Mid-Unit Assessment: Draft of Position Paper | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA 2012 G8:M4:U3:L3

Mid-Unit Assessment: Draft of Position Paper

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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 introduce claim(s), acknowledge and distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and organize the reasons and evidence logically. (W.8.1a)
  • I can support claim(s) with logical reasoning and relevant evidence, using accurate, credible sources and demonstrating an understanding of the topic or text. (W.8.1b)
  • I can provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented. (W.8.1e)
  • I can use words, phrases, and clauses to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence. (W.8.1c)
  • I can establish and maintain a formal style. (W.8.1d)

Supporting Targets

  • I can draft the introductory and concluding paragraphs of my position paper.
  • I can use words, phrases, and clauses to show the relationship between the ideas in my position paper.
  • I can maintain a formal style in my position paper.

Ongoing Assessment

  • Mid-Unit 3 Assessment: Draft Position Paper 

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1. Opening

A. Unpacking Learning Targets (3 minutes)

B. Language Mini Lesson: Formal Style and Words, Phrases, and Clauses to Connect Ideas (8 minutes)

2. Work Time

A. Studying the Model and Drafting an Introductory Paragraph (17 minutes)

B. Studying the Model and Drafting a Concluding Paragraph (15 minutes)

3. Closing and Assessment

A. Reviewing Learning Targets (2 minutes)

4. Homework

A. None.

  • This lesson provides a mini lesson on language use to meet the expectations of W.8.1c and d. Students will be encouraged to keep this learning in mind as they draft their essays.
  • In this lesson, students draft the introductory and concluding paragraphs of their End of Unit 3 Assessment position paper. They revisit the model to get a firm grounding in what their introduction and conclusion should include. Thinking through the content deeply is critical. Students have already written their body paragraphs.
  • By the end of this lesson, students should have finished their draft position paper for their end of unit assessment. Be prepared to provide student feedback in Lesson 5 using Row 2 of the Position Paper Rubric. You may need more time to provide feedback on draft positions. In this situation, consider providing students time to do independent reading before delivering Lesson 5. Provide specific positive feedback for at least one thing each student did well (star) and at least one specific area of focus for revision (step).
  • After collecting the Mid-Unit 3 Assessment at the end of this lesson, make a copy of each assessment for students to refer to during Lesson 4.
  • Post: Learning targets.

Vocabulary

introduction, conclusion, clause, peer critique

Materials

  • End of Unit 3 Assessment: Position Paper Prompt (from Lesson 1)
  • Adapting a Speech anchor chart (from Unit 2, Lesson 17)
  • Model position paper (from Lesson 1)
  • Equity sticks
  • Qualities of a Strong Position Paper anchor chart (from Lesson 1)
  • Mid-Unit 3 Assessment: Position Paper Draft: Which of Michael Pollan's four food chains would best feed the United States? (from Lesson 2)
  • Lined paper (one piece per student)

Opening

OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Unpacking Learning Targets (3 minutes)

  • Invite students to read the first learning target with you:

* "I can draft the introductory and concluding paragraphs of my position paper."

  • Remind students that the introduction is the opening paragraph and the conclusion is the paragraph that closes the paper.
  • Invite students to read the next two learning targets with you:

* "I can use words, phrases, and clauses to show the relationship between the ideas in my position paper."

* "I can maintain a formal style in my position paper."

  • Remind students how a formal style differs from casual speaking and that they considered this when adapting their position speeches for an adult audience at the end of Unit 1.
  • Tell students that a clause is a group of words with a subject and a verb that together makes a complete thought. For example, "I'd like dinner now." Explain that in this lesson students will be looking at the words, phrases, and clauses they have used to make sure they connect the claim, counterclaim, reasons, and evidence.
  • Ask students to discuss with an elbow partner:

* "What does it mean to show the relationship between the ideas?"

