Should Orcas Be Set Free? Debating the Issues

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SWBAT identify the argument, claims and evidence for a relevant topic.

Big Idea

Free Willy! Students read all about Orcas and have to decide whether or not they should be set free.

Advanced Organizer

5 minutes

Just to review, I will ask the students to list the parts to an argument.  What makes an argument a good, solid argument? 

I will give the students a few minutes to think and record their answers.  Then, I will have them do a Round Robin to share out their thoughts.  This will allow them to fill in any missing pieces that will be important to the lesson today. 

Finally, I will have the students share out and as a class we can discuss what they recalled, why each piece is important, and what pieces they think are the most important.  I want the students to discuss to see how evidence is the essential key in making an argument.  I don't want to just tell them it is, I want them to discover its value.  I feel this will really assist them when writing their own arguments and debates. 

Guided Practice

25 minutes

Today, we are continuing to work with building arguments.  I want the students to see how a writer establishes an argument and presents a debate.  What are both sides of the issue?  How does the author provide evidence for both?  What argument do you believe is stronger?  These are all questions I want the students to be able to answer. 

To begin, I will simply open it up to a discussion about Orcas and what we know about them in captivity.  I will help aid this conversation and assist/guide the students to draw inferences based on what we know.

Then, I will pass out the article Should Orcas Be Set Free and have the students use the non-fiction previewing strategies to prepare for the reading.  This includes reading the title, subheadings, captions, etc. 

Next, we will read the article.  I will also practice multidraft reading.  We will read the article the first time for basic understanding and comprehension.  The second time we read the article, I will ask the students to identify the arguments, claims, and evidence the author presents. 

I will have the students work to highlight and annotate the text.  As they are working, I will circulate through the room, checking for understanding and providing guidance as needed. 

Independent Practice

15 minutes

Once the students have worked to annotate the text for the claims and evidence, I will have them Stand Up, Hand Up, Pair Up, find a partner and discuss their findings.  I want them to be able to discuss and explain their thoughts and reasoning for a deeper understanding. 

Once they have discussed the issue, I will have the students complete the handouts that go along with the article.  I want them to identify the main idea as well as the details.  This should not be too hard because they have already annotated the next. 

I will allow the students time to work.  At this point, I can pull any students to the side and work with them in a small group to help reteach or guide. 




7 minutes

I will have the students reflect on the article and use the information to take a stance on the issue.  I won't ask them to actually write a debate-all of the evidence was presented in the article.  I just want them to state their opinion and explain what in the article is support for their decision.  What did the author say or present that persuaded you?

I will have the students complete the Closure Slip to record their thoughts.