This 8-day unit is a companion to my "The Tell-Tale Heart" Unit with Creative Strategies for Collaboration. In that unit, students evaluate whether the Narrator is a criminally-insane psychotic or a cold-blooded psychopath.
Link-"The Tell-Tale Heart" Unit with Creative Strategies for Collaboration
The unit starts with a 2-day introduction to the basics of argumentative writing, including logos and the structure of the argument (i.e. claim, reasons, and factual evidence as support, plus counterargument). The structure is modeled through an anti-smoking commercial, the children's book "My Brother Dan's Delicious," and a student-written sample argumentative paragraph.
* Students fill out Cornell notes on argumentative writing throughout the introduction.
The writing prompt focuses on a real-world murder case and is modeled after argumentative/persuasive writing tasks on the ACTAspire assessment.
Students read through two informational texts about the murder case and look for evidence of traits of the murderer being either a criminally-insane psychotic or a cold-blooded psychopath. [This is the same process they would have already done with Poe's short story, if using my other lesson plan.]
Next, students collaborate in filling out a graphic organizer to sort the evidence into two categories: prosecution or defense. After choosing a side, students collaborate in homogeneous groups to fill out an argument outline to support their position.
Finally, students write out the argumentative essay by following the 5-paragraph format.
A grading rubric is also included.
If you like this product, you might also enjoy my "Tell-Tale Heart" vocabulary unit:
"Tell-Tale Heart" vocabulary unit