The Rough Draft: Google Doc Style

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SWBAT write a rough draft of an argumentative editorial by evaluating a sample published editorial, reviewing a scoring guide, and collaborating with peers and teacher to develop their own arguments.

Big Idea

Can we develop ideas for our argument by evaluating the writing of other people?

Mini Lesson--What makes an editorial so convincing?

25 minutes

As students log into their computer, they will open the daily to-do Google Doc.  I update this document each day so students have a visual list of the daily tasks.  When I was trying to decide how to make this unit work, I had to give careful thought to balancing keeping students on task with allowing them to work at their pace.  The shared to-do list is a good compromise. I chose to work with the mini lesson this way to allow students to work independently, at their own pace. Additionally, students utilize technology in new, exciting ways. 

Students will first click on the link of NYT Contest Rules and the link to the NYT rubric.  I'll take a couple minutes to review both of these links with students and remind them to frequently look at them for guidance.  Both of these videos, plus evaluating sample editorials, help students know how to write an editorial.  There will still be students who struggle with getting started, but hopefully those will be few and most will jump right in.  

Next, I gave students an article to read and some questions to answer via our shared google doc. I chose to give my students an article from The New York Times, "Is It Ethical To Eat Meat?".   This  editorial mini lesson video explains the process.  The questions I asked students:

How does this editorial begin?  What does it do that makes you want to keep reading it? (RI.9-10.3)

What is the author’s argument? (RI.9-10.2)

What piece of evidence helps support the author's argument the most? (RI.9-10.8)
These questions asked students to identify specific elements in an editorial.  We have recently had lessons on identifying these elements of argumentative writing and I want students to be reminded of what makes argumentative writing successful.  


Student Work Time--Writing the Rough Draft

55 minutes

During student work time, students are typing their editorial.  When they have a question or want me to look at a section of their paper, I ask they share it with me via Google Doc.  I ask them to refer to the two videos Students sharing google work and How to cite your sources  for information.  

As students work on their editorials, they will share them with me.  I'll collaborate with students by commenting on possible revisions for their paper (SL.9-10.1).  I will use language from the scoring guide which includes introducing a precise claim and creating an organization that establishes relationships among the claim and reasons (W.9-10.1a) and writing compelling evidence which supports each claim (W.9-10.1b)

Additionally, students will focus on not just ranting, but rather establishing a formal, objective tone (W.9-10.1d).  I imagine this will be difficult for students.  



Closure and Questions

8 minutes

As time winds down, I'm going to ask students to send me an email that explains what they accomplished today and what they need to focus on during tomorrow's work time.  I want to give students lots of opportunities to write in various ways, both formally and informally (W.9-10.10).  

Tomorrow, students will continue working on their rough draft and will collaboratively revise.