Today we continue typing our first-draft argument essays. I display my First Draft Argument Essay Sample on the board. Sometimes I will show only the first paragraph and I will write the second paragraph in front of the entire class, modeling the writing process.
This can be very dry, and I usually only do this for maximum of ten minutes. If I'm modeling non-fiction writing, I almost always do this at the start of the period, to maximize engagement.
I remind them about exciting openings, text evidence to support their claims, and reasoning.
Now I give students a large chunk of time to work on their arguments. I circulate to clear up confusion.
Usually, there are many questions, such as: Can you read this? Does this sound okay?
Here is how I respond: Choose one sentence you're the least confident with and let me read that. No, I cannot read your entire paragraph, because I'm circulating around, and trying to meet with all students.
I know many of my colleagues have developed a writing conference schedule; they know who they'll meet with on certain days to discuss drafts. I do this when returning feedback. I make sure to sit down with a student when I give them feedback and discuss what is working and what could be improved. Sometimes these conversations last one minute; they can be that fast. On a first day of writing, I like to be able to circulate and monitor for kids who are stuck.
Here is a fabulous Student Sample: Argument Essay Draft 1, Cyberbullying.
I spoke more about this in my reflection.
In the final fifteen minutes, I offer up time for kids to share their openings, claims, or a section they are most proud of in front of the whole class. I refrain from allowing kids to read their entire argument essays, as this causes focus to wain. I ask students to share their engaging leads for a few reasons.
I make sure the section kids choose to read isn't very long. I usually say between three and five sentences.
Here is another fabulous first draft: Student Sample: Argument Essay Draft 1, Gay Marriage.
Here is a fast video of a girl reading a little of her argument: Homework does more harm than good.