Author:
Laura Knapp, MSDE Admin, Kathleen Maher-Baker
Subject:
English Language Arts
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Level:
Middle School
Grade:
8
Tags:
8th Grade, MSDE, RELA
License:
Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial
Language:
English

Education Standards (33)

Grade 8 Does Speech Matter Lesson 3 Speech Text (MDK12 Remix)

Grade 8 Does Speech Matter Lesson 3 Speech Text (MDK12 Remix)

Overview

This lesson spans multiple days and explores the value of debate teams in schools. During the first week of the unit, students learned to identify claims and warrants in texts. This week, students will build upon that knowledge by writing a basic argument and learning about the types of support that are used to build an argument. This will culminate with an assessment in which the students choose a position to take after reading a text and develop their claims and warrants with appropriate support and analysis.

Cover image: "[Booker T. Washington, half-length portrait, seated]" by Frances Benjamin Johnston from the Prints & Photographs Onlince Catalog at loc.gov

 

 

Day 1 Task 1

  • Students will identify the components of a basic argument: a claim (argument), evidence (support), and sources (credible).  Option to use a web tool to brainstorm components.
  • Students will view sample opinion statements provided by teacher.

o   Chocolate is the best dessert.
o   Soccer is the most competitive sport.
o   Dogs are the most loyal pets.

  • Students will review the definition of bias – prejudice in favor or against one thing, person, group - compared with another.
  • Students will engage in a brief game of four corners for students to practice orally creating basic arguments. Teacher will give students a claim; students will choose a corner to stand in and then add evidence to the claim with the people in their corner. Teacher should ask for volunteers to share with the class.

o   Being tardy for school can result in students receiving poor grades.
o   Students wearing school uniforms encourage a focus on learning.
o   Students should participate in a debate team before they graduate college.

  • We will identify the components of a basic argument: a claim (argument), evidence (support), and sources (credible).  
  • We will view sample opinion statements provided by teacher.

o   Chocolate is the best dessert.
o   Soccer is the most competitive sport.
o   Dogs are the most loyal pets.

  • We will review the definition of bias – prejudice in favor or against one thing, person, group- compared with another.
  • We will engage in a brief game of four corners,to practice orally creating basic arguments. Teacher will give students a claim; students will choose a corner to stand in and then add evidence to the claim with the people in their corner. 

Day 1 Task 2

  • Students will revisit the basic arguments they created in Lesson Seed #2. Teacher will present a mini-lesson on support, which builds on the concept of a basic argument to make it stronger.

o   Appeal to emotions of audience
o   Logical (makes sense)
o   Contains facts
o   Makes real world connections
o   Use persuasive language
o   Use impactful language
o   Call to authority (cite an expert/expert text)

  • Teacher will present this claim related to education: Students who are engaged in debate teams are better prepared for rigorous coursework.
  • We will revisit the basic arguments you created in Lesson Seed #2.
  • Think about this claim related to education: Students who are engaged in debate teams are better prepared for rigorous coursework.

Day 1 Task 3

  • Teacher will show students how to support this claim with different kinds of support

o   Appeal to emotions of audience: The government should ensure that all students receive an education until they are 21 years of age.
o   Logical (makes sense): The government should protect the rights of students and their right to receive a public education.
o   Contains facts: The government should protect the rights of students because it would allow students to pursue the life, liberty, and happiness we have been promised. 
o   Makes real world connections: The government should protect the rights of its citizens because otherwise, the future generations would not be able to go college.  
o   Use persuasive language: The government should protect the privacy of its citizens.
o   Use impactful language: The government should protect the rights of students because if they don’t, the country’s economy will fall. 
Call to authority (cite an expert/expert text): The government should protect the rights of its students because, as Arne Duncan said, “A postsecondary education is the ticket to economic success in America.”

  • Closure: Students will identify the most credible support and defend the answer.

 

  • Closure: Identify the most credible support and defend the answer.

