End of Unit 1 Assessment, Part 1: Drafting the Argumentative Essay | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA 2012 G7:M2A:U1:L18

End of Unit 1 Assessment, Part 1: Drafting the Argumentative Essay

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Long Term Learning Targets

  • I can write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence. (W.7.1)
  • I can produce clear and coherent writing that is appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (W.7.4)
  • I can select evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research. (W.7.9)

Supporting Targets

  • I can write an organized argument essay about Lyddie.
  • In my essay, I can support my claim with details and quotes from the novel.
  • In my essay, I can explain how my details support my claim.

Ongoing Assessment

  • Essay draft


AgendaTeaching Notes

1. Opening

A. Entry Task: (3 minutes)

2. Work Time

A. Drafting the Essay (40 minutes)

3. Closing and Assessment

A. Collect Essay Drafts (2 minutes)

4. Homework

A. Finish reading Chapters 20-23 of Lyddie and complete Reader's Notes for Chapters 20, 21, 22, and 23. 

  • In this lesson, students finish the draft of their essay about Lyddie signing the petition. In the previous four lessons, students have shaped their arguments, collected evidence, planned their essays, and critiqued one another's work. At this point, students need time to craft their essay.
  • Consider posting a list of the resources available to help students write their essays. The list includes:

*     Lyddie's Decision anchor chart

*     Working Conditions in Lyddie: Textual Evidence Note-catcher

*     Essay planners

*     Forming Evidence-Based Claims graphic organizers with reasons Lyddie should sign and reasons she should not sign.

*     Reader's Notes

*     Working Conditions anchor chart

  • This lesson is written assuming the use of computers to draft the essays in order to make later revisions easier.
  • Consider the setup of your classroom if you are using laptops. Because students can distract themselves on computers, think about positioning the desks so that it is easy to scan the screens throughout the lesson.
  • If your students are not familiar with expectations about computer use in the classroom, explain them at the beginning of work time.
  • Be sure to think about how students will submit their drafts at the end of class: printing, saving to a server, emailing, etc.
  • If using computers is not possible in your classroom, consider giving students more time to hand write their essays. If students are hand-writing, encourage them to double-space, as it will make revision easier.
  • Since students will produce this essay draft independently, it is used as an assessment for "Claim and Reasons" and "Command of Evidence" on the NYS Expository Writing Rubric (argument version). Return the essay drafts with feedback in Lesson 20. Be sure to give feedback on the "Coherence, Style, and Organization" row and the "Command of Conventions" row of the rubric so that students can make those revisions in Lesson 20. See teaching note at the end of this lesson regarding the possibility of launching independent reading at this point in Module 2, in order to have more time to read and give feedback on students' draft essays.




  • Lyddie (book; one per student)
  • End of Unit 1 Assessment Prompt: Lyddie Argument Essay (from Lesson 14; included again in this lesson for teacher reference; one per student and one to display)
  • Computers
  • NYS Expository Writing Rubric (Argument version) (for teacher reference; use this to assess students' drafts on rows 1 and 2 of the rubric; see Teaching Note above)
  • Launching Independent Reading in Grades 6-8: Sample Plan (stand-alone document on EngageNY.org; optional; for teacher reference)



A. Entry Task: Draft a Quote Sandwich (10 minutes)

  • Distribute the entry task as students come in and ask them to get out their Lyddie essay planner. Prompt students to look at their essay planners and choose the reason in one of their body paragraphs to focus on. Then choose one piece of evidence from that paragraph to turn into a quote sandwich. Remind them that a quote sandwich means they introduce the quote, include the quote, and explain how the quote supports the reason in that paragraph. Remind them also that they have practiced quote sandwiches orally and found them in the model essay.

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Drafting the Essay (40 minutes)

  • Be sure students have their text Lyddie. Display the End of Unit 1 Assessment Prompt: Lyddie Argument Essay (which students originally saw in Lesson 14).
  • Remind students of the following:

*     Use the ideas and evidence in your planners to continue to write your essay drafts.

*     You will turn in your drafts at the end of the class.

*     You will have a chance to revise for conventions after you get your first draft back.

  • Emphasize the importance of saving their work often as they are typing. Let them know in what form (email, printed, saved to server, etc.) they will be turning in their draft at the end of the class.
  • As students are working, circulate around the room. Since this is an assessment, students should work independently.
  • Continue to circulate around the room, supporting students when needed or when their hands are raised.
  • When a few minutes remain, remind students to save their work.
  • One of the goals of the scaffolding in the previous lessons is to support all students in writing their essays, including SPED and ELL students. As much as possible, this draft should be done independently. However, there is space during Work Time to check in with students who need more support.
  • In order to give more support, consider:

*     Prompting them to look at their essay planner to remind them of their claim and/or the evidence they gathered

*     Asking questions like: "How does that evidence support your claim?" or "How are those ideas connected?"

*     Reminding them of the resources available to help them.

Closing & Assessments

ClosingMeeting Students' Needs

A. Collect Essay Drafts (2 minutes)

  • Give students specific positive praise for behaviors or thinking you noticed during class. Emphasize ways in which they are showing stamina as writers, and specific examples of students who are having strong insights about the theme of the novel.
  • Tell students you look forward to reading their drafts. Collect the student drafts and their associated planning work: Forming Evidence-Based Claims sheets and Planning Your Essay.
  • Consider allowing SPED and ELL students more time to complete their draft.


  • Continue reading Chapters 20-23 of Lyddie and complete Reader's Notes for Chapters 20, 21, 22, and 23. This is due in Lesson 19.

Note: Use the NYS Expository Writing Rubric (argument version) in order to assess students' essay drafts. Focus only on row 1 ("Claims and Reasons") and row 2 (Command of Evidence"). Be ready by Lesson 20 to return the essay drafts with feedback and the rubric. For assessment purposes, focus on just the top two rows of the rubric.

But do also give feedback on the "Coherence, Organization, and Style" and "Control of Conventions" for students to revise in Lesson 20. Specifically, keep an eye out for common organization or convention mistakes in the essays. In Lesson 20, you can address these common errors in a mini lesson when students revise.

Lesson 19 gives students time to talk about Lyddie as a whole text and to wrap up their study of the novel. (This also allows time for you to review essays and give feedback by Lesson 20.) If you need additional time to review student work before the revision lesson, consider using a day or two between Lesson 19 and Lesson 20 to launch the independent reading routine. This routine is explained more fully in a supporting document, Launching Independent Reading in Grades 6-8: Sample Plan (stand-alone document on EngageNY.org). However, make sure students return to their essays relatively soon; a gap of more than a few days will make it harder for them to revise successfully.

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