"What is a claim? What is a counterargument? How do I organize an argumentative or persuasive essay? How do I even start?" Students struggle with how to write a convincing argumentative or persuasive essay. Teach them how to organize it using all of the elements and classic structure. Give them a template to start!
This particular type of writing is typically on state tests, and can go very badly for students if not taught correctly. Students easily slip into just writing their opinions; therefore, they need much practice. Walking alongside them, helping them learn the way to write is your handy TEMPLATE, prompting them to use evidence and supporting details.
The template comes with explicit directions and an "answer key," or
ROUGH DRAFT (student example) using the template, and a
FINAL DRAFT of an argumentative essay.
Also comes with plenty of SENTENCE STARTERS to help students
*introduce quotes and
*introduce the counterclaim.
Written from a student's perspective, the example template is a great tool for modeling in the classroom. You can use the template many ways: Students are given a prompt and a resource with information on the topic. They fill this template out and use it as their rough draft. Then peer edit, and write a final draft. Or, if short on time, have students practice using several different prompts; have them write a template for each prompt and move on. A valuable tool for any teacher desiring to differentiate as well. Have students work together to complete a template before writing one independently. If students struggle with feeling overwhelmed, have them work on one paragraph or box at a time. Stretch it out over a few days. This template with examples is so versatile.
* Examples are written from an upper middle grade student's perspective with quoted research.