Actions for a Position Paper: Identify, Discuss, Write | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA 2012 G6:M4:U3:L4

Actions for a Position Paper: Identify, Discuss, Write

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Long Term Learning Targets

  • I can write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence. (W.6.1)
  • I can identify the relationship between my claim(s) and reasons by using linking words, phrases, and clauses. (W.6.1c)
  • With support from peers and adults, I can use a writing process to produce clear and coherent writing. (W.6.5)

Supporting Targets

  • I can identify the parts of a strong position paper.
  • I can discuss my ideas for my position paper with a peer.
  • I can write drafts of my body paragraphs.

Ongoing Assessment

  • Planning My Body Paragraphs graphic organizer (from homework )
  • Written drafts of body paragraphs

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1.  Opening

     A.  Unpacking Learning Targets (2 minutes)

     B.  Parts of a Position Paper Anchor Chart (3 minutes)

2.  Work Time

     A.  Peer Discussion: Articulating My Ideas (10 minutes)

     B.  Writing: Moving from a Plan to a Draft (25 minutes)

3.  Closing and Assessment

     A.  Noticing Transition Words and Phrases (5 minutes)

4.  Homework

     A.  Read to meet 30-minute reading goal in independent reading book. Complete the Reading Tracker and Reviewer's Notes.

  • At this point, students have looked closely at how a position paper is constructed and used reasons and evidence to plan their body paragraphs on the Planning My Body Paragraphs graphic organizer. They are now ready to apply their skills as they write a draft of their body paragraphs.
  • Students are introduced to the Parts of a Position Paper anchor chart. This will help them focus on what components make a strong body paragraph. Students will share their plan for their body paragraphs with a partner. The Parts of a Position Paper anchor chart will help guide students in listening to one another's ideas for what a strong paragraph should sound like.
  • The students' verbal explanations of their body paragraphs  are a way for them to "warm up" and prewrite without extraneous writing. This is not a time for peer feedback. The goal is for students to solidify their plan by expressing it. As students use their plan to help construct their drafts, they can make revisions where they had difficulty articulating their ideas. 
  • Identifying transitional words used in the model will help students consider how to introduce their paragraphs and connect their ideas and paragraphs. Transitions will be formally assessed on the End of Unit 3 Assessment in students' published paper. Reviewing the Planning My Body Paragraphs graphic organizer will help students identify domain-specific vocabulary and make revisions if specific terminology should be added.
  • It is helpful to have students write on every other line as they write their drafts. This allows space for revisions in future lessons.
  • By the end of this lesson, students should have finished their body paragraph drafts by writing the introductory and concluding paragraphs so that they are prepared for the mid-unit assessment of completing their draft. Students who have not finished their body paragraph drafts would benefit from arranging time after school to complete them.
  • Be prepared to provide students with feedback in Lesson 7. Provide specific positive feedback for at least one thing each student did well (star) and at least one specific area of focus for each student to revise (step).
  • Determine whether you need to acquire colored pens or pencils for students to make revisions.
  • In advance: prepare the new Transitions anchor chart. Make headings for Introduction, First Body Paragraph, Second Body Paragraph, Third Body Paragraph, and Conclusion. You will use this anchor chart with students during the Closing.
  • Post: Learning targets. 

Vocabulary

identify, discuss, write

Materials

  • Planning My Body Paragraphs graphic organizer (from Lesson 3)
  • Research folder (from previous lessons)
  • Parts of a Position Paper anchor chart (one per student, in research folder, and one for display)
  • Document camera
  • Model position paper: "Hydraulic Fracturing" (from Lesson 1)
  • Domain-Specific Vocabulary and Transitions graphic organizer (from Lesson 3)
  • Different colored pens or pencils for making revisions
  • Lined paper
  • Pencils
  • Sticky notes (four per student)
  • Transitions anchor chart (new; co-created with students during Closing Part A; see Teaching Note)

Opening

OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Unpacking Learning Targets (2 minutes)

  • Invite students to all read the learning targets aloud with you:

* "I can identify the parts of a strong position paper."

* "I can discuss my ideas for my position paper with a peer."

* "I can write drafts of my body paragraphs."

  • Tell students that all of the targets have action verbs. Call on students to identify those words.
  • As students say the words identify, discuss, and write, circle or highlight the verbs on the posted targets.
  • Invite students to use hand gestures to describe what the verbs tell us we can do. For example, use fingers or hands to form spectacles or binocular shapes held in front of your eyes for the word identify.
  • Point out that the targets each mention the position paper or parts of the paper. Tell students they will be actively involved as they begin the process of writing a draft of the body paragraphs in their own position paper.

B. Parts of a Position Paper Anchor Chart (3 minutes)

  • Ask students to locate their Planning My Body Paragraphs graphic organizers, which they completed in Lesson 3.
  • Distribute or ask students to locate their research folder. Direct them to get out the Parts of a Position Paper anchor chart from the folder.
  • Use a document camera to display the anchor chart.
  • Introduce the Parts of a Position Paper anchor chart to the students. Explain that this anchor chart includes the components, or parts, of each paragraph in the position paper. Tell students that parts are in the order that they should write them.
  • Explain that in today's lesson they will use this information as a guide for sharing their body paragraph plans with a listening partner and as a guide for writing their body paragraph drafts.
  • Direct students to the Body Paragraph sections. Cold call a student to read the three bullet points for Body Paragraph 1. Cold call students to read the bullet points for Body Paragraphs 2 and 3. Ask students what they notice and wonder. Listen for notices that include: "exactly the same," "same order," and "all list transitions, evidence, and links."
  • Listen for wonders such as:

* "What are transitions?"

