Letter to the Editor

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SWBAT write a letter to the editor with arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.

Big Idea

Cell phones in school - the dream of every student!

Read an editorial

30 minutes

As a class, we read the editorial, “Balancing Act on Cell Phones,” together.  First, students numbered the paragraphs (See Read; Reflection;Number the paragraphs). 

I chunked the text, so we could stop and give students an opportunity to label the types of persuasive appeals being used in the editorial. 

We had previously studied logos, ethos, and pathos.

Logos - logical; when you hear the argument it makes sense because it is based upon facts or theories.  For example, when you do science experiments, your final statement is based upon your knowledge and findings in the experiment.

Ethos - ethical; is the author credible based upon their knowledge and background.  Is the author an expert in his/her field.

Pathos - emotions; path to the heart (emotions).  Do emotions arise because of the experiences shared.  i.e. ads for Humane Society - tearful with abused dogs and cats.

After reading as a whole class,  we reviewed the details involved with SOAPSTone Evidence Chart by reviewing the  SOAPSTone Power Point.  I then passed out a SOAPSTone Chart that students began completing with a partner as a technique to analyze what the author was asserting in this editorial.

Letter to the Editor Notes

10 minutes

I reviewed the information that should be included in a Letter to the Editor by using  “Letter to the Editor” power point.  Students were then instructed that they would be writing their individual "Letter to the Editor" in response to "Balancing Act on Cell Phones."

Write Letter to the Editor

40 minutes

Students then spent the rest of the period pre-writing their ideas using a Flee Map and writing  a rough draft of their letter to the editor.


10 minutes

Students shared their editorial with a partner and offered feedback about the arguments written.  

These are points they looked for in the editorial:

1.  Did the write identify their view point - for/against

2.  Are facts to support the student's argument included?  Use of textual evidence?

3.  Are counter-arguments addressed?

4.  Is there a call to action in the conclusion?

The partner wrote notes on the back of the rough draft for future reference.