Trace an Argument: The Space Race and the Great Political Rivalry | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA 2019 G6:M4:U1:L7

Trace an Argument: The Space Race and the Great Political Rivalry

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Focus Standards: These are the standards the instruction addresses.

  • RI.6.1, RI.6.4, RI.6.6, RI.6.8

Supporting Standards: These are the standards that are incidental—no direct instruction in this lesson, but practice of these standards occurs as a result of addressing the focus standards.

  • RL.6.10, RI.6.10, W.6.10

Daily Learning Targets

  • I can trace and evaluate an argument in an essay about the Space Race. (RI.6.8)
  • I can analyze the author's point of view in The Space Shuttle Decision and how it is conveyed in the text. (RI.6.6)

Ongoing Assessment

  • Opening A: Entrance Ticket: Unit 1, Lesson 7 (RI.6.1, RI.6.8)
  • Work Time A: Trace an Argument: Evidence Cards (RI.6.1, RI.6.8, W.6.10)
  • Work Time B: Analyze Point of View: The Space Shuttle Decision (RI.6.1, RI.6.4, RI.6.6, W.6.10)

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1. Opening

A. Engage the Learner - RI.6.8 (5 minutes)

2. Work Time

A. Trace an Argument: "This Is How the Space Race Changed the Great Power Rivalry Forever" - RI.6.8 (15 minutes)

B. Analyze Point of View: The Space Shuttle Decision - RI.6.6 (10 minutes)

3. Closing and Assessment

A. Launch Independent Research Reading - RL.6.10, RI.6.10 (15 minutes)

4. Homework

A. Independent Research Reading: Students read for at least 20 minutes in their independent research reading text. Then they select a prompt and write a response in their independent reading journal.

Alignment to Assessment Standards and Purpose of Lesson

  • RI.6.8 – Opening A: Students complete an entrance ticket in which they answer selected response questions about the main claim of “This Is How the Space Race Changed the Great Power Rivalry Forever,” which they examined in lessons 5 and 6.
  • RI.6.1 – Work Time A: Students use textual evidence to interpret and trace the argument presented in “This Is How the Space Race Changed the Great Power Rivalry Forever.”
  • RI.6.8 – Work Time A: Students trace and evaluate the specific claims presented in the text.
  • RI.6.4 – Work Time B: Students analyze the The Space Shuttle Decision text, identifying words and phrases that help to convey point of view.
  • RI.6.6 – Work Time B: Students analyze and determine Ralph Abernathy’s point of view toward America’s treatment of its citizens and Tom Paine’s point of view toward Abernathy’s concerns in the text.

How It Builds on Previous Work

  • In the previous two lessons, students read a new text, “This Is How the Space Race Changed the Great Power Rivalry Forever." A close read and a Language Dive helped them to determine the central idea of the text and to identify the key details that conveyed that central idea about the Space Race rivalry. In this lesson, students return to that text, this time tracing and evaluating the argument presented.
  • Students also return to the text they read for homework and analyze a new point of view on the Space Race—that rather than the mission to the moon being a noble cause, it was actually a financial burden that distracted people from the bigger and more pressing issues of the nation, like widespread poverty and discrimination.

Support All Students

  • Help students to distinguish between claim statements and evidence by sorting fact and opinion statements, especially about topics in which students are particularly interested (e.g., “Labrador retrievers are amazing pets” versus “According to the American Kennel Club, the Labrador Retriever has ranked number one favorite dog breed in the US for twenty-eight straight years”).

Assessment Guidance

  • Pause during the debrief of Trace an Argument: “This Is How the Space Race Changed the Great Power Rivalry Forever” to distinguish main claim from reasons in an argument text. Point out that an author may make many claims in a text; the main claim stands out as the major, overarching claim.
  • Collect the Point of View: The Space Shuttle Decision note-catcher to gauge how well students are able to annotate, determine a central idea, and identify the author's point of view before the assessment in the next lesson.

Down the Road

  • In the next lesson, students complete the End of Unit 1 Assessment, for which they will answer selected-response questions about the author’s point of view and trace the author’s argument in a new text that adds to their understanding of multiple perspectives on the Apollo 11 mission.

In Advance

  • Prepare the materials for the activity in Work Time A. Strategically group students into pairs. Make copies of the Trace an Argument: Evidence Cards, one per pair. Gather scissors, or cut apart the evidence cards in advance to save time during the lesson. Write out the points/reasons onto chart paper or be prepared to project them onto a large external screen for display.
  • Gather a small, soft ball for the activity in Work Time B, or use a different object that can easily and safely be tossed among classmates. Consider using a soft rocket ship, or other such object that matches the module topic.
  • Review the teacher version of the materials used in this lesson to see what will be required of students.
  • Prepare independent research reading journals. These should be a continuation of the journals started in Module 1, although students may wish to create a fresh copy for the new topic.
  • Become familiar with several of the books provided on the research reading list to direct students toward books that match their interests and reading levels.
  • Post the learning targets and applicable anchor charts (see Materials list).

