During the Cue Set, scholars evaluate two different opinion paragraphs. They state which one is the stronger argument and why. Here is the Cue Set Smart Board.
The Ravens are the best team in the NFL right now. They beat the Broncos 38 to 35 in double overtime on Saturday night. Some might say that the defense and the running game carried the Ravens as it has in the past. Ray Rice ran for 70 yards. However, Joey Flacco threw for 331 yards. If Flacco continues to throw like this, the Ravens have a great shot at winning the Superbowl!
The 49ers are the strongest team in the NFL right now. They beat the Packers 45 to 30. Their quarterback had over 100 yards in rushing alone! If they keep playing the way that they are, they are sure to win the Superbowl!
Scholars have 2 minutes to read and determine which is stronger. Then, they have 1 minute to discuss in small groups.
Here is an example of the scholars sharing in small group:
Finally, I take 2 friends from my cup and 2 volunteers to share their thinking.
This activity helps remind scholars what strong opinion pieces need before we begin to draft our own.
Scholars watch how I develop my first main point in the opinion piece. I remind them that a strong main point has the following characteristics:
1. States your argument & how it supports your opinion
2. Uses facts & details that align with argument
3. Picks the opposite side and use it to argue your point
As I model (Teacher modeling), scholars can write along with me so that they have a model of strong writing (this will help them as they move forward and develop their arguments).
During this time scholars begin to develop their main points. Our ELL co-teacher pulls a small group to give them accommodations and help them with develop their main points.
I conference individually with scholars to ensure that they are on the right track and to push their thinking. When the 50 minutes are over, all scholars should have finished their drafts. Additional drafting should take place at home. Here are scholars working hard in-school and scholars creating their arguments.