5 Quick and Easy Essay Review Ideas


If you have just a few days left before your state test in essay writing and need some quick and easy activities to make an impact, check out these 5 ideas!

It was 4 days before the state writing test and we needed some quick and focused practice.  What can I do in just 4 days and make an impact?  That was my quandary and these are the 5 ways that I found to help get my students ready for the state essay writing test!

1. Structure Task Cards

Quick and easy way to review before the state test in essay writing!
These task cards go over the structure (organization) of both informative and argumentative essays. 

To use these task cards, I play Scoot.  To play this game, I tape one task card to each desk.  When the students are seated, I give them an answer sheet and explain that they will have 30 seconds to answer the card on their desk.  I then explain where they will move to next.  I set a timer and when 30 seconds are up, I say “Scoot” and the students will move to the next desk. 

Once all the task cards have been answered, we trade and check to go over all the answers.  It’s a great way to combine thinking and movement all in one. 

2. Cloze Activities

Cloze is a fancy word for fill-in-the-blank.  I wrote these explanations of what belongs in an informative and argumentative essay with blanks for keywords like “evidence” and “thesis”.  I allow students to use any and all notes that they have to complete this exercise.  It also doubles as a nice study tool for the night before the state exam. 

3. Evidence and Elaboration Task Cards

Next to organization, the things students struggle with the most is finding relevant evidence and writing non-repetitive elaboration. So I made a set of task cards for informative and argumentative that go over these very things.  Since I am working with 6th grade this year, we used the informative task cards and I added in a statement about the differences for us. 

4. Essay Game Show

If there’s time and all of the critical information has been covered, I
will play this PowerPoint Game Show that reviews all of the skills from the task cards.  Students love forming teams and competing against one another.  It’s even more exciting if there’s a prize!  I like to give out tardy passes or a small treat to the winning team.

5. Flashcards

This may seem a bit old school, but this really works!  Every day, we reviewed a part of the essay and put it into flashcard books. Then the next day I asked the students questions about what was in our flashcard books. I wrote an entire post about this strategy that you can read by clicking here.

You can make those last days count with any of these quick and easy essay review ideas! Your students will love being better prepared and you will love knowing you made an impact!

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