Timed Writing: The Argumentative Essay

2 teachers like this lesson
Print Lesson


SWBAT write arguments to support claims by writing a timed argumentative essay.

Big Idea

Writing to convince the world that your script is the best!


To be ready for today's lesson, there is a little bit of teacher preparation work to be done.  Yesterday, you collected a script from each pair of students.  Before class today, you will need to take a moment and go through the scripts to find an exemplar of the assignment.

You will need a class set of that exemplar for students to use as evidence on their writing assignment today.

You will also need to make sure each student has a copy of his or her script.  In this case, that means making a copy of each script as each pair of students only turned in one copy.

Of course if you have access to technology, you could have students share their documents with each other via Google Docs.

**The students that provided the exemplar script will need their script and that of another pair.**



15 minutes

To begin today's lesson, I pass out a copy of the exemplar script and return each student's script to them.  I also provide students with sticky notes.

I ask them to look at both documents, beginning to note similarities and differences.  I offer them about 15 minutes to look at both documents and use sticky notes to mark any particularly interesting similarities and differences.


Getting Down to Business

40 minutes

Once students have had a chance to peruse both scripts, I hand out the assignment.  As with any writing prompt, I take a moment to read the prompt aloud, inviting students to underline and pertinent information and take notes on the instructions.

I will ask if there are any questions about the assignment, and then I allow the remainder of the period for students to complete their essays.

Did They Get It?

Grading time!

I use the SBAC rubrics to complete the practice test environment I have created for this assignment.

Your instructional goal will help you determine whether this is a formative or a summative assessment.

If this is your students' first time writing an argumentative piece, there is a lot of value in spending time reviewing this rubric with students.  You would want to have this essay be a formative assessment, where students can use feedback to make improvements to their writing.

If, however, you have spent time working on and practicing argumentative writing, this assignment can be summative.