The Common Core Standards call for students to engage in argumentation as well as collaborative discussion. This 18-day unit for middle and high school (differentiated) hits on a wide array of reading, writing, speaking, and listening standards.
Persuasive writing is a thing of the past -It was all about competition, negativity, and being ‘right.’ On the contrary, argumentation is the art of using evidence and research to support a position in a collaborative, positive way. It is also important that our students begin to work together, toward actual solutions, to solve the controversial issues of our society.
This unit is based on the research of Dr. Richard Beach.
Within this 2-part unit, students will first engage in (online) collaborative argumentation using a wiki or Moodle – or via traditional writing - then write a final argument paper.
First, your class will work together to identify a controversial problem/topic of interest (for heightened motivation and buy-in), then identify the stakeholders with a vested interest in this problem. They will each choose a stakeholder, then engage in role-playing and discussion as that stakeholder. Students will use research they locate in order to argue for their position and work toward identifying a solution that works for the majority of stakeholders in the class.
Secondly, after the (online or written) collaborative discussion, students will end their role-playing and develop their own thesis, as themselves. They will then use the research shared during the collaborative discussion to generate a 6-paragraph final position statement. They will introduce the problem, give 2 claims that support their argument (including evidence), address the opposition, and finally describe and defend a solution.
Included in this unit:
• Common Core State Standards
• Essential Questions
* Student-friendly Learning Targets
• 18-day Lesson Plans
• Types of Evidence Handouts
* Handout on 'What is Argument Writing' and a flow chart of the components of argument writing
• Practice/Model Collaborative Discussion – for student analysis
• Note-taking brainstorming sheet for final paper
• Final Paper Checklist
• TWO sample/model papers
• Scaffolding Grid for struggling writers
Please download and enjoy!
Also, check out my other Argumentative Writing Product here:
The Paper Chain: Instructional Workbook for Argumentative Writing Grades 7-10
This unit addresses the following Common Core Standards:
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