Putting the PIeces Together: Building Claims for Othello Literary Analysis Paper (Day 2 of 3)

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SWBAT identify a purpose for writing and write arguments to support claims by analyzing prompts and creating thesis statements for their Othello literary analysis papers.

Big Idea

Step one in the writing process: Creating a rock solid thesis statement


10 minutes

We'll start class with ten minutes of reading time.

Determining Purposes for Writing

20 minutes

So, my teaching partner and I win the award for bad planning/timing. Because I took a little longer on Othello, we are completing A Tale of Two Writing Assignments for both of our contents on the same day.

To combat panic and fear, we are going to use this to our advantage (we hope) and combine our efforts to teach the students three things:

  • Identifying genre and knowing how to meet the requirements of that genre
  • Creating a thesis that addresses the prompt provided
  • Developing a plan of attack for proof and support


His writing assignment is a document based question about the spread and impact of religion. My writing assignment is a literary analysis of Othello.

Step one will be a quick review of DBQ and Lit Analysis Pointers Genre to go over the different genres of writing they will encounter in our classes and how to determine what kind of writing they will be asked to do (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.4). This is actually a great overview of writing modes and, strangely enough, is something they are tested on for our state exam. So, count this mini-lesson as killing two birds with one stone!

We will define each genre and then ask students to identify what kind of genre each prompt is asking them to write. Then we will look specifically at the two prompts and ask them share ideas about what makes these two assignments similar or different.

Creating a Thesis

30 minutes

Our second step will be to review the elements of a strong thesis and then work on creating thesis statements for both papers.

We will review their tasks and how to create an argument (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.1) for their literary analysis paper and a guiding statement for their expository DBQ: DBQ and Lit Analysis Pointers Thesis (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.2).

We will ask the students to draft thesis statements in their notes, then write their Thesis Statements on the boards around the room. While they take their passing period/break, my teaching partner and I will write on their thesis statements: Thesis Statement Creation

Building Support Work Time

35 minutes

For the remaining chunk of class time, we will give them time to brainstorm information for their DBQ. A history DBQ requires students to synthesize historical documents (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.9-10.2 and CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.9-10.9) with their own background knowledge of a topic or historical period.

As this is their first DBQ, my teaching partner wanted to keep all parts of the writing process in class, which means students will be on their own for finding support for their Othello papers. Good thing we've been doing some very specific reading and reading support work around that for the past few weeks =).

Tomorrow they will be analyzing their documents, so we want to make sure that they have time to work together to brainstorm and gather background information. We will give them a DBQ planning sheet to fill in for this part of their work time as they work to develop their their writing through this planning and support finding time (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.5).

Wrap up and Next Steps

10 minutes

At the end of the period, we will invite students to take pictures or notes of their thesis statements so they have a place to begin revising.

We will also ask them to continue their support development at home. I will specifically as them to come prepared with quotes related to their thesis statement for tomorrow's activities (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.9).