Day 2 Task 4

  • Students will read the text  “The Power of Debate – Building the Five “C’s” for the 21st Century” by Arne Duncan.
  • Students will work in groups to summarize the speech.
  • Students will identify the claim in the text: In urban high schools, competitive debate is one of the great equalizers of educational opportunity.
  • Students will reread “The Power of Debate – Building the Five “C’s” for the 21st Century” in small groups, highlighting/underlining evidence that supports this claim.
  • Students will share evidence that they found with the class.
  • We will read the text “The Power of Debate – Building the Five “C’s” for the 21st Century” by Arne Duncan.
  • We will work in groups to summarize the speech.
  • We will identify the claim in the text: In urban high schools, competitive debate is one of the great equalizers of educational opportunity.
  • We will reread “The Power of Debate – Building the Five “C’s” for the 21st Century” in small groups, highlighting/underlining evidence that supports this claim.
  • We will share evidence found with the class.

Day 2 Task 5

  • Students will revisit the text and in small groups, they will classify the type of support of each piece of evidence. Students will annotate with letters or symbols.
  • Students will engage in a discussion centered around the following questions:

o   How does the author support his claim? Are his supports strong or weak? Is his argument convincing? Why or why not? Has he changed the way you feel about competitive debate? Why or why not?
o   Why does Arne Duncan encourage students to participate in competitive debate teams?
o   Explain the ways that students benefitted from competitive debate teams in their schools.
o   Why does Arne Duncan use anecdotes in his speech to support his claim?
o   What skills do students benefit from once they join a debate team?

  • As an exit ticket, students will be given a claim and two supporting warrants and will identify and explain which support is more credible based on what they’ve learned.
  • We will revisit the text and in small groups, we will classify what type of support each piece of evidence is. We will annotate with letters or symbols.
  • We will engage in a discussion centered around the following questions:

o   How does the author support his claim? Are his supports strong or weak? Is his argument convincing? Why or why not? Has he changed the way you feel about competitive debate? Why or why not?
o   Why does Arne Duncan encourage student to participate in competitive debate teams?
o   Explain the ways that students benefitted from competitive debate teams in their schools.
o   Why does Arne Duncan use anecdotes in his speech to support his claim?
o   What skills do students benefit from once they join a debate team?

  • As an exit ticket, you will be given a claim and two supporting warrants and will identify and explain which support is more credible based on what you’ve learned.

Day 3 Task 6

  • Students will engage in another four corners game, this time “Evidence Four Corners.” Students will be given a claim based on the text from yesterday and will go to the labeled corner that aligns with their position. Once the students have arranged themselves, they will defend their position on chart paper by citing information from the text.
  • Claim: Student debate teams encourage students to stay focused in school and maintain good grades.
  • We will engage in another four corners game, this time “Evidence Four Corners.” You will be given a claim based on the text from yesterday and will go to the labeled corner that aligns with your position. Once you have arranged yourselves, you will defend tyour position on chart paper by citing information from the text.
  • Claim: Student debate teams encourage students to stay focused in school and maintain good grades.

Day 3 Task 7

  • Students will engage in a mini-lesson on creating text-supported arguments.
  • Teacher will tell students a text-based warrant is a reason why the claim is true that uses a quote from the text and provides analysis of why the cited text proves the claim to be true. Teacher might want to demonstrate with a visual that “text” and its “analysis” are like puzzle pieces that fit together perfectly. “Text” and “analysis” need to be married to make a stronger argument.
    • “Text” is a quote or information cited from a credible, valid source.
    • “Analysis” is an explanation why the selected textual information supports the claim.
  • Teacher will present an example to students:

o   Claim: Middle school students should participate in school debate teams.
o   Text: In A Boys’ Life of Booker T. Washington by W.C. Jackson, the author notes that Booker T. Washington was eager to learn how to be a good speaker and his teacher Miss Mackie helped him with that task.  He also organized a debating group at his school. Booker T. Washington made thousands of speeches to all races of people.  
o   Analysis: This signifies that Booker T. Washington’s education had a strong impact in helping him become one of the greatest orators during his lifetime.  

