Evaluating Argument: There are Two Sides to Every Story (2 of 2)

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SWBAT write an argument to support claims using valid reasoning and relevant evidence by using a template to write a well developed "they say/I say" response to an article.

Big Idea

Do students really need a They Say/I Say template to develop an argument?

Warm up

10 minutes

Today we have a long block so I am going to advantage of this time to have students write, confer with me, revise and publish.  To prepare us for this, I list these words on the SmartBoard and ask students to write a definition for each word.  They have learned this terms in a previous lesson, so this is review. (L.9-10.4) 

Time to write

20 minutes

Students get out their Arguments For and Against Death Penalty article and assignment they began yesterday.  I tell students today they are writing a They Say/I Say response to the arguments presented in the article.  Students may choose one specific section of the article, or may make their "they say" section a little more broad.  Since the article presents both sides of the article, students will choose the side they disagree with to be the "They Say" (w.9-10.1a). For example, if a student believes in the death penalty, they will begin with "They say [insert specific text evidence] the death penalty is wrong.  However, I say..." We look at the template together, I ask for questions and give them 20 minutes to write (W.9-10.1b, W.9-10.1c). 

I give students a template to use with this assignment because they are dealing with both sides of an argument.  At the beginning of the year, we used this template consistently.  However, we have moved away from it and I usually allow my students to write their own argument or a response to an author's argument without a template.  Due to the complexity of this article, I feel students might need the template's support. I will tell students they may forgo the template if they wish.  

Conferences to improve writing

40 minutes

Now that many students have finished their writing, I want to have conferences with them.  During the conference I will ask students to read sections of their response aloud.  I do this because it is important for students to hear their writing voice.  I also want them to get in the habit of reading their writing to catch mistakes in mechanics, flow and rhythm.  While they are conferring with me, I will ask students questions that pertain to the stands.  

Can you please read me your claim?

Please read one piece of your evidence?

Do you think this evidence is sufficient, or do you need to add more? 

Where did you explain your evidence?

I will ask students to read the section that explains the counterargument.  I will ask students,

What is this section of the argument called?  Why is it important? 

I will confer with students 1 on 1 or in small groups.  Students that are not conferring with me, will be working in peer revision groups.  (W.9-10.5)

Essay turn in

5 minutes

As class ends, students will turn in their completed essays.  I am going to give them a minimal grade for this essay based on them having a claim and a counterclaim supported with evidence.  Since we are working on the essays together and they have a chance to revise it with my help, their essay will only be worth 10 points.  10-they have a claim, counterclaim and two separate pieces of evidence.  7-they are missing one of the components.  5-they are not sufficient and will complete the essay again.  

Unit Closure

5 minutes

At the beginning of this unit, I asked students to identify themselves as a Rule Maker or a Rule Breaker.  Now that we have studied multiple examples of each, I want to see if students have changed how they classify themselves.  I will ask students to answer this prompt for homework:

Now that we are finished with this unit, I want to know if you have changed your mind about being a Rule Maker or a Rule Breaker.  I want you to write me a two paragraph reflection.  In paragraph one, I want you to describe yourself as either a Maker or a Breaker.  Be sure to explain why.  In paragraph two, identify one of the Makers or Breakers we have read about, and explain them as a perfect example of a Maker or Breaker.  W.9-10.10

You will turn this in tomorrow.