Reviving the Essay

  • Title:Reviving The Essay: How To Teach Structure Without Formula
  • Author:Gretchen Bernabei
  • Publication Date:February 2005
  • Grade Level:4-12
  • ISBN:9781931492133
  • Publisher:Discover Writing

Do reading school essays put you to sleep?  Inject new life into essay writing and learn to teach structure without formula.  Gretchen Bernabei will wake up your students’ writing with dozens of practical voice-building lessons that foster structured prose without force-feeding formulas. 

Testing results confirm the need for students to unify their essays with something internal.  Victoria Young from the Texas Education Agency explained that an essay is more focused and coherent if its unifying theme is “one step away from the prompt.”  Students do understand what it means to locate and identify one real belief, full of passion and experience, from the prompt.  And then sometimes, students are given the freedom to dream up their own topic to develop into a more focused thesis, assertion, or opinion.

The many and varied lessons in Reviving the Essay help students transform a prompt or a personal idea into something of their own, something true and something that reflects they have digested it, found the hard-earned truth in it, or the paradox in it, or the human struggle within it.

In 20 years as a writing teacher in the Texas public school system, Gretchen Bernabei has found that students need guided practice in order to find a unifying message for their essay writings.  They need guidance to develop a feel for more compelling or interesting thoughts.  Reviving the Essay is her latest book for Discover Writing Press and one that every teacher of writing and language arts will want to add to their school bookshelf.

Bernabei makes teaching essay writing fun again…for teacher and student alike.   Reviving the Essay contains 30 exceptional lessons with motivating visual prompts, and reproducible sections that include text, graphics, and photos. Chapter headings begin with “Finding Your Message”, and end with “Crafting the Essay for a Reader’s Ears.

Lesson names, some of which follow, reflect the variety, fun and depth of this powerful teacher asset:

  •   Truisms
  •    Mixed Feelings: The 52/49 Split
  •   The Insight Garden: Growing Opinions from Art, Literature and Life
  •   The Story of My Thinking
  •   Tevye’s Debate
  •   Sound Effects
  •   Dialogue
  •   Ba-da-bing! A Sentence-Imitating Exercise
  •   I Want to Show You Something


Author Bio

A popular workshop presenter and winner of NCTE’s James Moffett Award in 2010, Gretchen Bernabei has taught middle school and high school for 34 years. She has devoted her professional life to learning, developing, and sharing best practices, particularly through the National Writing Projects.

Visit Gretchen’s Writing Tools Blog!

List Price $27.00
Your Price $20.25
You Save $6.75