Framing Lyddie’s Decision and Practicing Evidence-Based Claims | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA 2012 G7:M2A:U1:L10

Framing Lyddie’s Decision and Practicing Evidence-Based Claims

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Long Term Learning Targets

  • I can cite several pieces of text-based evidence to support an analysis of literary text. (RL.7.1)
  • I can analyze the interaction of literary elements of a story or drama. (RL.7.3)
  • I can use a variety of strategies to determine the meaning of unknown words or phrases. (L.7.4)
  • I can effectively engage in discussions with diverse partners about seventh-grade topics, texts, and issues. (SL.7.1)

Supporting Targets

  • I can cite specific textual evidence to describe the decision Lyddie has to make about whether to sign the petition.
  • By engaging in a discussion with my partner, I can analyze one section of Lyddie in order to deepen my understanding of Lyddie's decision.

Ongoing Assessment

  • Checking for Understanding entry task
  • Forming Evidence-Based Claims graphic organizers (two: one focusing on reasons to sign the petition and the other focusing on reasons not to sign the petition)


AgendaTeaching Notes

1. Opening

A. Entry Task: Checking for Understanding (9 minutes)

2.  Work Time

A. Close Read: Lyddie's Decision (20 minutes)

B. Forming Evidence-Based Claims: Lyddie's Decision (15 minutes)

3. Closing and Assessment

A. Previewing Homework (1 minute)

4. Homework

A. Read Chapters 15-16 of Lyddie and complete Reader's Notes for Chapters 15 and 16.

  • In this lesson, students are introduced to and discuss the question about which they will be writing their essay: Should Lyddie sign the petition? In Lessons 10, 11, and 12 students closely reread key passages that will help them understand the factors in her decision.
  • During these close readings, students gather and analyze evidence using an adapted version of the Odell Forming Evidence-Based Claims handout (in supporting materials; basic version also available as a stand-alone document on
  • Note that in this module and henceforth, these materials will be used more to guide reading than to plan writing. Students use the Odell resource primarily to gather and analyze textual evidence related to the writing prompt (rather than using it to come to a thesis for an essay). They will draw on their two Forming Evidence-based Claims graphic organizers as notes when they transition to more formally planning and writing their essays.
  • This lesson includes two copies of the Forming Evidence-based Claims graphic organizer, one for each argument. Be sure students use one copy of the graphic organizer (front and back) about why Lyddie should sign the petition. Then, they use the second copy of the graphic organizer (front and back) about why Lyddie should not sign the petition.
  • In Lessons 10-16, students have a number of opportunities to talk about Lyddie's decision. The more clearly students can talk about her decision, the more clearly they will write about it.
  • In this lesson, begin using the Lyddie's Decision anchor chart. This anchor chart will create a shared public record of the class's understanding of Lyddie's decision. It is particularly important to have strong supports for students' writing as this is their first argument writing essay this year. Consider making copies for each student that he or she will fill in to mirror the class anchor chart. This will provide students with an easy reference as they write their essays.
  • In advance: Set up the Lyddie's Decision anchor chart (see supporting materials).
  • In advance: Review the excerpts listed on the Lyddie's Decision: Passages to Reread handout (in supporting materials). Students will need access to these excerpts throughout Lessons 10-12; figure out the best way to help students work with these excerpts, possibly having students put sticky notes on these pages.
  • Review: Selected passages that students will read closely today (see supporting materials for a list), Lyddie, Chapters 14 and 15.


evidence, claim; pact (108), hinder (109), stilled (110), ornery (111), infirmary (112), cast off (113), husks (113), draft (115)


  • Checking for Understanding, Chapter 14 entry task (one per student)
  • Lyddie (book; one per student) (students will focus closely on pages 91-93)
  • Weaving Room Discussion Appointments handout (from Lesson 3)
  • Document camera
  • Chapter 12 of Lyddie Close Reading Guide (for teacher reference)
  • Chapter 12 of Lyddie Text Dependent Questions (one per student)
  • Lyddie's Decision anchor chart (new; teacher-created, see supporting materials)
  • Lyddie's Decision anchor chart, Teacher's Edition (for Teacher Reference)
  • Forming Evidence Based Claims graphic organizers (note there are two different organizers; each student will need both; see Teaching Note)
  • Lyddie Reader's Notes, Chapter 15 and Chapter 16 (two separate supporting materials; one each per student)
  • Lyddie Reader's Notes, Chapter 15 and Chapter 16, Teacher's Edition (for teacher reference)



A. Entry Task: Checking for Understanding (9 minutes)

  • Distribute the Checking for Understanding, Chapter 14 entry task to students as they enter. Direct students to complete the entry task individually. As they do so, circulate to check the Lyddie Reader's Notes, Chapter 14 for completion.
  • When students are done, call on several to share their answers to the entry task.
  • As a follow-up to Question 1, ask students why Patterson has Lyddie refer to Betsy as a "cast-off husk." Why didn't she just say she was sick and leave? What additional understanding of Lyddie's working conditions does that phrase give the reader? (Note: This follows closely on students' work from Lesson 6.)
  • Post the correct definitions of the words in the Reader's Dictionary and prompt students to correct their Reader's Notes as necessary. Ask students if there are words about which they are confused, and clarify as necessary.

