Although this essay helped end the year with a strong sense of community, I think teachers could easily have students write it at the beginning of the school year or even in January at the start of a new year.
Did you read this one yet? I try to choose texts that are appropriate for their interests and that vary in their organizational pattern.
I printed each essay without any names, and made sure any identifying statements were revised. Helping Students Choose a Topic Because the rubric leaves room for a lot of choice, I encouraged students to visit the featured essays site and not only read, but listen to real examples.
Over the spring semester, we spent a lot of time reviewing both rhetorical and literary devices anaphora, hypothetical questions, simile and I told students to focus on the devices they genuinely felt comfortable using. Essays about God and Family are off limits--I've found that too many students replace a discussion of values with stories about people.
Learn something new every week. In the end, you'll have a secure collection of oral essays online to share and compare.