“Work Your Mind” Article

Chalkboard boy

Essay Prompt: Do students need to “struggle” in order to learn? According to the article, what are the benefits of students learning on their own? What should the role of the teacher be in the classroom?


  • Clear thesis/main argument
  • Must include at least 3+ quotes from the article (integrated correctly, use sentence starters)
  • Explain/analyze the importance of each quote (use sentence starters)
  • At least 3+ well-developed paragraphs!

“Work Your Mind” Article from Time For Kids (Authors: Annie Murphy Paul and Stephanie Kraus, 4/25/12)

Sentence starters to introduce quotes:

  • X states, “…”
  • According to X, “…”
  • In X’s view, “…”
  • X agrees when she writes, “…”
  • X disagrees when he writes, “…”

Sentence starters to explain/analyze quotes:

  • In other words, X believes ____.
  • In making this comment, X urges us to _____.
  • X’s point is that _____.
  • The essence of X’s argument is that ____.

(Sentence starters above from the book, “They Say / I Say” by Gerald Graff, Cathy Birkenstein and Russel Durst)

2 thoughts on ““Work Your Mind” Article

  1. The only reason why students struggle to learn is because of some teachers. Some teachers don’t care about the education of students. For some reason, they love teaching but they don’t care about the students education. Some teachers don’t even teach. They call ‘teaching’ by giving them a packet so they can read to themselves and answering questions on that packet.

    • Yes, it’s sad that some teachers take shortcuts in the classroom; but as a teacher myself, I know the time demands and use handouts once in awhile too… The main point of the article is not that students shouldn’t ask for a teacher’s help, it’s that they should try it on their own first, then ask for their peers’ help, and finally a teacher. Supposedly, research shows that students learn better this way, than simply having a teacher provide an easy answer. Thanks for writing, David!

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