Writing an Argument Essay: Analyzing the Model | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA 2012 G7:M2B:U2:L14

Writing an Argument Essay: Analyzing the Model

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Long Term Learning Targets

  • I can write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence. (W.7.1)
  • With support from peers and adults, I can use a writing process to ensure that purpose and audience have been addressed. (W.7.5).

Supporting Targets

  • I can use the writing process to determine my strengths and challenges in essay writing.
  • I can determine the evidence and structure needed for writing an argument essay on Pygmalion.

Ongoing Assessment

  • Writing Improvement Tracker (from homework)
  • Analyzing Evidence in the Model Essay handout
  • Analyzing Structure of the Model Essay handout
  • Exit ticket

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1.  Opening

     A. Review Homework/Unpack Learning Targets (5 minutes)

2.  Work Time

     A.  Analyzing Evidence in the Model Essay (15 minutes)

     B.  Analyzing Structure of the Model Essay (20 minutes)

3.  Closing and Assessment

     A.  Exit Ticket (3 minutes)

     B.  Explain Homework (2 minutes)

4.  Homework

     A.  Fill in the Pygmalion Essay Planner with information and feedback from the Eliza Character Tracker.

  • In this lesson, students analyze the model essay in more depth than in Lesson 13. Students generally do not have lots of experience reading argument writing, as they do with narrative writing. To be able to write in a particular form, they need to have a deep understanding of its elements.
  • Students need a model to emulate to successfully push their writing, much like a basketball player imitating the moves of a professional to improve his or her play. It is good for students to imitate the structure of a model argument essay to show they can do the thinking that such an essay requires. To make sure the students are assessed on their own thinking, the model essay is focused on another character who may or may not change throughout the play: Alfred Doolittle, Eliza's father.
  • The goal of students' analysis of the model is to be sure they understand the claim, reasons, use of evidence, and structure of an argument essay. Students reread the model several times, each time with a different purpose. Rereading helps them internalize the model essay, supporting their own essay writing in Lesson 18.
  • Students are introduced to part of the essay planner for their argument essay. They use it to analyze the structure of the model essay, especially the structure within body paragraphs. In the next lesson, they plan their essay using the complete planner. This build is intentional; it not only gives students a framework for analyzing the model essay, but also gives them a model to complete most of the planner.
  • The New York State Expository Rubric--argument version is printed and distributed to students as part of the essay planner.
  • The exit ticket asks students to analyze the conclusion of the model essay. Teachers collect this work for an informal formative assessment. The tickets should be corrected and retained to hand back to students in Lesson 17, when they will have a mini review of the essential components of a conclusion.
  • For homework, students will use their Eliza Character Tracker to begin the work of planning their essay by filling in their claim and reasons on the Pygmalion Essay Planner.
  • In advance: Decide which Discussion Appointment to use today.
  • Post: Learning targets.

Vocabulary

coherent, argument, appropriate, structure, relevant evidence

Materials

  • Pygmalion (play; one per student)
  • Pygmalion Model Essay: Alfred Doolittle, The Same as Ever (from Lesson 13)
  • Analyzing Evidence in the Model Essay (one per student and one to display)
  • Analyzing Structure of the Model Essay (one per student and one to display)
  • Document camera
  • Analyzing Structure of the Model Essay (for teacher reference)
  • Exit ticket (one per student)
  • Pygmalion Essay Planner (one per student)

Opening

Opening

A. Review Homework/Unpack Learning Targets (5 minutes)

  • Have students take out their Writing Improvement Trackers and Pygmalion, turn to a partner, and share their strength and challenge from the Module 1 essay. Remind students that they will use their Writing Improvement Trackers for the rest of the year.
  • Direct students' attention to the learning targets. Read them out loud together with the class:

*   "I can use the writing process to determine my strengths and challenges in essay writing."

*   "I can determine the evidence and structure needed for writing an argument essay on Pygmalion."

  • Ask students to talk about how knowing their strength and challenge will help them write their essay on Pygmalion and achieve their learning targets today. Listen for statements that apply students' identified strengths and weaknesses directly to the upcoming Pygmalion essay.

