Students select an editorial that they have strong opinions (pro or con). Buzzle.com is a good source of editorials that are appropriate for junior high students.
These are some of the popular editorials that I have provided this year:
As students read their editorial, individually they completed a SOAPSTone chart. Some of my struggling classes needed me to review the meaning of the acronym SOAPSTone and a reminder that it is an analytical method to help analyze a text in detail. I reviewed the SOAPSTone PP with them. We have done this procedure several times in the past. However, this time I had students create the chart on their own paper vs passing out a pre-printed chart. I did draw a diagram on the board for those that forgot the design.
Students individually respond to the editorial by writing a letter to the editor following guidelines previously discussed in class.
If students do not complete their Rough Draft, they will complete this for homework. Tomorrow students will give feedback to each other to verify that the Letter to the Editor meets all the criteria.