As the PARCC officially rolled out its testing, developing new performance based assessments or as PARCC calls them "research stimulation tasks" has been a priority for me. To practice Common Core and PARCC skills, the students need to be engaged and wow did this topic do the trick! This source based argument prompt includes seven reputable excerpts with MLA citations (two graphics) as well as a model essay. I use this particular prompt for whole class instruction as the excerpts are a bit lengthy but have salient "quotable" points. Day One we read the prompt together, break down what it is asking and brainstorm our own original ideas as a class. Next, in groups, students read one assigned source, annotate it and then answer how the source speaks to the prompt. After each group presents, I assign homework where the students create a thesis and select three-four sources to use in supporting their argument. Day Two, students discuss the homework and break into their own groups based which side of the argument prompt they are writing about and evaluate each other's selection of sources. For homework, they draft. Day Three, a guided peer review is conducted and students begin to revise their first draft. Day Four, we come together as a class to discuss the revisions made and read our introductions to the class. Based on the introductions, students guess which sources and presenter used as evidence. For homework students polish and submit their revised draft to me. Day Five, we read the model essay and students evaluate it according to the PARCC rubric - this is a lively discussion and a great closure activity!