Scaffolding for Position Paper: Clarifying Body Paragraphs, Introduction, and Conclusion | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA 2012 G7:M4A:U3:L3

Scaffolding for Position Paper: Clarifying Body Paragraphs, Introduction, and Conclusion

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Long Term Learning Targets

  • I can produce clear and coherent writing that is appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (W.7.4a)
  • 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 improve my writing through prewriting and planning my position paper.
  • I can write a clear, concise position paper appropriate for the task, purpose, and audience.

Ongoing Assessment

  • Position Paper Planner

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1.  Opening

A.  Entry Task: Read through the Plan (5 minutes)

B.  Reviewing Learning Targets (2 minutes)

2.  Work Time

A.  Explain the Body Paragraphs (15 minutes)

B.  Plan the Introduction and Conclusion (20 minutes)

3.  Closing and Assessment

A.  Exit Ticket: Where Are We in Steps to Writing a Position Paper? (3 minutes)

4.  Homework

A.  Finish the Position Paper Planner.

B.  Read your independent reading boo

  • In this lesson, students talk through their body paragraphs with a partner to articulate and solidify their ideas. Help students understand they are not reading from their planner during this time, though they can use it as a reference. If students cannot articulate their own ideas, they likely do not understand their ideas well enough to write clearly about them. It is through explaining their ideas that they also clarify and sometimes even construct new understandings so their writing can be clearer. It is also important that students know that this partner work is not meant to be formal peer feedback, but just listening; peer feedback will happen in Lesson 4.
  • Previous work on introductions and conclusions occurred in Module 1, Unit 2, Lesson 16, and in Module 2A, Unit 2, Lesson 16. If your students did not experience these modules, consider whether, or how, explicit instruction in effective introductions and conclusions must occur.
  • Consider shifting the order of this lesson and Lesson 2 to meet students' needs. In that case, a logical approach is having students write their introduction; use the "talk-through" in this lesson to clarify the building blocks represented in the introduction; and then have students write their body paragraphs.
  • It may be useful also to include mini lessons that reinforce the formatting of reasoning through an "if/then" statement, which should occur at least once in each paragraph; and the use of a scientifically cautious tone (using such verbs and verb phrases as may, perhaps, it is likely, might). Consider shortening Work Time A to give some attention to one or both of these elements.
  • Post: Learning targets.

Materials

  • Position Paper Planner (from Lesson 2)
  • Steps to Writing a Position Paper anchor chart (from Lesson 2, one to display)
  • Model position paper "Facebook: Not for Kids" (from Lesson 1)
  • Exit Ticket: Where Are We in Steps to Writing a Position Paper? (one per student)

Opening

Opening

A. Entry Task: Read through the Plan (5 minutes)

  • As students enter, ask them to silently read through their Position Paper Planner. Remind them that they should have completed filling in the body paragraphs for homework last night. Today they will explain their body paragraphs and counterclaim to a partner.

B. Reviewing Learning Targets (2 minutes)

  • Direct students' attention to the posted learning targets and ask students to read them silently, noticing where the targets might fit on the Steps to Writing a Position Paperanchor chart:

*   "I can improve my writing through prewriting and planning my position paper."

*   "I can write a clear, concise position paper appropriate for the task, purpose, and audience."

  • Remind students that they made a decision as to where they were in these steps on their exit tickets yesterday; comment briefly on any patterns you saw in their answers.
  • Ask students if they think they should change where they placed the learning target cards yesterday.

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Explain the Body Paragraphs (15 minutes)

  • Tell students that today they will talk through their body paragraphs with a partner to articulate and solidify their ideas. During this time they should not read from their planner, though they can use it as a reference. By talking through their body paragraphs (i.e., explaining their argument to someone), they will find out where they are both clear and unclear on their ideas. Explain to students that if they have difficulties explaining, they probably don't understand it as well as they should before they write, and that they should put an arrow near that paragraph so they can work on it some more.
  • Note also that both partners should review the planner to ensure that all information has been properly paraphrased from their sources. Remind them that they have done this already in their researcher's notebooks, and that this partner work will serve as an additional check. Remind students of the importance of not plagiarizing: Even accidental plagiarism can result in serious consequences.
  • Review the formatting of reasoning through an "if/then" statement, which should occur at least once in each paragraph, and the use of a scientifically cautious tone (using such verbs and verb phrases as may, perhaps, it is likely, might).
  • Ask students to move to their partners and take turns explaining all three body paragraphs. The partner should listen and ask clarifying questions that arise.
  • Encourage students to ask for feedback on particulars in their writing, such as analysis of evidence.
  • Consider providing sentence starters for students to follow while explaining their body paragraphs (e.g., "In my first paragraph, my claim is ... and I will back this up with this evidence ...").
  • Consider modeling this "talk-through" using the model essay as a guide. Be sure and point out when you will explain the brain science, your "if/then" constructions and your use of "may" and "research indicates."

B. Plan the Introduction and Conclusion (20 minutes)

  • Tell students to work on two things today:

-   Any changes they need to make to their body paragraphs based on their inability to explain to their partner  (direct struggling student to the anchor chart and their various note-catchers as support)

-   The introduction or conclusion

  • Ask students to get out their model position paper "Facebook: Not for Kids" copies. Have them follow along as you read the introductions aloud.
  • Remind them of their work in Module 1, Unit 2 on introductions and conclusions, and refer them to the planner guidelines for both the introduction and conclusion. Review briefly that both introductions and conclusions sum up the paper, state or restate the claim, and either hook the reader or leave the reader thinking.
  • Pause and ask students to identify the hook the author used to introduce the model paper topic. Listen for students to say the author used an anecdote. Encourage them to try this technique themselves.
  • Tell students they will continue to work on the planner for homework.
  • Give students time to work independently and circulate. Push students to be clear and explicit in their plan.

Closing & Assessments

Closing

A. Exit Ticket: Where Are We in Steps to Writing a Position Paper? (3 minutes)

  • Distribute the Exit Ticket: Where Are We in Steps to Writing a Position Paper? for students to complete.
  • Draw students' attention to the Steps to Writing a Position Paper anchor chart. Ask them which steps they believe they have already taken or partially taken and what they have specifically done for that step. Invite them to fill in the exit ticket. Collect students' completed exit tickets.

Homework

Homework
  • Finish the Position Paper Planner.
  • Read your independent reading book.

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