Welcome to HIT—How I Teach….In this episode, I take the concept of writing essays and join it with a little research, a quote or two, a formulaic approach (three paragraphs/three topics), and boom—we have an assignment that spans many levels of junior high and high school, that boys actually like too, that can be differentiated easily, and that is fun to each!

Writing essays comes in many forms—persuasive, three paragraph, five paragraph, first person, formal third person, research added, and much more. While I love some of my easier projects of writing essays (like the one I talked about in Episode 1 of HIT that is a perfect starter paper!), this one was extremely fun to teach and has some research elements in it so that while they are having fun, they don’t even realize they are researching! 😊

So here is what to expect in this week’s broadcast:

  • A free lesson of 3 Ways to Survive in a Jungle for you to use!
  • Some quotation teaching in that lesson!
  • Using Expectation Explanations during the differentiation process—while leveling this project for many levels of students
  • Once again, the amazing use of a sample project—how to walk students through one, how to help them “code” it so that they see the transitions, paragraph topics, thesis statement, thesis statement reloaded, details, and more
  • How to use that sample project to get kids excited about this project!
  • The difference between a Brainstorming Box and a Directed Brainstorming Box and when to use each type
  • Differentiating quotations in a project—from removing the quote part for young kids all the way up to teaching and requiring an advanced quotation technique like split quote or colon-speech tag quote—and everything in between
  • How to use a topic that interests kids (even boys!) as a springboard for researching for support information
  • Continuing to multi-level this project by the addition of an opening paragraph vs a thesis statement and/or a closing paragraph vs. just a thesis statement reloaded
  • How to use the free lesson to create other essays at your students’ levels
  • So much more!


 I can’t tell you how much my test students love this project! They love doing the research part because they are excited to learn more about how to survive in a jungle. They love comparing notes with their classmates to see what others thought were the most important ways to survive. So much fun!

Of course, just like every lesson in my one-month downloadable books and my one-semester Meaningful Composition books, this one also has the invaluable sample project (all five paragraphs) to teach from and to excite your students!

 It’s all here in this week’s HIT—where each week, I bring you tips, tricks, and techniques for teaching writing, language arts, grammar, and more (to grades two through twelve) drawing upon my 100+ curriculum books totaling over 50,000 pages.

Note: This lesson came from Write On, Mowgli, Level IV,  a month-long downloadable book!


Find everything you need here!

Weekly broadcast episodes with Teacher’s Notebook downloads (and links to listen or watch!) at the Language Arts Lady blog

Master (continually updated) Teacher’s Notebook downloadable booklet

Free writing books and videos of me teaching your students for you for a couple of weeks!

All of my digital books

How I Teach YouTube Channel

How I Teach Podcast