7th Grade ELA : Unit #9 - Drafting, Finalizing and Celebrating Our Persuasive Essays : Lesson #5

Organizing A Second Idea

Objective: SWBAT independently produce clear and coherent writing by organizing their claim, reasons and evidence while thinking about counter argument.
Standards: W.7.1 W.7.4 W.7.5
Subject(s): English / Language Arts
60 minutes
1 Lesson Opener - 10 minutes

In my lesson openers I always have a "connect" in which I connect students' thinking about yesterday's lesson to today's lesson. I then have a "teach" in which I model for students the lesson of the day and also have them try it out. When I think about my modeling I use three categories; skill, strategy, and process. I model by stating the skill to the students, then giving them a strategy in which to use the skill, followed by the process to try out the strategy.

Connect: “Yesterday we brainstormed ideas for a 2nd essay, now we are going to organize all of that evidence and organize a counter argument.”

Teach: I will say, “In order to plan out our claim for this essay,  I am going to practice the skill of combining my thoughts under claim and strategy organzing my claim as well as the opposing claims. The process I will use is as follows:

1) Look through my evidence and claim.

2) Organize my claim and reasons in a logical manner.

3) Add one piece of evidence for each reason.

4) Add a second piece of evidence in order to plan for my counter argument.”

I will show students how I start drawing out my boxes and bullets. I put my claim in the “box” and my three reasons as the “bullet.”  I then show them how I think through the three main kinds of evidence; statistical, hypothetical and anecdotal and add a piece of evidence (my bracket) to my first bullet. I then show the students how I think to myself, “Hmmmm, what would be a claim my opposition would state,” then I add a second piece of evidence that would persuade my opposition. 

2 Active Engagement - 5 minutes

Active Engagement: I will say, “Tell the person next to you your claim, one reason and one counter claim.”  I will check for understanding by listening to of each level of learner (at least 3 students-one who is at standard, one is approaching standard, and one who is above standard). I will have students share out their counter claim in order to help other students.

Closing of Active Engagement: Closing of Active Engagement: I will say, “Successful writers plan out the claim for this essay by combining their thoughts under one claim and the strategy of organizing their claim as well as the opposing claims. They organize their claim and reasons in a logical manner, then they organize their evidence by thinking about the counter claim.”

3 Independent Practice - 25 minutes

Independent Practice:,”Start drawing your boxes and bullets and brackets, make sure your second piece of evidence will be used for a counter argument.”

Partner Work: Students will then be directed to turn and share boxes and bullets with their partners. I will direct students to do this after most students are done drafting their own organizational structure. to ensure they are starting their organizer successfully.

I will say, “Decide who will be partner A and who will be partner B. Partner A I want you to share how you organized your claim, reasons and evidence, concentrating on counter argument. Partner B, I want you to listen if Part A is showing that they understand how to organize with counter argument in mind. Then you will tell them if you heard a counter arugment. If not, give them feedback; tell them an idea of. Then you will switch.”

Independent Practice: I will say, “Now you are going to start writing out your evidence for one counter argument whle keeping your goal in mind from yesterday.”As they are working independently and quietly, (I like to play classical or smooth jazz for “writing” music (I just create a play list on Pandora Internet radio) I will have conferences with them about their writing by using the attached conference chart

Giving Students My Full Attention

In the independence section of my lesson you see me giving the two students I am with my full attention. One student calls out, the phone rings, the door shuts loudly as one student leaves after receiving a pass. This is every day life as a teacher! Students know that in my classroom it is a rule not to bother me during conferences; my one on one and or small group conference time is sacred.

Corenlius Minor, our school's trainer put it to our teachers this way, "Think about your favorite moment with one of your favorite teachers, it was most likely when you were one on one with them." I know that is true for me! In other words, students will learn best and remember more when they have their teacher's full attention. 

4 Closing - 5 minutes

I believe that the end of the lesson should be an assessment of the days’ learning; therefore it should be independent work. I always end class with an “exit ticket” in which students write down the response to a question.

Closing: “What is an example of your claim, one reason, and two pieces of evidence (one that will address your counter claim).”