December is one of my favorite times of the year – for both me and for my students! However, I know how antsy students (and their teacher) can be waiting for Christmas or holiday break! Therefore, I love to incorporate engaging, high-interest mini-units and projects that will hold their attention while still allowing me to teach the content and standards that I need to cover! I believe that this new
persuasive/argument unit will do just that!
In this mini-unit, students learn the basics of opinion and argument. (This type of writing is called persuasive or opinion in the younger grades and argument starting in grade six). They will learn the vocabulary and organizational structure used for this type of writing. They will learn to back up their “side” or argument with facts and evidence.
Before students get a chance to write their own Christmas-related arguments, they will write one with you. This will allow the information and content to be scaffolded so that they understand all of the steps involved. Then, students will pick from a bag whether they are on the side of Santa or Rudolph as being more important to Christmas. I believe that a good opinion or argument writer needs to be able to write from either side of the debate.
Students will then write an argument as to who is more important to Christmas: Santa or Rudolph. Perhaps they will argue that without Rudolph’s bright red nose, Santa would not be able deliver the presents. But then again, without presents, it doesn't really matter where Rudolph takes them.
If students hand write their final drafts, I have included “Team Rudolph” or “Team Santa” final draft papers that you could then mount on construction paper and hang up for a fun holiday bulletin board. Finally, I have included a CCSS aligned rubric to assess your students’ work.
Enjoy this mini-unit and have a wonderful December!
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