Writing an Argument Essay: Evaluating the Model and Crafting a Claim (Chapter 28, including synthesis of scenes in previous chapters) | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA 2012 G8:M2A:U2:L10

Writing an Argument Essay: Evaluating the Model and Crafting a Claim (Chapter 28, including synthesis of scenes in previous chapters)

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Long Term Learning Targets

  • I can write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence. (W.8.1)
  • I can produce clear and coherent writing that is appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (W.8.4)
  • I can cite text-based evidence that provides the strongest support for my analysis of literary text. (RL.8.1) 

Supporting Targets

  • I can craft the claim of my argument essay based on the strongest evidence.
  • I can choose relevant and compelling reasons to support the claim I am making in my argument essay.

Ongoing Assessment

  • Structured notes for Chapter 28 (from homework)
  • Exit ticket

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1.   Opening

A.   Engaging the Writer and Reviewing Learning Targets: Focus Question from Homework (5 minutes)

2.   Work Time (35 minutes)

A.  Coding the Atticus Note-catcher (15 minutes)

B.  Building an Evidence-Based Argument (20 minutes)

3.   Closing and Assessment

A.  Exit Ticket (5 minutes)

4.   Homework

A. Complete a first read of Chapters 29, 30, and 31 with structured notes

  • This lesson continues to prepare students to write End of Unit 2 Assessment. Today, students use their Atticus Note-catchers and their understanding of Atticus as a character to weigh the evidence and craft the claim for their argument essay.
  • The prompt for the argument essay is set up to guide students toward the same position: It does make sense for Atticus to defend Tom Robinson. An answer to the contrary may show a lack of comprehension of Atticus as a character or of how best to use evidence. The goal of this essay is to teach students the basic skills involved in writing an argument essay. Students will have another opportunity to craft an argument in Module 4, and will be able to choose among several valid claims to support.
  • This lesson is a decision point for the students. By the end of the lesson, each student will write the claim in her essay and the underlying reasons. To help students decide which claim to argue, they will text code the Atticus Note-catchers and weigh the evidence that they have gathered as they read To Kill a Mockingbird.
  • This lesson opens with a short discussion of Chapter 28. Although this isn't a reading lesson, this entry task will encourage students to continue with the reading homework.
  • In advance: Decide which Discussion Appointment to use today.
  • Review: Finish reviewing the exit tickets that students completed in Lesson 9. Be prepared to work with students who do not yet understand what it means to write an argument essay
  • Post: Learning targets.

Vocabulary

claim, argument, relevant, compelling reasons; irascible (342), gait (342), pinioned (351), staccato (352), untrammeled (357)

Materials

  • End of Unit 2 Assessment Prompt: To Kill a Mockingbird Argument Essay (one per student and one to display)
  • Atticus Note-catcher (for Teacher Reference; one to display)
  • Document camera
  • Supporting Evidence-Based Claims graphic organizer (one per student)
  • Colored pencils (enough for four different colors per student)
  • Exit ticket (one per student)
  • To Kill a Mockingbird Structured Notes Graphic Organizer, Chapters 29, 30, and 31 (one per student)
  • To Kill a Mockingbird Supported Structured Notes Graphic Organizer, Chapters 29, 30, and 31 (optional; for students needing additional support)

Opening

OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Engaging the Writer and Reviewing Learning Targets (5 minutes)

  • Students should sit with their selected Discussion Appointment partner. Be sure that they have their structured notes from their homework and invite students to work with their partner to share their response to the focus question on the homework:

*    How does Harper Lee build suspense in this chapter?

  • As students discuss, circulate and listen for students to use evidence from the novel to support their ideas.
  • Direct students' attention to the posted learning targets. Cold call on a student to read the learning targets.
  • Based on the exit ticket from Lesson 9, if any students did not understand how to write an argument essay, consider pulling a small group during this time.

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Coding the Atticus Note-catcher (15 minutes)

  • Distribute and display the End of Unit 2 Assessment Prompt: To Kill a Mockingbird Argument Essay using the document camera. Read the prompt aloud while students read along silently. Ask students to recall what they need to do in order to write an argument essay. Cold call on students and listen for:

*    "I need to make a claim about Atticus taking a stand for Tom Robinson."

*    "I need to use reasons to support my claim."

*    "I need to acknowledge and respond to a counterclaim."

*    "I need to use evidence from the text and explain how it supports my reason."

