We’re back with our final bonus blog post all about Using Chat GPT in your ELA classroom! Today’s time-saving hack is to have this AI tool write sample essays to use as mentor texts for your students. This one might not be as obvious as the other ideas we shared in the first two bonus episodes, so let’s take a minute to talk about why providing mentor essays to your students are so critical!
Why Provide Mentor Texts?
If you’ve been a part of the EB world for awhile, you know that we strongly, strongly suggest that teachers write a sample essay, or response to literature for every big writing assignment they give. That’s because in our years working with thousands of middle school teachers, we’ve learned there are actually 4 pillars you need to focus on if you want students to write strong evidence-based essays, and it’s when you combine all 4 of these pillars, that students become confident, skilled writers whose essays actually make sense and contain relevant evidence and thoughtful analysis! You can learn more about this in our EB Writing Program.
And One of those pillars is hands down providing students with teacher writing samples so they learn what a high level essay looks like. Students need something to strive for, and that’s where teacher sample essays come in.
Showing students multiple model essays that follow the writing framework you use will help propel their writing to the next level because they can analyze quality writing and discuss what makes the sample essay so strong so they can mimic the strategies in their own essays.
How to Differentiate with Chat GPT
But, let’s face it? Teachers rarely have extra time or energy to write an entire sample essay even though the benefits are so great!
That’s where Chat GPT comes in.
Simply type in your command on the website and Chat GPT will write an entire sample essay for you. Then all you need to do is read it over, make any quick adjustments, and then share it with your students before they go off and write their own essays!
It’s absolutely mind-blowing how quickly you have a full-written essay in front of you. When I did this using the essential question for The Outsiders, I was impressed with the essay it wrote for me! It had a tag, summary, claim, paraphrased evidence, and even strong justification!
All I had to do was find a direct quote (although I could have had Chat Gpt add that for me), adjust a sentence or two, and I had a mentor text ready to share with students. And it was ready in under 5 minutes!
Think about how having a sample essay will help your students! The sample offers a clear model of strong writing. By analyzing and studying the sample essay, students can learn how to structure their own writing, use evidence to support claims, and even include stronger vocabulary. They can see how good writing flows, how sentences and paragraphs are constructed, and how the essay as a whole is organized. The sample essay also provides an example of high-quality work. This can help students to see how another writer has successfully tackled the same writing assignment, so they can gain a better understanding of the expectations.
Why wouldn’t a teacher want to provide these benefits to their students? And now, it can be done in a matter of minutes for all your big writing assignments. Think of the ripple effects this will have on students’ writing throughout the year!
AI technology is here to stay, and this is an amazing opportunity for teachers to start trying it out. The three ideas we shared in these bonus blog posts are low-risk, practical, and guaranteed to completely uplevel how you teach!
Let us know if you try these ideas out in your own classroom! We’d love to hear about it!
Be sure to check out 2 other posts about utilizing Chat GPT in your classroom.