Sydney and Hope fall into Level 3 (writing levels in TOG roughly line up to grade levels) for the writing assignments and so far this year they have worked on constructing paragraphs, three-paragraph essays, writing a radio play, and practicing with descriptive writing, narrative writing and expository writing. For this week's focus on expository writing (factual writing), I asked them to write about a major focus of our history studies, "Hitler Conquers Europe." They were told to include several key facts, and use an interrogative sentence and an interjection. Interjection is a new part of speech for us in our Shurley Grammar classifications, so it seemed like a good time to practice.
To write the essays below, the girls began with a clustering diagram. Previously, we've filled out our clustering diagram* together, but for this week they had to work on it individually (with some help). With their clustering diagram completed, they started a first draft. After I mark up their first draft with proofreading marks and editing suggestions, they make their second draft. This process takes a lot of time and energy for my kids. They don't particularly like it, but it is quite satisfying for me to see that they are steadily improving.
Hitler Conquers Europe
By Sydney Edwards
November 18, 2008
Hitler wanted to rule Europe. In September 1939 Hitler attacked Poland! Hitler blitzkrieged Poland. Blitzkrieg means “lightning war.” Yikes! Was Poland ready? No, it was not. The evil Hitler hated Jews. When he attacked Poland he rounded up Jews and put them in camps. After Hitler conquered Poland, France and Britain declared war on Germany.
Holland was overwhelmed with Germany’s army. France knew Germany would attack so they sent soldiers to the border. They called it the Maginot Line. France thought Germany could not make it through the Ardennes Forest with their tanks and trucks. But Germany went through the forest! Hitler pushed France all the way to Dunkirk and the Allies piled onto ships. Then Hitler stopped his army for two days and that gave Britain time to rescue their army.
After Hitler conquered almost all of Europe, he turned to Britain. Britain had a home guard training because Britain knew that Germany was coming. In the Battle of Britain Germany did not use tanks and ground forces. Germany used their Air Force in the Battle of Britain. Germany didn’t use ground forces because of the Channel. After Germany conquered Western Europe he attacked the Soviet Union. He stopped moving west and returned east.
Hitler Conquers Europe
By Hope Edwards
November 18, 2008
Hitler wanted to rule Europe. First, Hitler went to Poland. On September 3, 1939 Hitler attacked Poland by closing in at Warsaw, with two of Germany’s armies. What did it mean when Hitler overtook Poland? It meant that Hitler broke his promise with Britain and France. So, that same year Britain and France declared war on Germany.
After Hitler went east Hitler turned west to Holland. Hitler used the blitzkrieg to attack Poland, Holland, Belgium, and France. Blitzkrieg means “lightning war.” France thought Germany couldn’t get through the Ardennes Forest. But Germany did it with their tanks and trucks and France fell. Soon the Germans had pushed France to the English Channel. Germany rested for two days. That gave the British and French soldiers time to escape to Britain. It was followed by the Battle of Britain.
Germany could not bring its tanks and trucks across the English Channel. So they had to use the Luftwaffe. The English convoy was used to attract the Germans so the Spitfires could shoot them. After the Germans lost the Battle of Britain they turned back to conquer the Soviet Union.
*A clustering diagram is a tool for mapping out a three paragraph paper. The central thesis statement is surrounded by three bubbles for the three paragraph's topic sentences. Each topic sentence is surrounded by bubbles for jotting down supporting thoughts. Clustering diagrams should only have key words or fragmented points; it is not the place for constructing sentences.