Mid-Unit Assessment: Drafting the Position Paper | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA 2012 G7:M4A:U3:L5

Mid-Unit Assessment: Drafting the Position Paper

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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 position paper about the effects of screen time on the teen brain.
  • In my essay, I can support my claim with reasons, details, and quotes from research.
  • In my essay, I can explain how my evidence/reasoning supports my claim.

Ongoing Assessment

  • Mid-Unit 3 Assessment: Position Paper draft

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1.  Opening

A.  Entry Task (3 minutes)

B.  Model Read-aloud (3 minutes)

2. Work Time

A.  Mid-Unit 3 Assessment: First Draft of  Position Paper (35 minutes)

3. Closing and Assessment

A.  Collect First Draft Position Papers(4 minutes)

4. Homework

A.  Complete the draft of your Independent Reading Cheat Sheet Planner.

 

  • In this lesson, students write the draft of their position paper about a screen time recommendation for the AAP. In the previous four lessons, students used the planner to shape their paper, organize evidence from their researcher's notebook, and critique 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.
  • This lesson is written assuming that computers are available to draft the position paper to make later revisions easier.
  • 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 handwrite their essays. If students are handwriting, 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 Grades 6-8 Expository Writing Evaluation Rubric (position paper argument version). Return the essay drafts with feedback in Lesson 7.
  • This lesson is written as a timed, on-demand drafting experience not only to keep management of the drafting process simple for the teacher, but also to give students "solo" experience in writing under timed, on-demand circumstances. When considering the needs of your students, however, use your professional judgment in modifying the drafting experience to be reasonable and equitable.
  • In Lesson 6, students are asked to complete an independent reading project, which they will begin in this lesson. See Lesson 6 Teaching Notes for more information about this project.
  • Post: Learning targets.

Materials

  • Computers
  • Position Paper Planner (from Lesson 4; returned here with teacher feedback)
  • Researcher's notebook (from Unit 2, Lesson 3)
  • Model position paper "Facebook: Not for Kids" (from Lesson 1; one to display)
  • Mid-Unit 3 Assessment: Position Paper Prompt (one per student)
  • Document camera
  • NYS Grades 6-8 Expository Writing Evaluation Rubric (position paper argument version; from Lesson 1; for teacher reference)
  • Independent Reading Cheat Sheet Planner (one per student)

Opening

Opening

A. Entry Task (3 minutes)

  • Assign computers and invite students to get out their Position Paper Planner and researcher's notebook.
  • Direct students' attention to the posted learning targets and read them aloud:

*   "I can write an organized position paper on the effects of screen time on the teen brain."

*   "In my essay, I can support my claim with reasons, details, and quotes from research."

*   "In my essay, I can explain how my evidence/reasoning supports my claim."

  • Remind students that these learning targets build on the work they did in the past four lessons.  

B. Model Read-aloud (3 minutes)

  • Display the model position paper"Facebook: Not for Kids" for students. Explain that you will read through the last body paragraph and conclusion to remind students of good writing before they articulate their own essays. Encourage students to notice the way the author reasons all the way through an argument with "if/then" statements.

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Mid-Unit 3 Assessment: First Draft of Position Paper (35 minutes)

  • Let students know they will complete a draft of their position paper today and that this will serve as the Mid-Unit 3 Assessment.
  • Distribute the Mid-Unit 3 Assessment: Position Paper Prompt and display using a document camera. Remind students that this prompt was introduced in Unit 2 and they have been planning their essay in previous lessons. Read the prompt aloud.
  • Remind students of the following:

*   "You should use the ideas and evidence in your Position Paper Planners to write your 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 type. 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.
  • Circulate as students work. Since this is an assessment, they should work independently.
  • Continually remind students to save their work and support them as needed.
  • 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 A to check in with students who need more support.
  • To give more support, consider:

-   Prompting students 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 helpful resources available

Closing & Assessments

ClosingMeeting Students' Needs

A. Collect First Draft Position Papers (4 minutes)

  • Give students specific positive praise for behaviors or thinking you noticed during class. Emphasize ways in which they are showing stamina as writers.
  • Tell students you look forward to reading their drafts.
  • Collect their position paper drafts and Position Paper Planners and distribute Independent Reading Cheat Sheet Planner.
  • Explain to students that they will be doing a "cheat sheet" as a "capstone" for the independent reading they have done throughout the module. They will be evaluating a book they have completed using the Independent Reading Cheat Sheet Planner to which future students can refer to see if the book is a good match for them.
  • If time permits, review the Cheat Sheet Planner with students and let them know they will have Lesson 6 to work on their final form.
  • Tonight's homework is to complete a draft of the Cheat Sheet Planner so students can do their best revision tomorrow. Remind them to bring their books and their drafts.
  • Consider allowing SPED and ELL students more time to complete their draft.

Homework

Homework
  • Complete the draft of your Independent Reading Cheat Sheet Planner.

 

Note: Assess students' essay draft for "Claim and Reasons" and "Command of Evidence" on the position paper rubric. Be prepared by Lesson 7 to return the position paper drafts with feedback and the rubric. For assessment purposes, focus on just the top two rows of the rubric. However, keep an eye out for common organization or convention mistakes in the essays. In Lesson 8, you can address these common errors in a mini lesson when students revise.

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