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Analyzing Evidence in the Model Essay (15 minutes)

  • Ask students to get out their copy of the Pygmalion Model Essay: Alfred Doolittle, The Same as Ever, where they underlined the claim and numbered the reasons that support the model essay's claim.
  • Ask students to reread the essay silently as you read it aloud. Review the claim and reasons that students identified in the previous lesson.
  • Distribute the Analyzing Evidence in the Model Essay handout. Explain that students are going to look closely at how evidence is used in an argument essay. Remind them that in their essays, they will use "quote sandwiches" to present and explain their evidence. They were introduced to the quote sandwich in Unit 1.
  • Direct students to sit with the Discussion Appointment partner you designate for today. When they are settled, invite them to work with their partner to do the following:

-   Find a quote sandwich in the model essay.

-   Add it to your handout.

-   Answer Questions 1-3.

  • As students are working, circulate to address questions as they arise. If students are stuck, prompt them by asking:

*   "Why do you think so?"

*   "Where do you see that in the essay?"

*   "How does that relate to the claim/reason in the essay?"

  • Once students have finished, refocus the class whole group. Cold call pairs to share their answers to Questions 1-3 on the handout. Clarify or correct as needed. Encourage students to add to or revise their own answers based on the class discussion.

B. Analyzing Structure of the Model Essay (20 minutes)

  • Explain that students will turn their attention to the structure of the model essay, and that will require that they read the essay again. Remind them that rereading is a skill that good readers practice, and it takes perseverance.
  • Distribute Analyzing Structure of the Model Essay and display a copy using a document camera. Tell students that this handout is just like one part of the essay planner that they will use in the next lesson to plan their own essays. For today, students will use it to understand the structure of the body paragraph of an argument essay.
  • To get students started, do a think-aloud about how to fill out the Analyzing Structure of the Model Essay handout by filling in the claim, topic sentence, and first piece of evidence in the box for Body Paragraph 1. Refer to Analyzing Structure of the Model Essay (for teacher reference). Invite students to fill out their own handouts as you do the think-aloud.
  • Ask students if there are any questions about using the handout. Clarify as necessary. Invite them to continue working with their partners to analyze the structure of the essay and complete the handout.
  • As students are working, circulate. Push them to think about how those body paragraphs are structured. Ask questions like:

*   "What is the job of that sentence?"

*   "How do those sentences go together?"

*   "How does that sentence relate to the reason/claim?"

  • After about 10 minutes, refocus the class. Cold call pairs to share what they included for Body Paragraph 1. Add to the displayed copy and encourage students to add to or revise their own work as needed. Emphasize that the evidence in an argument essay always needs to be explained, as it is in the model essay. By connecting the evidence to specific reasons, an author makes a strong argument.
  • Ask:

*   "What was included in the body paragraphs that was not on the handout?"

  • Give students a moment to think and then cold call them to share their ideas. Listen for: "The introduction to the quotes wasn't included on the handout" and "Transition words weren't included on the handout."
  • Explain that the essay planner they will use in the next lesson is meant to help them organize their ideas but will not be the template for their entire essay. They need to keep things like the introduction of quotes and use of transitions in mind when they draft their essay later. Assure them that they will review some of this information in an upcoming lesson.
  • Ask students to store their copies of the model essay in a safe place.
  • Providing a model that is clear enough to illustrate the criteria for all students, but also a bit more advanced than what students are actually expected to do helps push even the strongest writers.
  • If many students need more support with the structure of body paragraphs, consider more extended teacher guidance and modeling with this task.

Closing & Assessments

Closing

A. Exit Ticket (3 minutes)

  • Distribute the exit ticket. Ask students to reread the conclusion of the model essay and underline the claim and circle the reasons restated in it.
  • Collect students' exit tickets to informally assess. Focus on those who may need more support identifying claims and reasons.

B. Explain Homework (2 minutes)

  • Distribute the students' Eliza Character Trackers from Lesson 13 and the Pygmalion Essay Planner.  Explain that for homework, they will use the information on the character tracker to fill in the claim and evidence on the essay planner.
  • Point out that when they do so, they should take into account the feedback you have given them on their tracker.
  • Direct them to the exact places on the essay planner where they should fill in the claim and evidence, and have them highlight those sections in some fashion.
  • Remind students that they should use the starred reasons and the information in the My Claim box on their character tracker to fill out the essay planner.
  • Remind them to choose one reason--the most compelling one--to discuss in the essay. It should be the reason they have the most and strongest evidence for.

Homework

HomeworkMeeting Students' Needs
  • Fill in the Pygmalion Essay Planner with information and feedback from the Eliza Character Tracker.
  • Consider meeting with students who struggled with the tracker before assigning this homework and/or modifying the homework to meet struggling students' needs.

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