Subject:
English Language Arts
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Level:
High School
Grade:
11
Provider:
Pearson
Tags:
Argument, Audience, Grade 11 ELA, Structure, Teenagers
License:
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0
Language:
English
Effective Arguments

Effective Arguments

Lesson Overview

In this lesson, students will closely analyze the structure of their document, identifying claims, reasons, evidence, and implied or explicit counterarguments. They'll also evaluate the argument made.

Lesson Preparation

Read the lesson and student content.

Anticipate student difficulties and identify the differentiation options you will choose for working with your students.

Task 1: Effective Argument Quick Write

Remind the class to choose examples that are appropriate for school.

  • SWD: Possible modifications here for students with disabilities include providing extra time, allowing them to focus on just one question, or having them work in pairs or small groups to answer the questions orally.

Opening

Answer the questions below.

  • When was the last time someone convinced you to change your mind about something? Describe the situation and the person’s argument. What strategies were used?
  • Why was the person able to change your mind?

 

Task 2: Class Discussion on Effective Arguments

Elicit a few responses. When possible, connect the students' responses to what the class has studied about the structure of an argument.

  • ELL: Depending on ELLs' comfort level with class discussions at this point in the unit, you can provide them with extra time beforehand to discuss their responses with one or two peers, in preparation.

Work Time

Share responses with your classmates.

  • What kinds of strategies tend to work well?

Task 3: Anatomy of an Argument

Quickly review these definitions with your students before moving into the group work.

Work Time

Review the parts of an argument with your teacher: claim, reason, evidence, counterarguments, and rebuttals .

Task 4: Argument Annotation

  • Circulate as groups work.
  • Project or display the student instructions for easier viewing.
  • Display definitions of the parts of an argument if it will help your students. ELL: ELLs in particular can be helped by having definitions available while they work. This may mean providing them with access to a dictionary or creating a glossary that they can return to throughout the unit.

Reading options:

  • Crèvecoeur Letters
  • Abigail Adams Letter
  • Declaration of Sentiments
  • What, to a Slave, is the Fourth of July?
  • Chief Joseph's Speech to Congress
  • Booker T. Washington's Speech to Congress
  • Du Bois Niagara Movement
  • The Gospel of Wealth

Work Time

With your group, read through your document again.

As you read, use the following annotations.

  • Mark claims with black.
  • Mark reasons with green.
  • Mark evidence with blue.
  • Mark implied or explicit counterclaims orresponses to counterclaims with red.
  • Highlight any lines that you find particularly convincing.

Task 5: Reading Options

Display definitions of the parts of an argument if it will help your students.

ELL: ELLs in particular can be helped by having definitions available while they work. This may mean providing them with access to a dictionary or creating a glossary that they can return to throughout the unit.

Work Time

Task 6: Group Argument Analysis

Remind students that this thinking will give them a start on the reframing of their argument for the convention.

Work Time

Working with your group, use the organizer to evaluate the structure of the argument.

As you work, reflect on these questions.

  • Were the claims supported?
  • Were possible counterarguments addressed?
  • What do you think the writer could have done better?

Task 7: Class Assignment Discussion

Ask for comments from all the different groups.

  • SWD: This can be a good opportunity for students with disabilities to show their understanding and for you to check their understanding. If they are comfortable sharing, encourage them to do so.

Work Time

Share your ideas and insights with your classmates. Use the following questions to guide your discussion.

  • What was challenging about this assignment?
  • Overall, what did you learn about your character and the way he or she composed an argument?

Task 8: Part 1, Letter to Your Character

Encourage students to be as creative as possible while basing their letters in logic.

  • SWD: Provide options such as pencil and paper, a tablet, a desktop computer, and speech-to-text software for students who could benefit from these options when drafting their letters.

Closing

Write a short response to this prompt.

  • Imagine you are a contemporary of your character, and you disagree with the main points of your character’s argument.
  • What is the greatest weakness in the argument?

Plan a letter to your character that disagrees with his or her main points.

Task 9: Part 2, Letter to Your Character

Remind students that this thinking will give them a start on the reframing of their argument for the convention.

Homework

Write the letter you planned during the Closing.