This is one of my favorite mini units that I do at the beginning of the year. It's such a great way to refresh students on writing skills as well as breaking down what a really good constructed response looks like. This is a great skill for students to work with and it's condensed enough that it wouldn't be overwhelming like writing an entire essay.
Here is a video that helps break down the entire mini unit for you:
I love this unit because it's a week long and can be a bit more manageable for students to digest (especially at the beginning of the year!) Using the acronym RACE is great, too, because it's simple for students to remember, but provides something simple for students to refer back to!
What are some of the most fundamental skills that you like to teach students at the beginning of the year? I'd love to know!