Tech and Multimedia

  • Work Time B: Display age-appropriate images of the Poor People's Campaign led by Ralph Abernathy on July 15, 1969 to provide visual context for the text under examination in this section.
  • Closing and Assessment A: Use video book trailers to introduce and build excitement for the research reading books.
  • Closing and Assessment A: Use a free, online parent communication tool, such as http://eled.org/0120, to provide advance notice to parents about the expectations for independent reading at home.

Supporting English Language Learners

Supports guided in part by CA ELD Standards 6.I.B.6, 6.I.B.7, 6.I.B.8, 6.II.A.1, 6.II.A.2, and 6.II.C.6.

Important Points in the Lesson Itself

  • To support ELLs, this lesson revisits a familiar text and invites students to reread it for a different purpose: to deconstruct the essay’s argument structure and identify its main claim. Rereading the same text for multiple purposes enhances ELLs’ reading comprehension, reduces their cognitive load, and supports gains in reading fluency.
  • ELLs may find it challenging to elucidate and understand the argument presented in the supplemental text. Although the argument essay structure is not entirely new to students—they analyzed and wrote literary argument essays during Module 3—the complexity of the language in this text increases the challenge of analyzing it.

Vocabulary

  • N/A

Materials from Previous Lessons

Teacher

Student

  • Characteristics of Effective Argument Writing anchor chart (example for teacher reference) (from Module 3, Unit 3, Lesson 1, Closing and Assessment A)
  • Equity sticks (from Module 1, Unit 1, Lesson 1, Work Time C)
  • Independent Reading Sample Plans (for teacher reference) (from the Tools page)
  • Text: "This Is How the Space Race Changed the Great Power Rivalry Forever" (one per student; from Module 4, Unit 1, Lesson 6, Work Time A)
  • Text: The Space Shuttle Decision Excerpt (one per student; from Module 4, Unit 1, Lesson 6, Homework A)
  • Independent reading journals (one per student; begun in Module 1, Unit 1, Lesson 6, Work Time B)

New Materials

Teacher

Student

  • Entrance Ticket: Unit 1, Lesson 7 (answers for teacher reference)
  • Trace an Argument: Evidence Cards (example for teacher reference)
  • Analyze Point of View: The Space Shuttle Decision (example for teacher reference)
  • Small, soft ball (one)
  • Entrance Ticket: Unit 1, Lesson 7 (one per student)
  • Highlighters (one per student)
  • Trace an Argument: Evidence Cards (one per pair)
  • Scissors (one per pair)
  • Analyze Point of View: The Space Shuttle Decision (one per student)

Assessment

Each unit in the 6-8 Language Arts Curriculum has two standards-based assessments built in, one mid-unit assessment and one end of unit assessment. The module concludes with a performance task at the end of Unit 3 to synthesize students' understanding of what they accomplished through supported, standards-based writing.

Opening

Opening

A. Engage the Learner - RI.6.8 (5 minutes)

  • Repeated routine: Follow the same routine as in previous lessons to distribute and review the Entrance Ticket: Unit 1, Lesson 7. Refer to the Entrance Ticket: Unit 1, Lesson 7 (answers for teacher reference) for possible responses. Students will also need a copy of Text: "This Is How the Space Race Changed the Great Power Rivalry Forever."
  • Repeated routine: Follow the same routine as in the previous lessons to review learning targets and the purpose of the lesson, reminding students of any learning targets that are similar or the same as previous lessons. Invite students to choose a habit of character focus for themselves for this lesson.

Work Time

Work TimeLevels of Support

A. Trace an Argument: "This Is How the Space Race Changed the Great Power Rivalry Forever" - RI.6.8 (15 minutes)

  • Review the learning target relevant to the work to be completed in this section of the lesson:

"I can trace and evaluate an argument in an essay about the Space Race."