  • Teacher will explain that a good analysis must circle back to the claim and show how the text proves the claim to be either true or false, according to the student’s evidence.
  • Note: Developing text analysis can be challenging for students. Multiple examples may be needed for students to grasp the concept fully.
  • A text-based warrant is a reason why the claim is true; a warrant uses a quote from the text and provides an analysis of why the cited text proves the claim to be true. T
  • “Text” and its “analysis” are like puzzle pieces that fit together perfectly. “Text” and “analysis” need to be married to make a stronger argument.
    • “Text” is a quote or information cited from a credible, valid source.
    • “Analysis” is an explanation why the selected textual information supports the claim.
  • Let's look at an example:

Claim: Middle school students should participate in school debate teams.

  • o   Text: In A Boys’ Life of Booker T. Washington by W.C. Jackson, the author notes that Booker T. Washington was eager to learn how to be a good speaker and his teacher Miss Mackie helped him with that task.  He also organized a debating group at his school. Booker T. Washington made thousands of speeches to all races of people.  
    o   Analysis: This signifies that Booker T. Washington’s education had a strong impact in helping him become one of the greatest orators during his lifetime.  

  • A good analysis must circle back to the claim and show how the text proves the claim to be either true or false, according to the your evidence.

Day 4 Task 8

  • Students will read Making Speeches in A Boys’ Life of Booker T. Washington by W.C. Jackson. Looking at different kinds of texts helps them understand a theme or topic more clearly.
  • Students will discuss the information presented in the book in pairs or groups.
  • Students should take notes on key details, phrases, and quotes from the text.
  • We will read Making Speeches in A Boys’ Life of Booker T. Washington by W.C. Jackson. 
  • We will discuss the information presented in the book in pairs or groups.
  • We will take notes on key details, phrases, and quotes from the text.

Day 4 Task 9

  • Teacher will arrange students in small groups for an Evidence Scavenger Hunt. The teacher will tell the students that in this scavenger hunt, there will be three rounds. For each round, a question will be posed to the students about the text. The students will complete a number of steps for each round.

o   The groups will discuss the question and reread the text as necessary to agree on an answer.
o   The group will form their answer into a claim to be written in the appropriate round’s box.
o   The group will identify the text evidence they used to answer the question and write this in the box next to the claim.
o   The group will then discuss how their evidence supports the claim, which they will write in the analysis box.

Teacher will tell students to use The High Quality Checklist to make sure they are giving the best possible answers they can.

 

The High Quality Checklist

 

Do your answers do ALL of the following things?

 

☐ Totally support your claim

☐ Analysis draws logical and clear connections between your claim and your evidence

☐ Are written correctly with proper spelling and punctuation

☐ Provide a clear link for the reader between your claim, evidence, and analysis

  • We will complete the Evidence Scavenger Hunt in small groups.  There will be three rounds of the scavenger hunt. For each round, a question will be posed about the text. We will complete a number of steps for each round.

o   The groups will discuss the question and reread the text as necessary to agree on an answer.
o   The group will form their answer into a claim to be written in the appropriate round’s box.
o   The group will identify the text evidence they used to answer the question and write this in the box next to the claim.
o   The group will then discuss how their evidence supports the claim, which they will write in the analysis box.

We will use the High Quality Checklist to make sure we are giving the best possible answers they can.

 

The High Quality Checklist

 

Do my answers do ALL of the following things?

 

☐ My answers totally support my claim.

☐ My analysis draws logical and clear connections between my claim and my evidence. 

☐ My answers are written correctly; I have used proper spelling and punctuation.

☐ My answers provide a clear link for the reader between my claim, my evidence, and my analysis. 

Day 5 Task 10

Routine Writing

  • Students will be given access to all of the texts that they have used during the unit.
  • Students will develop a claim regarding debate societies in schools.
  • Students will use at least two text-supported arguments (text + analysis, from two different texts) to support their claim.
  • Review all of the texts that we have read throughout this unit.
  • Develop a claim regarding debate societies in schools.
  • Use at least two text-supported arguments (text + analysis, from two different texts) to support your claim.