As a DP Teacher, I have a lot of difficulty in the earlier stages of the course getting the students to structure their essays correctly. I have had success by getting them to assemble a correctly structured essay through giving the class sections each. This activity works as a good 20 minutue thinking task, although some of my students who are ESL students, took between 30 -35 minutes to do it. But I think it was a worthwhile endeavour.
1. Members of the class are given an envelope each, each envelope contains a paragraph of a model essay that have been cut into sections.
2. As an entire class the students must assemble each section of the essay using the segments provided in the envelopes.
3. On a collabouritive document (google docs) the class have to type a paragraph each to assemble the essay. One student is given the introduction, another student is given the conclusion.
4. The segments in the essay don't fit perfectly, therefore the class have to fill in the gaps to use every segment but create a flowing essay.
5. The end product is one essay that the entire class have collabourated in writing.
6. I then get each member of the class to grade the essay and to write three justifications for the grade that they have assigned.
This task puts pressure on the kids to formulate the paragraphs and incorperate all segments of the clues in the envelope, it also gives them a realistically idea of the level of depth and detail required at DP Level in writing an essay. Each paragraph contains a quote from historians or a reference to a school of thought and this is good for getting the students to think about when to include interpretations in their paragraphs.