(I’m republishing my favorite posts from the second half of 2023. You can see them all here)


mohamed_hassan / Pixabay


I make a point of recruiting my English Language Learner students and others who are not taking any other International Baccalaureate classes to enroll in my IB Theory of Knowledge class.

This makes me spend time providing more scaffolds than I might ordinarily do, and it’s also a perfect example of why good ELL teaching is better teaching for everybody – all my TOK students benefit from these scaffolds.

This month, they are writing their TOK practice essay (IB Diploma Candidates will write the one that goes to IB next year).

Because of a fair amount of nervousness  about it – particularly from those not taking any other IB classes – I developed a guide to provide some assistance.  This is a new addition to many resources we review in preparing to write the essay, including going over several older essays from previous students.

It’s titled Writing Your TOK Essay Sequence, and you can download it by clicking on the link.

The two-and-a-half page document is basically a step-by-step process for writing the essay.

Yes, I know it’s formulaic.

Because of that, I emphasize that it’s full of suggestions, not requirements.

The more experienced essay-writers in the classes would do fine with or with out it.

I had students today read it aloud in pairs – page by page – and write the most useful thing they gained from each page.  We then shared.

Afterwards, I had students anonymously rate how helpful it was to them.  They wrote “1” on a small piece of paper if they found it pretty useless, “2” if they found it somewhat helpful, and “3” if it helped them a lot.

About half of the students in my three classes wrote down “2’s” and the other half wrote “3.”  Just one student wrote “1.”

Feel free to offer suggestions about how I can improve it.

I’m adding this info to my many other TOK resources.