Introducing 5-Minute Drill | Sherpa Learning

Introducing 5-Minute Drill

Introducing 5-Minute Drill

A Prewriting Tool for Nearly Any Course!

Sherpa Learning Releases 5-Minute Drill—A Simple Prewriting Process for Creating College-Level Essays—by Rich Mayorga

West Milford, NJ — Sherpa Learning is proud to announce the release of a brand new resource by Rich Mayorga, Ed.S., 5-Minute Drill—A Simple Prewriting Process for Creating College-Level Essays. Rich developed the process to help fulfill a distinct need that he observed again and again throughout his career in teaching and professional development. 5-Minute Drill can help students of all skill-levels from a wide range of ages. The graphic organizer at the heart of the 5-Minute Drill works as a diagnostic tool by clearly identifying the areas of the writing process where the student is lacking. This writer's resource includes example prompts and sample essays from U.S. and World history, as well as literary and rhetorical analysis essay prompts and samples. The graphic organizer can be easily modified to suit the specific needs of nearly any course. The 5-Minute Drill has been effectively used across a wide range of levels, from grade school to graduate school.

“When I started teaching Advanced Placement courses,” says Rich, “my skills to guide students through the transition from middle-school writers to college-level authors needed improvement. I noticed that we educators often give students the question/prompt and sometimes samples of finished essays but expect them to know (and often struggle) through the complex and multifaceted thinking process of writing an essay. During an essay exam held early in the year, one student said to me, ‘I don’t do essays – they ask too much.’ I knew I had to do something.”

After implementing portions of what became known as the 5-Minute Drill and improving it into a system, Rich now sees a massive improvement in students’ abilities to answer the question. “Students rarely get frustrated while writing essays because they now know all the structural components expected to be in an essay,” explains Rich. “Additionally, the 5-Minute Drill has cut my homework load in half - whew!”

Founder David Nazarian: “When Rich first submitted the manuscript to me earlier in the year, I immediately saw the value of the process he developed. And that was before I knew anything about his (Rich) experience and reputation. We’re extremely proud to call Rich part of the Sherpa Learning team.”

About the Author

Rich Mayorga has been a student advocate and educator for over 35 years, and was Arizona's Teacher of the Year in 2003. He has been teaching AP U.S. History at Sunnyside High School in Tucson for 23 years, and is also a nine year veteran adjunct professor at Pima Community College. For a 12 year period, Rich taught four AP courses (AP World, AP U.S., AP Gov., and AP Econ.) concurrently. Rich’s exceptional efforts in the classroom have earned him dozens of awards and got him inducted into the Sunnyside USD’s Hall of Fame in 2005.

Rich earned his BA, MA, and Ed.S. (Educational Specialist) degrees from the University of AZ, and in 2003 was presented with an honorary Doctorates Degree of Humane Letters from Northern Arizona University. Since 2000, Rich has worked closely with the College Board, serving on the Academic Advisory Council (AAC) and as a Reader, Table Leader, and Exam Leader for the AP US History national exam. From 2006-2009, he was one of two high school teachers selected nationally to serve on the SAT II – US History Committee, and in 2007, to publish sample curriculum in the College Board’s AP U.S. History Teacher's Guide. In 2004, he was selected by the AZ Dept. of Education to present a lesson on Progressivism and the 5-Minute Drill for the state’s Best Practices Video Cases project.

About Sherpa Learning

Launched in August of 2014 and based in West Milford, NJ, Sherpa Learning is a trusted publisher of print and digital skills-based instructional resources written by rock star teachers (i.e., leaders within their discipline) for Advanced Placement (AP) and other high-level courses. Founded on the principle that educators should author educational resources with collaborative input from the extended teaching community, Sherpa Learning develops resources for teachers, by teachers. Over 2,200 educators from across the country are registered with Team Sherpa to review, develop, and test original content. The company is currently producing both online and print resources for AP, Pre-AP, and Honors courses.


Tel: (862) 345-7668

5-Minute Drill is available for purchase from Sherpa Learning and on Amazon. The eBook will be available in the Kindle Store on Amazon and the Nook Store on Barnes & Noble before the end of July. If you have any questions about the materials or would like to request a sample (limited availability), please contact us.

*AP is a registered trademark of the College Board, which was not involved in the production of, and does not endorse, this product.