December 2, 2015

Writing In The ELA Classroom: Argument Writing

Help students to develop the skills to write a convincing argument and evaluate the strength of others' claims. In this #2ndaryELA Twitter chat, middle and high school English Language Arts teachers discuss argument writing: favorite assignments, students struggles and solutions, and helpful resources. Read through the chat for ideas to implement in your own classroom.
This #2ndaryELA Twitter chat was all about argument writing in the ELA classroom. Middle and High School English Language Arts discussed favorite assignments, students struggles and solutions, and helpful resources. The highlights are below.

Favorite assignments:
*Argumentative research papers are argumentative. Students draw three topics from a set of idea cards and prewrite on all three before choosing one.
*After reading "The Lady or The Tiger?" by Frank Stockton, students write an essay debating the fairness of US justice system
*Using current events like racial profiling or school to prison pipeline
*Analyzing the argument of infographics
*Civil rights topic. Begin by separating students by ethnicity in the classroom and get their juices fired over "unfairness." (Note: do this activity with caution and sensitivity)

*Choosing the best evidence to support an argument
*Crafting the rebuttal paragraph
*Forming personal opinions/thoughts and expressing them in writing
*Coming up with own argument when analyzing sources
*Coming up with different types of evidence
*Formation of ideas into sentences and grouping ideas

*Looking at sample rebuttal paragraphs, identifying the components, then use them as a model for students to write their own
*Practice finding strong evidence by ranking evidence for practice argument
*Select topics that are relevant and interesting
*Do a debate first. Talk about it, then write about it.

Helpful Resources:
*Everything's an Argument
*They Say I Say
*Teaching Argument Writing by George Hillocks
*New York Times "Room for Debate"

Hope you'll join us next Tuesday night, December 8 at 8pm EST to discuss helping students think beyond themselves during the holiday season. The questions for our next chat will be posted here on Sunday. If you missed this chat, scroll down and read the whole thing below.

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