Assessing Their Written Abilities to Debate

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SWBAT...write informative/explanatory texts to examine the article "Should Students Wear School Uniforms?" to convey their claims and support their information clearly

Big Idea

A claim is only an opinion unless it is supported by evidence and details from the text. Good writers write with strong facts to persuade their audience to their viewpoints.

Creating the Purpose

10 minutes

Time to see what expository responses to text (W 5.2) they can produce on their own! Assessment time always gives me a good, clear picture of their absorption, retention and application of all we learned in each unit. This expository unit backed up their informative one so I am expecting higher scores with better writing - hope that's what I see on their post test.

The topic I chose was "Should Students Wear School Uniforms?" I chose this topic because it came up recently in questioning and it is relevant to their lives in school (we have a uniform policy). It would be interesting to give it to a school who doesn't wear uniforms to see if students would agree or disagree with that policy, too?)

Students were informed of the expectations for the testing environment, reviewed the rubric and writing prompt and were given the article and writing pages. In that this is a post assessment - I do not give them additional review lessons, but we will be doing this at the end of the lesson, during the editing section.           

Writing the Arguments

40 minutes

Students put up their testing guards or move to quiet work areas in the classroom and begin reading the article "Should Students Wear School Uniforms?", outlining their expository graphic organizer notes and writing their final responses.

During this time I do circulate not so much to identify misconceptions or errors, but to give encouragement and to take notes on student areas of difficulty or lower understanding. I use these notes with their final writing pieces to identify which students still need additional small group lessons, and in which areas of the unit.

I had to extend this time to 1 hr to accommodate some slower writers I have in my class - you may need to do the same. If the timing gets too long, I have split this into two lessons and completed the editing section on a separate day. 

Assessing and Editing

20 minutes

In this video I walk you through how we started the lesson - review of components, student responses and charting on the board/ where we took it from there - self editing strategies using the chart we just made and color coded component identification, margin notes and self reminders of  missing areas, self score using notes and reflections on components - peer editing using white board T-chart strategies and descriptive suggestions for improvement followed by peer discussions and a grade being given


We move to student self-editing and here's a clip of a student sharing his self editing notes and suggestions with you

After their own self-editing of their writing, I have students partner up with each other and peer edit. They use their white boards while they are reading to mark positives and areas of improvement signified by a + and - and specific, helpful notes. Here's a clip of how students used their notes and whiteboard T-charts to share their assessments of each other's writing

When they complete both parts I collect their writing and their scores received from their peers and use these and the rubric to evaluate their scores. If you are not using this for a final grade, you could also have them use these notes to rewrite their pieces inclusive of with all the suggestions to give them a means to apply what they learned directly to their writing - definitely makes for stronger retention.