Eighth Grade: Teach various types of writing.
Once a student who has had a lot of writing instruction reaches eighth grade, he has probably had a lot of experience in sentence types, paragraph breaks, and multi-paragraph writing. This is a good stage to delve into various writing types, if you have not already done so. That is, it is great for an eighth grader to learn the nuances of not only “general” writing—but also the specifics of report, essay, and story writing. And even within those broader types of compositions, to learn about personal essays vs. persuasive ones and quotations in research reports and short story descriptive type of writing vs. longer stories with all elements of story writing.
Learning various writing types has many benefits:
(1) It allows the student to try the various types and find out what he enjoys the most.
(2) The student will learn a variety of pre-writing, grammar, and usage skills (among other skills). Some writing types lean more heavily on quotation inclusion, for example. Others include more imagery and descriptive wording and sentences. Each type your student learns will increase his abilities in all of the skills that come with that type.
(3) It makes writing less boring. Hopefully, your junior high and high school student will be writing many papers. Writing a variety of types keeps boredom from setting in.
My long-term students often flip right over to the future units or future projects when they get their new books in Meaningful Composition (or new units in Character Quality Language Arts). They tell each other what is coming up and squeal with delight or moan with dread (while others squeal with delight). They look forward to different types of writing projects and anticipate their favorite kinds.
Note: Go here to see (and print/use) two week samples of my Meaningful Composition series. These samples have, for the most part, complete writing projects. Thus, you can see sample papers of most projects there. Note the various types and how each one has its own outlining type. Also, keep your eyes on my stores (Teachers Pay Teachers, CurrClick, Teacher’s Notebook, and Character Ink Press) as I put up various writing project downloads that are in my longer books.