Great examples of resources that students would find interesting. I enjoyed reading your article. Students need to be writing all the time about a broad range of topics, but I love the focus here on argumentative writing because if you choose the model writing texts correctly, you can really get the kids engaged in the process and in how they can use this writing in real-world situations! I agree, Laura. I think an occasional tight focus on one genre can help them grow leaps and bounds in the skills specific to that type of writing.
Later, in less structured situations, they can then call on those skills when that kind of thinking is required. This is really helpful! It worked well! Hi, Thank you very much for sharing your ideas. I have applied it many times and my students not only love it but also display a very clear pattern as the results in the activity are quite similar every time. I hope you like it. I looked at the unit, and it looks and sounds great. The description says there are 4 topics. Can you tell me the topics before I purchase? Hi Carrie! Does that help? I teach 6th grade English in a single gendered all-girls class.
We just finished an argument piece but I will definitely cycle back your ideas when we revisit argumentation. Thanks for the fabulous resources! I read this and found it helpful but have questions. First I noticed that amount of time dedicated to the task in terms of days. My questions are how long is a class period?
I have my students for about 45 minutes. I also saw you mentioned in the part about self-paced learning that mini-lessons could be written or video format.
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I love these ideas. Any thoughts on how to do this with almost no technology in the room and low readers to non-readers? Thank you for any consideration to my questions. Hey Jones, To me, a class period is anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour; definitely varies from school to school. As for the question about doing self-paced with very little tech?
I think binders with written mini-lessons could work well, as well as a single computer station or tablet hooked up to a class set of videos. You might also give students access to the videos through computers in other locations at school like the library and give them passes to watch. The thing about self-paced learning, as you may have seen in the self-paced post , is that if students need extra teacher support as you might find with low readers or non-readers , they would spend more one-on-one time with the teacher, while the higher-level students would be permitted to move more quickly on their own.
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My primary goal for next semester is to increase academic discussion and make connections from discussion to writing, so I love how you launch this unit with lessons like Philosophical Chairs. I am curious, however, what is the benefit of the informal argument before the not-so-informal argument? Or, am I overthinking the management? Thanks so much for input. My 6th graders are progressing through their argumentative essay. Your suggestions will be used. Students need to feel comfortable knowing that writing is a craft and needs to evolve over time.
I think more will get done in class and it is especially important for the struggling writers to have peers and the teacher around while they write. Something that I had students do that they liked was to have them sit in like-topic groups to create a shared document where they curated information that MIGHT be helpful along the way. By the end of the essay, all will use a fantastic add-on called GradeProof which helps to eliminate most of the basic and silly errors that 6th graders make. I LOVE the idea of a shared, curated collection of resources! That is absolutely fantastic! Are you using a Google Doc for this?
Other curation tools you might consider are Padlet and Elink. If your school requires more frequent grades, you could assign small point values for getting the incremental steps done: So in Step 3 when students have to write a paragraph stating their point of view you could take points for that.
Another option would be to just give a small, holistic grade for each week based on the overall integrity of their work—are they staying on task? Making small improvements to their writing each day? Taking advantage of the resources?
If students are working diligently through the process, that should be enough. Awesome Step 2! I can write. Since it comes naturally for me, I have a hard time breaking it down into such tiny steps that he can begin to feel less overwhelmed. I LOVE the pre-writing ideas here.
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My son is a fabulous arguer. I need to help him use those powers for the good of his writing skills. Do you have a suggestion on what I else I can be using for my homeschooled son?
Or what you may have that could work well for home use? Hope this helps!
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Mam it would be good if you could post some steps of different writing and some samples as well so it can be useful for the students. Hi Aalia! It just so happens that in the near future, Jenn is going to release a narrative writing unit, so keep an eye out for that! But, to find the examples, you have to purchase the unit from Teachers Pay Teachers.
I just want to say that this helped me tremendously in teaching argument to 8th Graders this past school year, which is a huge concept on their state testing in April. I felt like they were very prepared, and they really enjoyed the verbal part of it, too! I have already implemented these methods into my unit plan for argument for my 11th grade class this year.
Thank you so much for posting all of these things! I am petrified of writing. I am teaching grade 8 in September and would love some suggestions as I start planning for the year. This is genius! I have a class of 31 students, mostly boys, several with IEPs. The self-paced mini-lessons will help tremendously. My students will begin the journey into persuasion and argument next week and your post cemented much of my thinking around how to facilitate the journey towards effective, enthusiastic argumentative writing. I use your rubrics often to outline task expectations for my students and the feedback from them is how useful breaking every task into steps can be as they are learning new concepts.
Reading your posts over the past years was a factor in embracing the authentic audience. Thank You! I love reading and listening to your always helpful tips, tricks, and advice! I was wondering if you had any thoughts on creative and engaging ways to have students share their persuasive writing? I thought about having a debate but un fortunately all my kids are so sweet and are on the same side of the argument — Protect the Rats!
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