* "What's a link?"

* "How do you write a link?"

  • Encourage students to refer to the model position paper: "Hydraulic Fracturing" to see how the author begins each paragraph with transitions and how the evidence is connected to the claim.
  • For select students, consider a practice read ahead of time of Body Paragraph bullet points for 1, 2, or 3 from the Parts of a Position Paper anchor chart. 

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Peer Discussion: Articulating My Ideas (10 minutes)

  • Tell students that before writing their body paragraph drafts, they will work with a partner to explain their plan. Explain that they will use their Planning My Body Paragraph graphic organizers, Parts of a Position Paper anchor chart, and their Domain-Specific Vocabulary and Transitions graphic organizers as a guide.
  • Pair students up to explain their plan to their partners.
  • Distribute pens or pencils that are a different color from those students used on their Planning My Body Paragraph graphic organizer. Ask students to use them for the revisions they make to their drafts during this sharing time.
  • Explain that this is not a time for giving feedback to their partners. It is a time to review and revise their own work by both speaking and listening.
  • Tell students if they have difficulty with parts of their plan while they are sharing, this is an opportunity to make changes and solidify their ideas. The goal is to be able to write their plan in a way that readers can easily understand.
  • Advise students to refer to the Parts of a Position Paper anchor chart to see if they have included all the parts in the correct order.
  • Advise students to refer to their Domain-Specific Vocabulary and Transitions graphic organizer to ensure that they have domain-specific words in each paragraph plan.
  • Remind students to refer to the model position paper, "Hydraulic Fracturing," to see what words the author used to introduce the body paragraphs and move from one paragraph to another. Suggest that using similar words or phrases to begin their body paragraphs is helpful for presenting their body paragraphs in a logical order.
  • Circulate and support students as they share with their partners. Direct students to parts of the anchor chart or essay that may be helpful.
  • Refocus students as a whole class. Check to see if students are prepared to write their body paragraph drafts by asking for a thumbs-up, thumbs-sideways, or thumbs-down. Encourage students to look over their plan and make any final changes before writing.
  • When reviewing the graphic organizers or recording forms, consider using a document camera to visually display the document for students who struggle with auditory processing.
  • Providing models of expected work supports all students, especially challenged learners.

B. Writing: Moving from a Plan to a Draft (25 minutes)

  • Direct students to have lined paper, a pencil, their Planning My Body Paragraph graphic organizer (from Lesson 3), and the Parts of a Position Paper anchor chart out on their desks/tables.
  • Remind students of the expectations for quiet writing time. Explain that working together and sharing has been helpful to learn and prepare. Quiet, focused writing is also an important part of learning to write well. The focus now is to work independently.
  • Explain that students will write the three body paragraphs of their position papers as the first part of their mid-unit assessment. In the next lesson, they will write the introductory and concluding paragraphs.
  • Direct students to write on every other line to allow space to edit and make revisions in Lessons 6 and 7.
  • Circulate to assist students as they draft their body paragraphs. Ask questions such as:

* "Do you have a reason that supports your claim?"

* "How does your paragraph begin? Does it help put your information in order?"

* "Did you include evidence that supports your reason?"

* "What are you explaining in your own words?"

* "Did you use domain-specific vocabulary in each paragraph?"

* "Did you cite your source?"

  • At the end of the writing time, commend students for their quiet, focused work writing the first drafts of their body paragraphs.
  • During this Work Time, you may want to pull a small group of students to support in writing their body paragraphs. Some students may need more guided instruction as they begin writing their draft.
  • Students who have not finished their drafts will benefit from arranging other time after school to complete their writing.
  • Suggest that students mark every other line to remind them to skip lines as they write.

Closing & Assessments

Closing

A. Noticing Transition Words and Phrases (5 minutes)

  • Ask students to retrieve their Domain-Specific Vocabulary and Transitions graphic organizer.
  • Distribute four sticky notes to the students. Point out the Transitions anchor chart, which includes headings for Introduction, First Body Paragraph, Second Body Paragraph, Third Body Paragraph, and Conclusion.
  • Explain that transitions are words that help put information in order and connect ideas.
  • Ask students: "What words are you using to introduce and connect your ideas and paragraphs in your body paragraph drafts?" As students respond, ask them to write their words or phrases on sticky notes and add them to the anchor chart display. Encourage students to place their transition words under the heading where they feel they belong.
  • As transitions are added to the display, invite students to also write words or phrases on their graphic organizers. Encourage students to include one from each heading.
  • Tell students they will be taking a closer look at transitions after they revise their position paper drafts. Encourage students to think about how they are already introducing and connecting their ideas by using words like this.
  • Collect students' first body paragraph drafts.

Homework

Homework
  • Read to meet 30-minute reading goal in independent reading book. Complete the Reading Tracker and Reviewer's Notes.

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