  • Clarify as needed. Remind students that the prompt asks them to make an argument based on what makes sense for Atticus's character.
  • Ask students to get out their Atticus Note-catchers and display Atticus Note-catcher (for Teacher Reference) using the document camera. Explain that they have been gathering the evidence for their argument essays as they have read the novel. Now, they get to sift through the evidence to see which argument they should make: "Yes, it makes sense for Atticus to defend Tom Robinson" or "No, it does not make sense for Atticus to defend Tom Robinson." They are going to code the evidence to see which position has stronger support. Ask students to put a "Y" next to evidence that supports the position "Yes, it makes sense for Atticus to defend Tom Robinson" and an "N" next to evidence that supports the position "No, it does not make sense for Atticus to defend Tom Robinson." Model using the first few pieces of evidence on the displayed Note-catcher.
  • Invite students to work with their partner to code their Note-catchers.
  • When students have finished, ask students to talk with their partner about which position the evidence more strongly supports. After about a minute, cold call on pairs to share their responses. Listen for: "Most of the evidence and the strongest evidence supports the position 'Yes, it makes sense for Atticus to defend Tom Robinson.'"
  • In order to support visual learners, consider creating a poster titled "What Makes a Strong Argument Essay" and record criteria for argument writing on it.

B. Building an Evidence-Based Argument (20 minutes)

  • Distribute and display the Supporting Evidence-Based Claims graphic organizer. Explain to students that they used this graphic organizer in the previous lesson to analyze the argument in the model essay. Today, they will use it to help construct their own arguments about Atticus.
  • Let students know that they have already decided which position to support because they looked critically at the evidence. Invite students to write their claim in the "Claim" box on their graphic organizer.
  • Now, they need to chunk the evidence into reasons, just as they saw in the model essay. The reasons to support the claim "It makes sense for Mrs. Dubose to take a stand" are that she has high expectations of herself and she is very courageous. Those are two character traits of hers. Let the students know that it is now their turn to chunk their evidence into reasons, based on Atticus's character traits and beliefs.
  • Model a reason using the Atticus Note-catcher. Point to the first piece of evidence. Read what it reveals about Atticus's character: "Atticus has the best interests of others at heart. He tries to do the right thing no matter what." Say that this is a character trait of Atticus. Write that as Reason 1 on the displayed Support Evidence-Based Claims organizer and write the evidence in the first evidence box under that reason. Do a think-aloud to answer: "How does this evidence support my reason?" Explain that is shows that Atticus will continue to do what is right, even if the people he is doing it for disagree with him.
  • Distribute four different colored pencils to each student. Ask students to work with their partner to select one colored pencil and use that pencil to circle two other pieces of evidence that most strongly supports the reason "Atticus has the best interests of others at heart, no matter what."
  • Cold call on pairs to share out. Add the strongest evidence to the displayed graphic organizer.
  • Explain to students that they will continue this process now as they select a new colored pencil, circle a reason on their Atticus Note-catcher, then circle the evidence that supports that reason in the same color. They should use their Atticus Note-catchers to decide on two reasons why it makes sense for Atticus to defend Tom Robinson, as well as identify one counterclaim. A different colored pencil will be used for each of the reasons and the counterclaim.
  • Remind students that they need to have two reasons that strongly support their claim, as well as a counterclaim. Prompt students to work with their partner to identify pieces of evidence that have something in common--they focus on particular aspects of Atticus's character.
  • Once they have done that, ask students to record their reasons and evidence on the Supporting Evidence-Based Claims graphic organizer and complete the rest of it.
  • Graphic organizers provide the necessary scaffolding especially critical for learners with lower levels of language proficiency and/or learning, and they engage students more actively. For students needing additional supports, you may want to provide a partially filled-in graphic organizer.

Closing & Assessments

Closing

A. Exit Ticket (5 minutes)

  • What is your claim about Atticus's decision to defend Tom Robinson? What reasons will you use to support your claim? What counterclaim will you include in your essay?
  • Distribute the To Kill a Mockingbird Structured Notes graphic organizer, Chapter 29, 30, and 31. Preview the homework.

Homework

HomeworkMeeting Students' Needs
  • Complete a first read with To Kill a Mockingbird Structured Notes Graphic Organizer, Chapters 29, 30 and 31 or To Kill a Mockingbird Supported Structured Notes Graphic Organizer, Chapters 29, 30 and 31. Answer the focus question: What does Scout mean when she says, "Atticus was right. One time he said you never really know a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them. Just standing on the Radley porch was enough."? Use the strongest details from the novel to support your answer.

 

Note: Review exit tickets to ensure that students' claims, reasons, and counterclaims are strong and logical. Address any misconceptions in the next lesson. 

  • Provide struggling learners with the supported structured notes for additional scaffolding as they read the novel.

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