First Draft Argument

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SWBAT type first drafts of their argument essay and share examples of effective writing.

Big Idea

Lets draft! Students type their first drafts. At the end, volunteers share highlights of their writing with the class.

Present Teacher First Draft Writing Sample

10 minutes

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.

First Draft Type Time

45 minutes

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.

Share Time

15 minutes

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.

  1. 1. They are often the most exciting part of the arguments, and therefore, will keep the classes attention.
  2. 2. They are often tricky to write. My hope is for students to borrow lead techniques from others in the class.

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.