  • Invite students to retrieve their copy of Text: "This Is How the Space Race Changed the Great Power Rivalry Forever." Remind students that they analyzed this text during a close read and a Language Dive in the previous lesson.
  • Direct students' attention to the Characteristics of Effective Argument Writing anchor chart. Point out that, although it is much longer than the one they wrote themselves, this article is an example of argument writing because it contains a main claim, which they identified in the entrance ticket, as well as reasons, evidence, and reasoning to all support that main claim. Review terms as needed.
  • Remind students that they have already identified the main claim of this text in the entrance ticket: the Space Race is one of the most important events in the history of mankind. Now students should reread the text, asking themselves, "Why does Jha think the Space Race was one of the most important events in the history of mankind? What points does he use to support this claim?" Distribute highlighters, and invite students to begin rereading and highlighting the points/reasons that support the main claim.
  • Using equity sticks, call on students to share some of the points/reasons they highlighted ("This superpower race intensified the Cold War rivalry because for the first time mankind was looking to compete in the arena of space"; "The Space Race didn't just leave an impact on the area of space research, it left a wider impact in the field of technology"; "The zeal the United States and USSR had to outperform one another proved quite beneficial to the progress of science"; "The Space Race left a legacy in the field of space research worldwide").
  • Paraphrase and condense these statements into three major points the author makes to support the main claim. Display these statements on a board or chart paper for easy reference.
    • The Space Race intensified the political rivalry between the United States and the USSR.
    • The Space Race was beneficial to the progress of science and technology.
    • The Space Race between the United States and the USSR inspired other nations to invest in space science.
  • Point out that each one of these points could, in itself, be a claim because it expresses an opinion that has been defended by evidence.
  • Ask:
    • "How can we distinguish the main claim from all of these other points we have identified?" (The main claim captures the overall argument that can be supported by all other reasons offered by the author.)
  • Explain that each point is a reason that Jha thinks the Space Race was one of the most important events in the history of mankind. Each of these points/reasons needs to be supported by evidence. Move students into pairs. Distribute the Trace an Argument: Evidence Cards and scissors. Direct students to cut apart the evidence cards. Pairs should then sort them into three piles indicating which point each piece of evidence supports. Remind students to reference the three points from the article that are now displayed.
  • Pairs need to be prepared to share aloud two responses: 1) which point/reason the evidence supports, and 2) what reasoning the author uses to connect that evidence to the point/reason. Remind students that reasoning is like a bridge; it creates a link between two locations, in this case the evidence and the reason. When determining the author's reasoning, students should ask themselves, "So what? What does this fact/famous quote/statistic have to do with the point the author is trying to make?"
  • Invite students to begin. Circulate and monitor, referring to Trace an Argument: Evidence Cards (example for teacher reference) for guidance.
  • Refocus attention, and debrief the correct answers. Clarify any misconceptions.
  • Ask:

"Is this article a strong example of effective argument writing? Why or why not?" (Answers will vary, but responses may include yes, because the author was thorough in adding lots of relevant evidence and sound reasoning.)

  • Ensure that students understand that, in a strong argument, the main claim is well supported by reasons and evidence.
  • Repeated routine: invite students to reflect on their progress toward the relevant learning targets.

For Lighter Support

  • During Work Time A, challenge students who need lighter support to generate visuals to depict the three major points that the author makes to support the main claim. These visuals can be shared with students who need heavier support.

For Heavier Support

  • N/A

B. Analyze Point of View: The Space Shuttle Decision - RI.6.6 (10 minutes)

  • Review the learning target relevant to the work to be completed in this section of the lesson:

"I can analyze the author's point of view in The Space Shuttle Decision and how it is conveyed in the text."

  • Move students back to their seats. Direct students to retrieve their Text: The Space Shuttle Decision Excerpt from the previous lesson's homework. Read the text aloud. Invite students to share the annotations from their homework with an elbow partner.
  • Turn and Talk:

"What similarities and differences do you see in your and your partners' annotations? What can you learn from your partner's work?" (Responses will vary.)

"According to your annotations, what would you say is the central idea of this text?" (Different people viewed the Apollo 11 mission from different perspectives; for some it was a remarkable accomplishment, for others it was a total disregard for the plight of poor American citizens.)

  • Point out that this article introduces a new perspective on the Apollo 11 mission. Distribute Analyze Point of View: The Space Shuttle Decision. Challenge students to answer the questions independently as they will need to do on the End of Unit 1 Assessment in Lesson 8.
  • Refocus students and move them into a circle with their completed Analyze Point of View: The Space Shuttle Decision handout. Explain that they will review their answers using an activity called Brain Ball. Explain the rules:
    • Appoint one student to be the counter for the first round. Students gently and carefully toss the ball around the circle while the counter closes their eyes and counts to ten.
    • Whoever has the ball when the counter gets to ten answers the question. That person then tosses the ball, closes their eyes, and starts counting.
    • The process continues until all questions are answered.
    • Ask each of the questions on the handout more than once to include more voices and perspectives.
    • Students may place their handouts on the ground in front of them for easy retrieval; alternatively, students can stand behind desks, chairs, or tables, and place their handouts there to reference as needed during the activity.
  • Refer to the Analyze Point of View: The Space Shuttle Decision (example for teacher reference) for guidance.
  • Refocus attention, and ask:

"How does the perspective in this article differ from the previous articles we have read about the Space Race and the Apollo 11 mission?" (It differs in that in shows that not everyone was onboard with and excited about America's participation in the Space Race.)

"Thinking of our habits of character and all the learning we have done about this specific historical event, how might initiative be important when studying American history?" (Answers will vary, but may include the following: you need to take the initiative to learn all sides of an event from multiple perspectives before determining the value and significance of that event.)

  • Repeated routine: invite students to reflect on their progress toward the relevant learning targets.
  • N/A

Closing & Assessments

Closing

A. Launch Independent Research Reading - RL.6.10, RI.6.10 (15 minutes)

  • Launch independent reading for this module. There is a suggested independent reading launch in the Independent Reading Sample Plans. Urge students to choose a text before the end of the lesson.

Homework

Homework

A. Independent Research Reading

  • Students read for at least 20 minutes in their independent research reading text. Then they select a prompt and write a response in their independent reading journal.

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