Determine the Old Idea

Grades 7 - Adult

Pretend you were given this prompt:

If you could be any wild animal, what would you be? Why?


    1. Brainstorm for quantity not quality
    2. Grade the brainstormed ideas
    3. Put the A ideas in order

You answer like this: If I could be any wild animal,

Review: Assessing the What Statement

Before you start writing, make sure your idea is worth discussing. Check your What Statement.



Yes or No

If No, then do this:


Is the What Statement a sentence?




Does it have two variables?




It at least one of them New?


Brainstorm again

The Old Section

All three questions were a Yes.

It’s time to design the Old Section. But how do you begin?

Research the New Idea

It is impossible to write about something if you know nothing about it. So do some research. In most cases, using Wikipedia will give you enough information for an essay. If the information is extremely specific, such as the results of studies or experiments experts have done, then you will need to give credit. In that case, go to Lesson 4?

Write Down the Information

For most information, jot down notes as you would a shopping list.

  • Do not copy word-for-word
  • Do not write sentences

The Platypus

In the case of a platypus, you would find the following facts, among others.

  • Lives in Australia
  • Looks likc a combination of beaver, otter, and duck
  • Lays eggs like a bird or reptile
  • Feeds it young like a mammal
  • Lives only in the highlands of Tasmania and the mountains of Australia
  • Has poisonous spurs on its hind legs
  • Has no stomach
  • Produces a “super-milk”
  • Is almost extinct

The information is for the New Section. It is best to research that first, since it is the main idea of your essay, but don’t start writing it yet.

Borrow an Idea from the New Section

To figure out what to write about in the Old Section, take part of the New Section information.

From the above, for example, you might borrow poisonous and Australia to create the main idea of the Old Section.

Task 4.5.1 – Small Group

As a small group, answer the following.  Do not use an animal we have discussed.

If you could be a rare animal, what would you be?

    1. Brainstorm, grade, and prioritize to decide on the New idea.
    2. Briefly research the animal you have chosen.
    3. Borrow part of the New Idea
    4. Determine the Old idea
    5. Fill in the boxes that have a question mark. (Don’t pay attention to boxes with an X.)

If I could be a rare animal,