  • Select volunteers to share their ideas. Listen for students to explain that it means to show how one is connected to the other. Provide the example that in the position paper there should be a claim and reasons for the claim. The words and phrases they use need to show how the claim and reasons are connected.
  • Posting learning targets for students allows them to reference them throughout the lesson to check their understanding. The learning targets also provide a reminder to students and teachers about the intended learning behind a given lesson or activity.

B. Language Mini Lesson: Formal Style and Words, Phrases, and Clauses to Connect Ideas (8 minutes)

  • Invite students to take out their End of Unit 3 Assessment: Position Paper Prompt and to reread it with you.
  • Tell students that there are two things that you would like them to keep in mind when writing the first draft of their paper.
  • Begin with formal style. Direct students' attention to the document camera. Post the Adapting a Speech anchor chart (from Unit 2) and explain to students that although it is about adapting a speech, the focus is on maintaining a formal style, so the same ideas apply to this paper. Invite students to read through the criteria on the anchor chart with you.
  • Tell students that when writing their drafts, you would like them to ensure they are maintaining a formal style.
  • Post the following claim and reason:

-    Claim: Local sustainable

-    Reason: Food doesn't travel as far to the consumer so there isn't as much pollution from vehicles

  • Ask students to consider which words, phrases, or clauses they could use to connect the claim and the reason to show the relationship between them/how they are connected.
  • Cold call students to describe which words, phrases, or clauses they would use to show the relationship between the claim and the reasons. Listen for something like: "I would choose the local sustainable food chain to feed the United States. One reason that I would choose this food chain is that local sustainable food doesn't travel as far to the consumer; therefore, there is less pollution from vehicles."
  • Record a good example on the board. Invite students to help you underline the words, phrases, or clauses that connect the claim and the reason. (In the example above, the phrase would be, "One reason that I would choose this food chain is ..."). Invite students to go back to the model position paper and note words, phrases, or clauses that connect the claim and the reason. Cold call on students to share what they notice on the model essay.
  • Emphasize that students need to make sure they show how the reason is connected to the claim and how the evidence is connected to the reasons.
  • Check for understanding. Ask students to give you a thumbs-up if they understand how to use a formal style and how to use it to improve the reader's understanding of their argument, or a thumbs-down if they don't understand fully. For  students who give a thumbs-down, support them in small groups or individually, as needed.
  • For students who struggle, consider providing hint cards with words, phrases, or clauses to look for in the model essay.

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Studying the Model and Drafting an Introductory Paragraph (17 minutes)

  • Tell students that now that they have written a first draft of the body paragraphs of their position paper and know what they discussed in them, they are going to finish by drafting introductory and concluding paragraphs, which work to support the body paragraphs by introducing them and closing the paper afterwards.
  • Invite students to read along silently as you read the introduction of the model position paper aloud.
  • Ask students to discuss in triads:

*  "What is the purpose of the introduction?"

*  "What does the author include in the introductory paragraph?"

  • Consider using equity sticks to select students to share their responses. Listen for students to explain that the purpose of the introduction is to introduce the reader to the claim and the reasons for making that claim, and to prepare them for what they are about to read. Remind students that a reader needs to learn enough about the topic through the introduction to be able to follow the writer's thinking. Record any new appropriate responses about what the author includes in the Introductory Paragraph section of the Qualities of a Strong Position Paper anchor chart for students to refer to throughout the lesson. Note that the key criteria have already been recorded in Lesson 1, but students may suggest other ideas that are useful.
  • Invite students to reread the essay prompt and their draft body paragraphs composed on the Mid-Unit 3 Assessment:  First Draft of Position Paper to remind themselves of the question and the claim and reasons they have identified.
  • Invite students to pair up and verbally rehearse an introductory paragraph for their essays. Remind students to refer to the notes in the Introductory Paragraph section on the Qualities of a Strong Position Paper anchor chart to be sure their introduction does what it needs to do for their readers. Have students refer to the model position paper before they begin this verbal rehearsal.
  • Invite one or two volunteers to share their verbal rehearsals with the whole group.
  • Distribute lined paper for students to begin the introduction of the essay. Invite students to draft their introductory paragraphs using their verbal rehearsal. Remind students that they are to write independently, without talking to other students.
  • Circulate to assist students in drafting their introductory paragraphs. Ask:

*  "How can you begin the paragraph?"

