Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Higher Order Thinking Skills- Thesis Statements

Higher Order Thinking Skills- Thesis Statements

Follow these instructions to try the Thesis Statements strategy:
  1. As part of the writing process, have students write down a thesis statement on the classroom interactive white board, white board, or chalkboard.
  2. Next, have students take their interactive white board markers and generate two questions relating to the thesis statement. If no interactive white board exists, then use sticky notes. The questions can include any question type (e.g., clarifying, probing, hypothesizing), but must relate directly to the thesis statement.
For example, if the thesis statement stated, "The $700 billion bail-out of Wall Street by Congress and the President was an ill-conceived plan to solve the major economic crisis of 2008." then possible questions might be, "What if the government had no other choice?", "To what extent will this plan help the everyday citizen living on Main Street?", and "What accountability measures are in place to ensure that the $700 billion loan is repaid?"

The Center for Teaching and Learning

Quote from Website: "A thesis statement is a sentence (or sentences) that expresses the main ideas of your paper and answers the question or questions posed by your paper. It offers your readers a quick and easy to follow summary of what the paper will be discussing and what you as a writer are setting out to tell them."

After exploring the strategy, consider and discuss the following questions using social media with #HEATFramework or posting your response by clicking on Reply below:
  • What guidelines must you consider when using Thesis Statements with your students?
  • How could you utilize Thesis Statements in your classroom? 
  • What challenges would you face in utilizing Thesis Statements?
  • Do you have other resources or ideas you would suggest for educators exploring ways of fostering student-generated questions?



  1. This would be a great way to hook students and give them a chance to help each other and give each other ideas for their paper.

  2. Thesis statements are similar to hypothesis statements in science. Experiments need to have a hypothesis/thesis statement. For a given topic, students can generate a thesis to drive their experiment, and then conduct an experiment to test their thesis statement.

  3. Thesis statements are so essential to writing in the secondary level, yet they are so often misunderstood by our students. I would like to try to try some of these techniques to improve my students thesis writing.

  4. Not only would this help students build confidence in writing thesis statements, but it allows students to take the next steps after it is created. It helps steer them in a direction to either talk about or write about.

  5. A thesis statement helps students with the organization and direction for their thoughts as they create a writing assignment.

  6. Thesis statements assist students with organization of a paper. The students hone in on specific topics of discussion.

  7. Ashley Z.:
    As a writing teacher, thesis statements are the core of our writing pieces, particularly in writing argument. When teaching thesis statements, I try to guide students to write clearly and concisely; thesis statements should be brief summations of their arguments in a piece of writing but clearly stated. This method of responding to thesis statements with questions is an excellent method for helping students to develop their arguments and counterarguments in their writing.

  8. How could you utilize Thesis Statements in your classroom?

    Thesis statements are built into my curriculum as an English teacher. Students often struggle at first with thesis statements because they can't figure out how to make their writing concise. However, once they learn how to write their thesis statements, they turn out really well. It shows how the students can take their thoughts and put them into 1 concise, well thought out statement.

  9. What guidelines must you consider when using Thesis Statements with your students? Focus on the rank of each detail. What three details are more interesting, significant, revealing or strange?
    Circle these in your pre-writing activity.
    How could you utilize Thesis Statements in your classroom? Gallery Walk
    What challenges would you face in utilizing Thesis Statements? Background Knowledge about the thesis topic can limit the questions that may be presented
    Do you have other resources or ideas you would suggest for educators exploring ways of fostering student-generated questions? Trash ball from topics to thesis statements development

  10. When teaching thesis statements, the teacher must have students analyze the most important aspects for which to focus their writing and then determine the most important point to make about that topic. As a teacher of ELA, my students must write thesis statements to focus writing when conducting an analysis essay on the reading. Students in 7th grade often find it hard to focus on the main aspects they are covering in their writing. They simply like to follow using a question and answer technique. Thesis statements require an analysis of the main idea.

  11. Teaching thesis statements can be challenging because students need to be able to make their ideas clear and concise. To tackle this challenge students can using questioning techniques on a given topic to develop a thesis statement. A thesis statement is a fundamental component to an essay. It creates an introduction to an analysis of the student's thinking.

  12. This would be great to generate thesis statements for writing. They would be able to see each others ideas as a way to see if they are on the right track.

  13. When I teach thesis statements, I model many times. We write together, we write in pairs, and when the students work alone, we conference often. We make sure the thesis is correctly written before any other parts of the essay are written.

    1. I like that: I do/we do/you do is a great strategy to build students' confidence. -T. Funke

  14. I do something similar, but without an interactive whiteboard. Instead, I post a Google Sheet on Google Classroom, where students place their thesis statements, and other students have to comment on their thesis statement with a positive comment and constructive criticism. This is done after a rapport is established.