Kernel Essay Planners

For a kernel essay the writer writes about a topic, using the text structure as a guide, creating one sentence per box. This collection of sentences is called a kernel essays. The next step is for the writer to read the kernel essay aloud to several listeners to see whether the text structure worked for the topic. For more information see Gretchen Bernabei’s Reviving the Essay.

Below is an example of a text structure and kernel essay about a memory.

Kernel essays can be used for many writing purposes. This includes writing in each content area. Below are a few text structures specifically geared towards content area writing. For an expanded list of disciplinary literacy text structures and possible uses click the following link:  Disciplinary Literacy Text Structures 


Text Structures for History



Example of a kernel essay in the history classroom:

Text Structures for Science



 Example of a kernel essay in the science classroom:

Text Structures for Math

Example of  a Kernel Essay in a Math Classroom

Other Resources

Material from Gretchen Bernabei

Kernel Essay Planning Sheet

STAAR Genre Text Structure

Comic Book Text Structures

 Science Fair Project Planning Sheet (page 39)


Teacher Blogs About Kernel Essays

Expository Writing: Gretchen Bernabei Style

Teacher Examples of Kernel Essays

Несколько мгновений спустя водитель уже лежал на земле, с изумлением глядя, как его машина исчезает в облаке пыли и выхлопных газов. ГЛАВА 82 Когда мысль о последствиях звонка Стратмора в службу безопасности дошла до сознания Грега Хейла, его окатила парализующая волна паники. Агенты сейчас будут. Сьюзан попробовала выскользнуть из его рук, Хейл очнулся и притянул ее к себе за талию.


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