*  "How did the author begin the model argument essay?"

*  "What is it important for the reader to know right at the beginning? Why?"

  • Providing models of expected work supports all students, especially challenged learners.
  • Allowing students to discuss their thinking with their peers before writing helps to scaffold student comprehension and assists in language acquisition for ELLs.
  • Consider placing students in homogeneous pairs and providing more specific, direct support to students who need it most.
  •  As noted earlier, some students may have wished to begin the introductory paragraph while writing their body paragraphs. If so, invite those students to pull out what they have started so they can work on them in this lesson.

B. Studying the Model and Drafting a Concluding Paragraph (15 minutes)

  • Refer students to the learning targets and tell them they will now be thinking about how to conclude their essays and taking some time to draft a conclusion.
  • Ask students reread the concluding paragraph of the model position paper, then discuss the following with an elbow partner:

*  "What is the purpose of the concluding paragraph?"

*  "What does the writer do in the concluding paragraph?"

  • Use equity sticks to select students to share their responses. Record any new appropriate responses about what the author includes in the Concluding Paragraph section of the Qualities of a Strong Position Paper anchor chart for students to refer to throughout the lesson. Note that the key criteria have already been recorded in Lesson 1, but students may suggest other ideas that are useful.
  • Invite students to discuss with an elbow partner what should go into the paragraph. Ask:

*  "How are introductions and conclusions similar to each other, but different from the body paragraphs?"

  • Listen for responses, or guide students toward responses such as: "They are both writing about the whole paper in some way," or "They are both 'big idea' writing, not about details."
  • Again invite students to discuss with an elbow partner:

*  "How are introductions and conclusions different from each other?"

  • Listen for responses such as: "The introduction should get the reader interested in the topic, while the conclusion should wrap up the paper by leaving the reader with something to think about."
  • Invite students to discuss with an elbow partner:

* "So what could you say about Michael Pollan's four chains at the end of your essay that would leave the reader with something to think about?" 

  • If necessary, share with students that they can think of the "something to think about" part as answering a "So what?" question. In the case of the model essay, the "So what?" question might be, "So who might benefit from this decision to feed the United States in a local, sustainable way?"
  • Select volunteers to share their responses. Look for students to recognize the stakeholders listed in the conclusion paragraph of the model essay.
  • Invite students to pair up and verbally rehearse their concluding paragraphs. Remind students to refer to the model position paper and the Concluding Paragraph section of the Qualities of a Strong Position Paper anchor chart.
  • Invite students to draft their concluding paragraph on the same paper as their introductory paragraph using their verbal rehearsal, the model position paper, and the Qualities of a Strong Position Paper anchor chart.
  • Circulate to assist students in writing their concluding paragraphs. Ask:

* "How can you summarize your claim?"

* "How did the author conclude the model position paper?"

* "Which stakeholders do you want emphasize here?"

Closing & Assessments

Closing

A. Reviewing Learning Targets (2 minutes)

  • Read the learning targets from this lesson aloud and invite students to respond with a Fist to Five self-assessment for each target:

*  "I can draft the introductory and concluding paragraphs of my position paper."

*  "I can use words, phrases, and clauses to show the relationship between the ideas in my position paper."

*  "I can maintain a formal style in my position paper."

  • Collect student drafts as the Mid-unit 3 assessment . 

Homework

Homework
  • None.

Teaching Note: Make one copy of each student draft to return to students in Lesson 4.  They will use this copy as a reference as they work on their final performance task.

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