Fine Tuning the Claim and Evidence to Respond to an Essential Question
Lesson 5 of 9
Objective: SWBAT write an argumentative essay to answer an essential question by developing claims and counterclaims and supporting them with evidence.
Today everyone is working independently. Since this the Essential Question Essay and the Celebration of Learning are synthesis activities, the policy is "ask two before me." In other words, ask two of your peers for answers/advice/feedback/ Then, if they can't help you, come see me. I want my students to embrace their peers as the best possible resource and also practice how to be a quality resource for their peers.
Some students are researching support for their essay (W 9-10. 7) and some students are evaluating evidence to determine its relevance to their essay. Students try to organize their evidence and also make sure they have included a variety of sources including using sources from class (W 9-10.8). This project synthesizes their learning for this year. It is important for them to be able to make connections between their learning and texts we read in class. The extended time the students have to work on this essay in class helps with their writing process and stamina. They have to work on it day after day. They can't just sit in front of a computer and blast something out.
All the students are in different places in their research work. Some are working on their essays and some on their presentations. The learnings from their essay is a component of their final presentation. I am focusing on helping students who have been absent. There are still students struggling with their claim. I work one on one with students who need support in drafting a claim. Sometimes the problem is the scope of the topic is too large for the framework of the essay. I have to guide students on how to narrow the scope so the claims focuses on the topic and is manageable for the student to examine in depth. Often these conversations lead to revising the essential question as well as reworking the claim (W 9-10. 1a). Once a student establishes a claim that is manageable, it better focus their research so that they engage sources useful to answering the question instead of a superficial overview of a topic (W 9-10. 8). Eventually, they have to share their finding in their Celebration of Learning presentation and explain What is a higher power?
In the last five minutes I remind students to clean up their workspace. Their rough drafts are due on the next class for peer revision. These drafts have to be typed. Students have had access to computers in class and they could use the laptops during tutoring time.