Writing an Editorial (from a Visual Argument/Flyer)

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Objective

SWABAT express a supportable and arguable personal opinion in a two-three page editorial regarding a topic of their own choosing.

Big Idea

... editorial writing is part of a multi-layered process to develop a strong "voice" ...

Introduction and Context

10 minutes

THIS IS THE THIRD LESSON IN A SERIES OF THREE

Now that students have created "flyers" it is time for them to present this "flyer" to their classmates.  Once they present, the pre-writing for writing the editorial is finished!  Then it is time to bring all of this visual information into an actual bit of prose ...

I set-up a simple calendar of randomly drawn presentation slots, and students share their flyers with the class on the classroom screen.  In order to best manage the presentations, I have students convert their Publisher files to .pdf, and add these to their portfolio page of their Research Notebook Site.  (I describe this process in a brief video, found in the resources for this lesson.)  Generally speaking, I slot each student into 6 - 8 min. time chunks.  The full presentation process takes about five days in class, but the timeframe depends, of course, on how large the section of the course is.

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After a brief intro. at the bell, I first ask that students complete a blog post.  I give them only about 8 min. (or so), but I mention they may finish for homework.  Here's the prompt I use:

Now that you have presented your flyer and received some feedback, will you stick with your chosen topic?  If so, how will you modify it? what changes would you make to your claim/thesis? what new counter-arguments have you discovered and what research do you need to do in order to refute them? what new questions are raised by your editorial?

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After presenting on the first day back to standard "lab time" and in order to get the process of the final drafting started, I ask students to locate and load their publisher file in the screen in its .pdf form in a new tab in Chrome.

Then they also click to this Google Doc outline of The Editorial itself ...

Guided Practice

35 minutes

With both the "flyer" and the outline in tabs on the screen, I have students open a new Google Doc, label the file, and set-up the standard MLA heading.

I mention they should use the headline of their flyer as the title of the editorial, and ask them to include this, centered, per MLA guidelines.

I ask them to just ... jump in ... start typing from the suggested outline.  Most students cut-n-paste the outline into their Google Doc and use it as a "template" for their own editorial.  This is a handy strategy that I promote but do not require -- there are many ways to get this draft going!

As students are typing, I circulate around the lab/class, offering encouragement and support.  Frequently, I will look over a shoulder and offer advice and/or insight.  

I ask students to work diligently until the bell ...

Often students end up with a strong start, and they are able to complete minimal homework in order to prepare for peer-critiquing (as described in the following lesson).

(For reference, I have attached two student examples - one from a boy and one from a girl.)