Finding Facts to Support an Argumentative Essay

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SWBAT use online resources effectively by rereading, skimming and scanning then highlighting the who and the what to support their claim statements.

Big Idea

Students find accurate resources to support claim statements and add them to their expository writing plan


15 minutes

I call students to the rug, one row at a time.  Students will identify their turn and talk partner by making a tent with their hands.  This teaching move quickly demonstrates to me everyone knows who they will talk with. Students share a highlighter and the NPR text, These Days, School Lunch Hours are More Like 15 Minutes.  Yesterday, we listened to the audio of this report hosted by Melissa Block. Listening to the transcript was very effective because students heard the reporter Eric Westervelt and all the different voices of the people being interviewed.  This brought the text to life.  Today students will have a copy of this transcript to read and analyze.

I start by reviewing the continuum for learning: a chart I made earlier that shows how we are are different when it comes to learning a new skill.  I state writing an argumentative expository essay might be hard, just right, or easy for us.  I emphasize "How to ask for help" by asking another student or a teacher.

I start the new lesson by stating the teaching point:  "Students find main ideas that are evidence for their claim statements by rereading, skimming, and scanning resources then highlighting the who and what."

Ask:  "What names can you find in this transcript that might be a resource we can use in our essays?"  As students are skimming the text I am pulling up the article online. Say,"Give me a thumbs up if you have already found some names and associations they work with." Visually check to see who has their thumbs up, give students another 30 secs.

"Raise you hand if you see an important person that Eric Westervelt interview.  Call on students. Move to section about the American Academy of Pediatrics and their recommendation for amount of time needed to eat.

Demonstrate how to highlight the who and the what.  Have students highlight this section. Next, switch form NPR article on screen to my mentor text of boxes and bullets to show students how to turn information in a resource into a main idea statement on planning form.  Write in the second box "Second, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that students get at least 20 minutes for lunch.  But they mean 20 minutes to actually sit down and eat, excluding time waiting in line or walking from class."Demonstrate by writing this main idea sentence on the boxes and bullets page.  Ask, "Did you see how I found my main idea sentence from the article and wrote in in my second box?"

Conclude by showing students the flash draft, where I wrote this main idea and supporting details  and tell students that by the end of today's lesson they will have written their main idea and details on their flash draft.

Dismiss students to work in their small groups with a teacher including: Student Teacher, Bilingual IA, Reading Interventionist.  They will need writing folder with boxes and bullets, their flash draft, pencil, and an ipad. 

Small Group work

25 minutes

During the small group time there will be 3 groups in the classroom meeting with a teacher, and one teacher assisted group working in the hall at a table.  The students are grouped according to their claim statements.   They will share ipads and research websites that have evidence that supports their claims.

They will reread, skim, and scan looking for who and what.  They will use the highlight tool on their ipads to highlight appropriate text.  Then they will jot down their second reason on their boxes and bullets form.  They will continue rereading and select additional facts, details and reasons from the article.

Each teacher will have their own way of helping students correctly site their evidence by quoting their sources accurately.  During the small group work students will discuss their ideas with one another and build on each other's thinking.  They will write the information they find on their student boxes and bullets plans.

Share Out

5 minutes

With about 5-10 minutes left of the workshop, gather the students on the rug to share their claim statements and evidence they found during their research.