- Help the students find background information by setting up categories for the students or even asking questions about documents if you are doing a DBQ.
- Put students in groups and use Google Drive to share their background notes
- Go over the fundamentals of writing and then have students write lots of the essay in class and share parts of it with the students
- E-mail parents that the essays are due and use Remind101 to tell remind students that it is due. I even, this time, had students share the essays with partners so they could give feedback.
- I made the essays due by 6 pm Sunday night and then put comments (note, no grade) all over everyone's essays. When the students got to class I actually gave them a quiz on the main points of an essay (see #3) and then let the students look at my comments and then ask questions about it.
- Let my many ESOL students write their essay in their native language and then translate using Google Translate.
- Then I told the kids they can fix my comments and share them with me using Google Drive by Wednesday.
The upshot is that almost all of my students wrote their essays and wrote a substantial number of points.