The Body of the Argument Part 2

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Objective

SWBAT recognize and put into place strong evidence to support their ideas.

Big Idea

Are you standing on the shoulders of others?

Warm Up

5 minutes

Today is Trailer Tuesday, so I will show students a book trailer or two depending on length. I select trailers for new release books and great books that students aren't picking up. (The link provided will take you to an earlier lesson with my reflection explaining more about my use of book trailers.)

There are several sites online for locating book trailers.  A quick search on you tube will locate several. Of course, always preview the trailer before showing a class.

Lesson & Independent Writing

40 minutes

To open the lesson today, I will display this quote:

If I have seen a little further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants." Sir Isaac Newton 1676

Then, this one:

"We are like dwarfs sitting on the shoulders of giants. We see more, and things that are more distant, than they did, not because our sight is superior or because we are taller than they, but because they raise us up, and by their great stature add to ours." -John of Salisbury 1159

I'll read each quote and ask students what they mean.  After a quick discussion I'll lead them to the point (if they don't go there automatically) that what we know today and what we can do is built on what men and women knew and were able to do before us. That one generation build on the expertise of another.

Then, I'll ask how this might apply to their writing today.  The conclusion…their writing should be based on evidence from more knowledgeable sources. They should be "standing on the shoulders of giants." BUT they, like Newton, should be building new ideas based on their research not just restating what someone else said.

After this discussion, I'll ask students, as they continue to work on their body section, to think about who's shoulders they are standing on.  Are they strong enough to hold up the argument. If not, more research may be needed at this point. Then, I'll ask that they consider what new ideas they are producing as a result of the research.  No new thoughts or ideas…?  There should be.

Then, I will begin to circulate around the room as students are given the much needed time to organize their thinking and write.  They can't produce quality if they aren't given the time and my support.

Wrap Up

5 minutes

To wrap up today's class, I'll ask for any final questions and remind students that we must move on to our endings tomorrow, so any work remaining is homework tonight.  Students with internet access can access their google docs from home.  The one or two students without it can print what they have so far and take that home.  We also have extended school services during which students can utilize computer labs at school.