Argument Writing and Twinning a poem by Plagiarizing with Purpose

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Students will synthesize sources in order to write an argument paper that develops and supports claims; Students will use language effectively to mimic a poem

Big Idea

After writing an argument on demand, students create a twin...poem that is

Do Now: Finishing up "on demand" writing

45 minutes

For the "Do Now" today, my students will be gathering their materials to complete the final portion of their "on demand" argument. For this assignment, students are synthesizing two to three articles to answer the question: Is killing every justified? Was George justified in killing Lennie at the end of Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. See this lesson for additional information on this assignment. I will ask my students to gather their writing folder that contains all of their pre-writing and writing as well as the articles that they will be using to support their claims and arguments (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.1).  I will give my students approximately 45 minutes to finish their writing today.

I am giving them 45 minutes of writing time because suggests three 45 minute segments of in-class writing time to complete this type of assessment BUT it also states that students should be given more time until they complete the writing task.

Here's a completed first page (intro and body paragraphs) of the argument essay.

Here's a completed second page (final body and counterargument paragraphs) of the argument essay.

Here's a completed third page (conclusion) of the argument essay.

Building Knowledge: Modeling the Mimic

10 minutes

Now that we have finally completed the on demand writing assignment, I want to give my students a fun, yet educational release from all of that writing. You might wonder how I plan to do guessed it MORE WRITING! At the end of last class, I previewed the mimic poem assignment, so today we'll get into it. They will be mimicking Langston Hughes' poem, Theme for English B.

I am having my students do this assignment because it will give them a chance to write creatively, paying special attention to language choices (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.3.d) that create a desired effect and communicate the speaker's values and beliefs. We have been studying this in other writer's texts. Now it is time to create our own creative texts. I will use the mimic poem handout to model how to mimic the poem by composing a couple of lines in front of my students while noting how I mimic the style and structure of the original poem.  I'll tell them that they'll even get to plagiarize certain parts of the poem with no penalty. Check out the video of my intern modeling her mimic poem.

I think this is a great activity to have students showcase their creative writing since they have been working so hard on their argumentative writing. This will also give my students practice with purposefully using descriptions to develop experiences in their writing (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.3.b).  I  have chosen this poem to mimic because it is a great way for students to write a poem that fits in with the unit theme Making My Point. I also chose it because the style is relatively simple, yet the poem is substantive enough for students to spend some quality time thinking about how to craft sentences that pop.

Application: Mimicking the Poem

30 minutes

For this part of the lesson, I will give my students 30 minutes to work on their poems. This will include helping them understand how Langston Hughes uses different parts of speech and sentence structure to share his values and beliefs about life (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.3.d).   For example, in in the following lines: " I feel and see and hear, Harlem, I hear you"  I will suggest that they use verbs that fit in with their own lives.

I'll use the following example to reflect my experiences growing up in Washington, DC: "I taste and drink and breathe D.C., I breathe you."

As students work, I will also be providing support by giving encouragement and ensuring that they are maintaining the original structure of the poem.

Take a look at a few sample mimic poems from my poets:


Closure: Homework Assignment

2 minutes

To close out the lesson for today, I will tell my students that they will finish their poems for homework. I am having them finish their poems for homework because I want them to be able to share these poems in a future lesson.