Brave Writer Teen Essay Guide Writing

Summer KISS Essay Series #6 Refined Thesis Statement


We’re getting there, you guys! Just drafting and revision/edits after this. And then party time. This refined thesis section is a little one-class event. Much needed after that long stint researching, right?

Now that the research is done, we shape that final thesis statement. I hold off until now to write an essay-worthy thesis statement. It turns out my teens would discover information in their research that gave them more nuanced views of their argument. Which is good! That’s what we want. But that meant we’d end up revising their previously thought-out thesis statements. So why spend a lot of effort crafting one in the earlier stages? I mean, if I want to waste time and effort, I’ll eat an entire Lindt sea salt chocolate bar after my forty-five minute run. I won’t make any progress losing weight, but damn it will taste good. You know what doesn’t taste good? Paper with a wasted thesis statement on it.

In the notes are tips, methods (a short freewrite response!) and resources (Help for High School page numbers! They Say/I Say chapter!) to help craft their final thesis statement. No additional teacher notes with this one either.

Just two more stages. And because I love my Type A Brave Writer sisters, I also typed up a pacing guide for how many days on average I spend in each stage. I’ll post that at the end of this series.




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  • Willow’s current favorite game is The Gingerbread Man game. She runs, runs, runs fast as she can. I can’t catch her. Willow wins Gingerbread Man.
  • She’s still stinkin’ cute. I still don’t like dog kisses in the face. 🤷🏻‍♀️ #catperson
  • Frankenweenie family movie night! Everyone I love in the same room together for two hours - a feat with teenagers and a traveling husband! I made dorky movie food. They thought it was cute. That’s a perfect Friday night in my book.
  • Many thanks to my dog-mom friends who have talked me through the WTF did I do, we were crazy to think we could handle a dog moments. Willow is SO FREAKING ADORABLE. She’s already sleeping through the night and has learned “leave it.” But OMG, a puppy, you guys. Going to co-op is now an ordeal, constantly watching for potty break signs, the biting. Sigh.
  • Our guiding question as we work through Frankenstein. Am I the only one who can get analysis overwhelm from some teacher guides? A 100 page teacher guide to Frankenstein? Holy cow! It’s too much. Are we trying to cover ALL THE THINGS in one book? Sure, there are dozens of interesting aspects we could analyze with any book. But I need a limit.
Trying to cover allusion and feminism and patriarchy and the nature of humanity and rights of the living and cloning and the tenets of romanticism and gothic literature and the educational theories of Locke and Rousseau (seriously not making that up) through one book...good grief, it’s exhausting.
What’s a provocative or interesting idea in this story? We still find that question enough of a jumping off point.
  • Breakfast read aloud for our October spooky theme. And when I say breakfast read aloud, I mean it’s October 9th and it’s the first day I’ve gotten my teens to the breakfast table at the same time AND I remembered to get the book out. 🤷🏻‍♀️ It still counts. #secularhomeschool #bravewriterteens #homeschoolhighschool #bravewriterlifestyle
  • Mystery Line Monday! We’re starting our spooky literature month, so the lines in October will come from various spooky works. I may do more than one line a week this month since I have several spooky lines. We’ll see how much crazy baby puppy brings to our life.😜
I’m not highlighting any literary elements in this one. It’s the idea I find intriguing. Something I want my teens to think about as they go out in the wider world and encounter different leadership. Also, we’re starting this book this week.
  • Hi! My name is Willow. I like toy crabs, pine straw and mad dashes in the yard to avoid nap time.

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