Teaching Writing in High School: Lesson Plans for Secondary School Writing Teachers

Teaching essay writing to high school students presents a significant challenge for writing teachers. The secret to overcoming this challenge lies in dividing the task into smaller, manageable parts.

Teaching writing in high school is a task that requires dedication, creativity, and a deep understanding of the complexities of language.

As educators, we are tasked with guiding our students to discover their voices, express their thoughts clearly, and develop the critical thinking skills they will need throughout their lives.

Engaging students in conversations about topics such as “pay for essay” can enrich their understanding of the academic landscape and empower them to make informed choices in their academic journey.

Teaching Essays is Not an Option

Teaching Essays is Not an Option

Except for unique situations, teaching writing in high school means teaching how to write essays. Textbook lesson plans for teaching essays are sometimes helpful for teachers who have a very small class and an unlimited amount of time, but most do not.

Learning how to segment the assignment into manageable blocks makes teaching and learning much more productive.

Standard academic essays are normally presented in high school textbooks as having three major parts: an introduction, body, and conclusion.

A teacher who develops lesson plans related specifically to each of these essay parts and then deals with them separately with the class before putting it all together will find the process and the result satisfying.

Teaching Introductions to Essays

A good introduction with a captivating “hook” should be the goal of any essayist. Unfortunately, students become overly concerned with the beginning of their essays and sacrifice valuable time that could be better devoted to developing the body.

If possible, teachers should suggest that introductions be written after the essay is completed. Whenever introductions are taught, a fair amount of class time should be spent on them.

Creating a contest to see who has written the most interesting introduction in class will provide an entertaining sequel to the completion of the assignment.

Teaching the Body of Essays

This is the area where the bulk of class time should be spent on improving. A good way to break this daunting task into segments is to first spend a fair amount of time teaching thesis statements and then reviewing each one in class for all students to discuss openly.

Secondly, developing main ideas that are related to the thesis means spending time researching and brainstorming facts and details. This work can be assigned individually and then further explored in peer or group sessions.

Lesson plans that promote fact-finding, such as Internet scavenger hunts or class trips to the school library, will hopefully provide students with a wealth of information they can use to include in their essays.

Close monitoring of student research is needed to avoid problems that may be encountered when developing the main points of the essay. Showing students how to categorize facts and details and group them under main ideas is a valuable activity worth spending as much time on as possible.

Teaching Essay Conclusions

Conclusions are probably the easiest part of the essay to teach. Summarizing the main points or restating the thesis comes naturally to most students, and usually just requires a few helpful suggestions from a peer or the teacher to be effective.

Once again, conclusions can be shared in class and bonus points or a prize for the best one can enliven the entire project.

Teaching the Essay and Time Management

Breaking down the essay into these manageable segments will focus productivity on each important area of the writing project. It is a good idea to award grades or points for each part of the essay and then add them to the final grade, so students will develop a feel for the continuity of the project and learn that writing is a process and not a one-time effort.

It also helps to create a standardized checklist that the teacher and student can carry around during the assignment to keep track of strengths and weaknesses.


Initially, teaching the essay using the methods outlined in this article may seem burdensome and require a great deal of monitoring and bookkeeping but, in time, the process will become familiar to the teacher and the student and help to establish a framework that is reliable and amicable to positive intervention during any potential or troublesome stage of essay writing.

High school textbooks about writing provide general guidelines that can be practically implemented into daily lesson plans. With a little creative interpretation on the teacher’s part, little will be time wasted on maintaining discipline in the writing classroom.

Teaching essays in high school usually involves breaking down the assignment into manageable blocks. Introductions should be taught with a focus on creating a captivating “hook” and can be written after the essay is completed.

The body of the essay should have a strong thesis statement, and lesson plans that involve research and brainstorming are effective. Conclusions should be taught by emphasizing and summarizing the main points or restating the thesis.

Grades or points for each part of the essay should be awarded and then added to a final grade for continuity, and time management skills should be encouraged through checklists.