End of Unit 2 Assessment, Part 1: Drafting the Argument Essay | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA 2012 G8:M2A:U2:L13

End of Unit 2 Assessment, Part 1: Drafting the Argument Essay

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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 select evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research. (W.8.9)
  • I can cite text-based evidence that provides the strongest support for my analysis of literary text. (RL.8.1)
  • I can analyze the development of a theme or central idea throughout the text (including its relationship to the characters, setting, and plot).(RL.8.2)
  • I can analyze how specific dialogue or incidents in a plot propel the action, reveal aspects of a character, or provoke a decision. (RL.8.3)

Supporting Targets

  • I can write an organized argument essay about To Kill a Mockingbird.
  • In my essay, I can support my claim with reasons, details, and quotes from the novel.
  • In my essay, I can explain how the details develop the reasons that support my claim.
  • In my essay, I can acknowledge and respond to a counterclaim.

Ongoing Assessment

  • Essay draft

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1.   Opening

A. Reviewing Learning Targets (3 minutes)

2.  Work Time

A. Drafting the Essay (40 minutes)

3. Closing and Assessment

A. Collect Essay Drafts (2 minutes)

4. Homework

A. Choose two scenes from Chapter 27 onwards in the novel that communicate each of the four key quotes. Record two scenes for each key quote.

  • In this lesson, students write the draft of their essay about Atticus's decision to defend Tom Robinson. In the previous four lessons, students have shaped their arguments, 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 to help students write their essays. The list includes:

*          Atticus Note-catchers

*          Essay planners

*          Supporting Evidence-Based Claims graphic organizers

*          Structured notes

  • This lesson is written assuming students will use computers to draft the essays in order to make later revisions easier.
  • Consider the setup of your classroom if you are using laptops; since 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 handwrite their essays.
  • Since students will produce this essay draft independently, it is used as an assessment for "Claim and Reasons" and "Command of Evidence" on the argument rubric. Return the essay drafts with feedback in Lesson 16. 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 16.
  • A sample student argument essay is included for Teacher Reference in the supporting materials of this lesson. While it is not needed during the lesson itself, it may be useful to have a sample student response for assessment purposes.
  • 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. 
  • Post: Learning targets.

Vocabulary

argument

Materials

  • Computers
  • To Kill a Mockingbird (book; one per student)
  • To Kill a Mockingbird Argument rubric (from Lesson 11; for Teacher Reference; use this to assess students' draft essays)
  • End of Unit 2 Assessment Prompt: To Kill a Mockingbird Argument Essay (from Lesson 8; included again in this lesson for Teacher Reference; one per student and one to display)
  • Sample student argument essay (for Teacher Reference)
  • Optional: Launching Independent Reading in Grades 6-8: Sample Plan (stand-alone document on EngageNY.org)

Opening

OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

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

  • Assign computers and invite students to get out their essay planners and their novel, To Kill a Mockingbird.
  • Read the learning targets:

*          "I can write an organized argument essay about To Kill a Mockingbird."

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

*          "In my essay, I can explain how the details develop the reasons that support my claim."

*          "In my essay, I can acknowledge and respond to a counterclaim."

  • Remind students that these learning targets build on the work they have been doing in the past four lessons, as well as work they did in Module 1.
  • 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. Drafting the Essay (40 minutes)

  • Be sure students have their novels To Kill a Mockingbird. Display the End of Unit 2 Assessment Prompt: To Kill a Mockingbird Argument Essay (originally distributed in Lesson 8).
  • Remind students of the following:
  1. Use the ideas and evidence in your planners to write your essay drafts.
  2. You will turn in your drafts at the end of the class.
  3. 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 turn 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, if it is appropriate for some students to receive more support, there is space during Work Time.
  • 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 they have available to help them.

Closing & Assessments

ClosingMeeting Students' Needs

A. Collect Essay Drafts (3 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 student drafts and their associated planning work: Supporting Evidence-Based Claims sheets and essay planner.
  • Consider allowing SPED and ELL students more time to complete their draft. 

Homework

Homework
  • Choose two scenes from Chapter 27 onwards in the novel that communicate each of the four key quotes. Record two scenes for each key quote.

 

Note: Assess students' essay drafts for "Claim and Reasons" and "Command of Evidence" on the argument rubric. Be prepared by Lesson 16 to return the essay drafts with feedback and the rubric. For assessment purposes, focus on just the top two rows of the rubric.

But also give feedback on the "Coherence, Organization, and Style" and "Control of Conventions" for students to revise in Lesson 16. Specifically, keep an eye out for common organization or convention mistakes in the essays. In Lesson 16, you can address one of these common errors in a mini lesson in Lesson 16 when students revise.

Lessons 14 and 15 begin the work of Unit 3 and build toward the Readers Theater performance task (This also allows time for you to review essays and give feedback by Lesson 16.) If you need additional time to review student work before the revision lesson, consider using a day or two between Lesson 13 and Lesson 16 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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