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Close Read: Lyddie's Decision (20 minutes)

  • Tell students that later in the unit, they will have the opportunity to develop a claim about one of the important questions in Lyddie: Should she should sign the petition or not? Write this question on the board to give students a point of reference for the rest of the lesson.
  • In this lesson and the next one, they will reread and discuss specific excerpts from the text that will help them think more deeply about this question. Stress to students that there is not one right answer to the question; their job is not to come to a specific conclusion but to think carefully and support their ideas with evidence from the text. Consider doing a quick show of hands to help students understand this. Ask:

*     "Who can think of a good reason for Lyddie to sign the petition?"

*     "Who can think of a good reason for Lyddie not to sign the petition?"

  • Tell students that in coming days, they will explore both arguments and that you value their ability not to come to a decision quickly, but to weigh evidence carefully and think about both sides.
  • Tell students that to start, the class will together reread one part of the text where the decision is clearly outlined. Direct students to pages 91-93 of Lyddie. Ask students to refer to their Reader's Notes to remember the setting and context of this scene. Call on several students to share out, and listen for them to notice that Lyddie, Betsy, and Amelia are talking in their room and that the machinery at the mill has been steadily speeding up.
  • Read the excerpt aloud fluently and with expression (start at on page 91 at "We're all working like black slaves ..." and finish at the end of page 93). (Note: You may need to explain this expression. White workers during this time often contrasted the idea of wage slaves with the idea of black slaves. Students may be unaware that this is before the Civil War and that many African Americans were enslaved.)
  • Direct students to sit with their At the Closed Window appointment on the Weaving Room Discussion Appointment sheet.
  • Display the Chapter 12 of Lyddie Text-Dependent Questions and use the Chapter 12 of Lyddie Close Reading Guide (teaching guide; see supporting materials) to guide students through a series of text-dependent questions related to pp. 91-93 of Lyddie.
  • After debriefing the close read, direct students' attention to the new Lyddie's Decision anchor chart. Tell them that they will use this chart to hold their thinking about Lyddie's decision. Show them that you have started the chart with a few notes about the framing of this decision: the context in which she makes it. Guide the students to help you complete the framing notes. The Lyddie's Decision anchor chart, Teacher's Edition may be helpful to you. Tell them that they will add to the anchor chart as they work, and that it will be an important reference for them as they read, discuss, and write.
  • Students who need substantial support with this writing assignment will be able to use the top of the anchor chart to create the introduction paragraph to their essays.
  • You may wish to have each student maintain a copy of the Lyddie's Decision anchor chart in his/her notes. If so, photocopy enough to distribute. However, also make sure to keep a class anchor chart.

B. Close Read: Lyddie's Decision (20 minutes)

  • Tell students that now they will start gathering textual evidence about whether or not Lyddie should sign the petition. They shouldn't decide right now what they think; the best way to come to a strong claim is to carefully examine both sides of an issue, review the evidence, and reflect.
  • Display and distribute the two Forming Evidence-Based Claims graphic organizers to students, and direct their attention to the task at the top. Prompt them to notice that one graphic organizer focuses on reasons Lyddie should not sign the petition; the other focuses on reasons she should.
  • Return to the excerpt on pages 91-93 and model for students how they might fill out the graphic organizer. Display the graphic organizer on a document camera and script your modeling as you explain.
  • For example, consider using Betsy's quote on page 91 for your modeling: "But in those days I had a hundred thirty spindles to tend. Now I've twice that many at a speed that would make the devil curse" (91). Ask students how Betsy is feeling when she says this, and tell them you want them to practice reading it so that listeners can hear how Betsy was feeling. Give partners a minute to practice and then ask a few students to read the line to the class, soliciting positive feedback from other students.
  • Explain to students that you found this quote by skimming and looking for ideas that relate to working conditions and whether or not Lyddie should sign the petition. You might say something like: "I noticed this one because it relates to the speed-up, and so I decided it was related to our focusing question at the top ('What are reasons Lyddie should sign the petition?'). First, I will write it in the top row. Then, in the second row, I explain what I think about this quote. This is my chance to both explain and analyze the quote, as you did on the Working Conditions in Lyddie: Textual Evidence graphic organizer. So first I will explain the quote: Betsy is complaining that the work has speeded up a lot. Next I will analyze it and connect it to working conditions and the petition: the speed-up has made work much more difficult and tiring for workers, which is a reason to sign the petition. There is no reason to expect that working conditions will get better on their own."
  • Ask students to work with a partner to find one more quote from the same excerpt that is related to the question of signing the petition. Cold call on several students to share their work, providing specific positive feedback for relevant quotes, clear explanation, and analysis that connects the quote to the questions of working conditions and the petition. If possible, find pairs that have used the same evidence in different ways, and highlight for students that it is possible to use a given fact to support either argument. Note that this will be their exit ticket.
  • Ask students to turn in their Forming Evidence-Based Claims graphic organizers as they leave.
  • Note that this will be students' exit ticket. As students leave, collect their graphic organizers and use them to identify individuals who may need additional support with this work in the next lesson.

Closing & Assessments


A. Previewing Homework (1 minute)

  • Tell students that as they read tonight, they should continue to pay close attention to evidence that relates to the question of whether or not Lyddie should sign the petition. 


  • Read Chapters 15-16 of Lyddie and complete Reader's Notes for Chapters 15 and 16.

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