Asking More of My Students
I understand that being able to to write well is an essential skill for college and career readiness, which is why the Common Core gives it so much attention W.9-10.1.
I also understand that many of my students struggle with writing. Consequently, many of them are more comfortable with provisional writing or quick writing, like brainstorming which can draw out prior knowledge, review, and check for their understanding.
This lesson's focus on writing arguments is a continuation of yesterday's lesson and will be requiring more of my students. They will be asked to clarify their thoughts and develop an organizational structure for their arguments W.9-10.1.A
I begin with an activity that will inform me of my students prior knowledge of writing an argument essay. I pass out a half piece of paper and ask students to define these terms:
We review the answers students gave to the terms in the activator. I explain that it is essential that we are all clear about the terms definitions because they are guidelines on how to write a well organized five paragraph argument essay.
I tell my students that first we will look at a student model of a five paragraph argument essay. I pass out the Argument Essay Student Model about a medical invention and ask students to take a few minutes to read it. I review the purpose of an argument essay and re-read the essay together while following the directions asking students to annotate the text for the parts of the essay's structure. These template worksheets are from Scholastic Reading and can be re-used in your class.
To help them understand the purpose and form of an argument essay I next ask students to work with a partner to discuss SL.9-10.1 and fill out the Analyze an Argument Essay worksheet after which I ask students to read their answers out loud as students correct any mistakes on their papers W.9-10.9
I use this systematic approach for building students knowledge because it gives me the formative information necessary to monitor and adjust my teaching as students participate in the activity.
Students use the resources they researched on line the day before that supports their arguments. I also provide resources that I copied that offer evidence of Court Cases for Student Rights and School Administration Rights, Court Case Resources 1 and Court Cases Resources 2. Students are asked to read their chosen resources and fill out an outline which will help them to organize their thoughts, claims, and evidence for writing their argument essay W.9-10.1b.
I circulate among the class and check their outlines. Once they have completed their outlines they begin writing their argument essays as I ask clarifying questions about Thesis Statement and Transition Words while keeping them focused on their writing W.9-10.2c. If a student is unsure of an answer I keep asking questions to assist their recall while using the No Opt Out technique give the message of high expectations of learning.
One Thing You Learned
Having students reflect on why they do something and what they have learned will increase their retention and engagement in the learning activity. For the Wrap Up I ask students to share one thing they learned about writing an argument essay.