building a house is a challenging, exciting, and satisfying occupation. The builder must plan the project carefully and execute the project in a logical order; then he must decorate and landscape the home divinely. It is in this manner that a mere house becomes a warm, cozy, loving home!

68 Paragraph 2 DRAFT! In the first place, the home must be envisioned or “planned” before it can be built. The builder and the homeowners talk to the architect about the plans, or “blueprint.” The homeowners choose a building site, and the builder works with the backhoe operator to clear and level the site. Finally, the builder or contractor schedules the tradespeople to do the various jobs, ensuring that safety is a priority. All of this takes a great deal of planning.

69 Paragraph 3 DRAFT! Now it is time for the actual building of the house, and the different jobs must be completed in a logical order. First, the plumbing must be laid in place in the floor before the concrete slab can be poured. Heat and air vents are also part of the flooring system. Next, the walls emerge as the framers nail 2 x 4’s together to form walls that hold cabinets, enclose wiring, and support brick. At last, the roof is shingled and the insulation is put in the attic. Most of the house is finished.

70 Paragraph 4 DRAFT! Finally, the soft touches will add beauty to brick, stone, and wood. Inside the house colorful paint choices, warm wood stain colors, and lively wallpaper patterns add cheerfulness to the interior. Outside, stately lighting fixtures are complemented by lovely landscaping in the forms of trees and multiple flower beds. Contrasting paint colors on the exterior of the home make looking at it a pleasure. It is as beautiful outside as it is inside.

71 Paragraph 5 - Conclusion DRAFT! As one can see, building a home can be challenging, exciting, and satisfying if the builder plans the project safely and carefully, makes logical decisions about the order of the jobs, and then decorates and landscapes appropriately. The process of building is hard work, but if it is done correctly, a house can become a home.

72 More expository topics:

73 Tell how to make a dinosaur model. What materials would you use? What steps would you take?

74 Think about two games you like to play. Tell how they are alike and how they are different.

75 Here it is – the gift you have always wanted! Tell what the gift is, explain why you have always wanted it, and tell what you plan to do with it.

76 What would you like to be when you grow up? Write about the kind of job you would like to do someday. Tell what it is, what you know about it, and why you think it would be a good job.

77 Write about something you wish you didn’t have to do. Explain how it is done and why you don’t want to do it.

78 What is your favorite television commercial? What product does it promote? Explain why this is your favorite.

79 Explain the step-by-step process of how to do something you do well such as training a dog, learning to skate, or throwing a Frisbee.

80 Think about the best way you know to earn money. Explain the steps involved and tell why it is a good way.

81 Explain why you think _____ is the best pet.

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