Thus, American public schools have rarely offered an enthusiastic welcome for student difference. However, a multicultural classroom must thrive on these differences and use them as a foundation for growth and development.
Many apparently disagree with that assertion, at least about the part on structure being limiting.
Perhaps it comes from a notion of learning as a creative endeavor, and perhaps the notion of "creative" for many suggests that learning occurs by intuitive leaps and bounds, which structure unduly restrains. However, without structure, no creativity can take place.
Language itself requires structure to communicate meaning. In English, for example, stress can differentiate between adjectives and compound nouns, as in the difference between a "blue bird" a bird that is blue in color and a "bluebird" a particular type of bird.
Similarly, structure is crucial for learning.
After all, learning never occurs de novo. Rather, Learning always builds upon that which came before, and Learning almost always involves a remixing of known building blocks. My favorite example of these two principles is the many species that have evolved from the remixing of only four building blocks of DNA.
In looking at the five-paragraph essay, we can see at least four potential building blocks of writing: In the five-paragraph essay, of course, one introduces the main claim thesis statementprovides evidence for that claim in the form of subclaims topic sentencesexplains the subclaims with more evidence and explanations logic or reasoningand finally re-explains the main claim in the conclusion.
In introductions to academic journal articles, John Swales has shown that regardless of discipline they always include four rhetorical moves: The building blocks naturally take different forms in each context and build upon one another as the context becomes more complex.
The power of such an approach is its interlocking strength of basic concepts across contexts, thus facilitating learning and transfer via student use and practice of building block concepts across different writing landscapes.
Thus, again, although one can use structure in limiting ways, when used appropriately, structure supports learning. For those who use the five-paragraph essay, then, rather than treat the structure as a formula, it would be more fruitful to familiarize students with its building blocks across contexts including the five-paragraph essayrearranging the building blocks in different orders and combinations to consider their rhetorical effect.
To acquaint students with these building blocks, consider beginning by building upon their own experiences with conversation.
For example, First, have students write a conversation they might have with friends trying to persuade them to see a certain movie, play a particular game, or do some other activity, keeping in focus that their friends want to see a different movie or play a different game.
Next, have them analyze their conversations, asking questions such as: Are the building blocks of introduction, claim, evidence, and explanation there? Are there other building blocks?
Are they consistently in a particular sequence? Does the order of building blocks change? Is a particular sequence of building blocks more effective?
Of course, you can extend this process of analysis to other genres, such as blogs and editorials in newspapers, and to other media, such as podcasts and videos. Whether learning new languages or new dialects, such as academese and blogese, this process of analyzing concepts across contexts can bring into focus contradictions between the rhetorical conventions of different dialects, languages, disciplines, and media.
And it is contradictions that are the driving force of learning.The Five-Paragraph Essay and Building Blocks of Writing In an earlier post, I wrote, It is not the structure of the five-paragraph essay that is limiting: It is a lack of critical reflection on one's ideas.
The Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University houses writing resources and instructional material, and we provide these as a free service of the Writing Lab at Purdue. The Building Blocks of Language. Any discussion of human thought processes must include a discussion of language.
Language is a foundation or building block of thinking. Language also has three building blocks. These building blocks provide structure and produce language/5(6). Clauses: the Essential Building-Blocks of English Sentences. Dependent Clauses.
Dependent Clauses cannot stand by themselves and make good sense. They must be combined with an independent clause so that they become part of a sentence that can stand by itself. A world view or worldview is the fundamental cognitive orientation of an individual or society encompassing the whole of the individual's or society's knowledge and point of view.A world view can include natural philosophy; fundamental, existential, and normative postulates; or themes, values, emotions, and ethics.
The term is a calque of the German word Weltanschauung [ˈvɛltʔanˌʃaʊ.ʊŋ. Functional Behavioral Assessment: Diagnosing Behavior Problems; Oppositional Defiant Disorder: Children Learn If They Can; Helping A Child with Anxiety.