Generating Ideas for Explanatory Essays; What Would You Change About the World?

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SWBAT generate ideas from what they would like to see different in the world and how they would change it in order to examine a topic of their choice.

Big Idea

How would you change the world?

Lesson Opener

10 minutes

In my lesson openers I always have a "connect" in which I connect students' thinking about yesterday's lesson to today's lesson. I then have a "teach" in which I model for students the lesson of the day and also have them try it out. When I think about my modeling I use three categories; skill, strategy, and process. I model by stating the skill to the students, then giving them a strategy in which to use the skill, followed by the process to try out the strategy.

Connect: "Yesterday we generated ideas about what we believe and why we believe it. Today we are going to think about what we would change about the world and how we would change it."

Teach: I am going to practice the skill of generating ideas for my essay by thinking about what how I would like the world to be a better place (my claim). I am going to use the strategy of using a three column chart; What I would like to see different about the world (my claim) /how I would change it (my reasons) /my experience with it (my evidence).

The process I will use is as follows:

1) Use the Issues anchor chart

2) Ask myself: How would I make that issue better for the world? 

 3) Jot down my experiences

I will jot down at least three ideas using the issue chart. As I am writing this down for students, I am pointing out which is my claim, my reasons and my evidence.

An example is; I wish everyone was tolerant of each other’s differences (my claim) /people would not bully each other, people would accept each other regardless of their race, people would accept each other regardless of their religion (my reasons). The third column will have my experiences (my evidence)/ 1) When I was bullied for being tall 2) When my grandfather was not served at a restaurant because he was Native American. 3) When I was in India and stayed in an apartment building that was only for Catholics. Students can use the teacher model to help their thinking.

Active Engagement

10 minutes

Active Engagement: “Now you are going to jot down this chart in your notebook and jot down at least 3 ideas.”  I will check for understanding by looking over the should of every level of learner (at least 3 students-one who is at standard, one is approaching standard, and one who is above standard). I will ensure that students are jotting down ideas that will turn into a claim with reasons and evidence.

Closing of Active Engagement: I will say, Remember, “successful writers practice the skill of generating ideas for essays by thinking about what they would like to do to make the world a better place. They use the strategy of using a graphic organizer and use their resources to think about how they would make an issue better in the world and jot down their experiences with it.

Independent Practice

20 minutes

Independent Practice: Students will brainstorm until they land on a moment in which they can easily explain the evidence of the claim. I will then direct them to write out the moment that provides evidence for the claim.

I will show them how I pick a claim with one reason (what I would change about the world and how I would change it) and write it at the top of my writer’s notebook, then start writing my evidence (my experience with what I would change about the world).They should write for at least 25 minutes if not more. They can write multiple pieces of evidence within this time if they get stuck on one.

As I write, I am also pointing out that I am always writing (even when generating) in paragraphs.Paragraphs was something my students are still struggling with and I want to ensure, that everytime we write, we are constantly practicing that organizational structure.

I will confer with them as they write using the possible conferences for generating ideas for essays.

Partner Work: Students will be directed to turn and share one claim, with reasons and evidence that they have drafted. I will say, “Decide who will be partner A and who will be partner B. Partner A you will share what you would change in the world (your claim)/how you would change it (your reason) and your experiences (your evidence) with it. Partner B, I want you to listen if Part A has those three parts. Then you will tell them if you heard all three. If not, give them feedback; tell them an idea of what they could add or let them know their writing had all three components. Then you will switch.”



5 minutes

I believe that the end of the lesson should be an assessment of the days’ learning; therefore it should be independent work. I always end class with an “exit ticket” in which students write down the response to a question.

Closing: “Jot down the idea you want to continue to work on. Jot down what you would change about the world, how you would change it and your experience with it.” From their exit tickets, I am seeing where they are at with claim, reasons and evidence before I teach them an organizing strategy for it tomorrow.