Reflection: Intervention and Extension Choosing a Topic - Section 3: Understanding Opinion vs. Persuasion


Once again while teaching this unit I am reminded of the importance of slowing down and emphasizing the process and concept not the activity itself.  It can be all too easy when teaching seniors in the springtime to want to rush through a lesson, to leave them to their own devices. But a school year is a school year until the last day, and however much the students are in the throes of senioritis it's important not to cave or listen to them when they insist "We got this. Can we please just get it over with?"

Instead focus on the "why" when teaching reasoning and logic. Encourage students to use questions as a reasoning tool and to really see the difference between inductive and deductive reasoning. As Matthew Crawford states in his book Shop Class as Soulcraft, "we shouldn't be teaching students how to solve the problem as much as how to identify it."  We shouldn't be teaching students to pick a topic to write about, we should be teaching them how to ask questions. But don't stop their either, the next step is the process for going about answering that question, and then being comfortable if the answer isn't simple, or better yet, if there is no answer at all.  

I'm going to make a point of slowing down this section next time I teach it, really making sure that my students understand how to approach a topic, how to ask the questions and then answer them. 


  Choosing a Topic
  Intervention and Extension: Choosing a Topic
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Choosing a Topic

Unit 3: Senior Argumentative Thesis
Lesson 2 of 7

Objective: SWBAT determine a topic for a persuasive essay

Big Idea: What makes a good topic for a persuasive essay?

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