Argument Stations

Class began differently than it usually does. We did not have WA or IR today because the second half of class was dedicated to a presentation in the library, and we still had work to get done in here.

Instead, students started right away with different stations to help them review argument and practice their delineation skills. The description of each station is below, and the materials for the stations can be accessed here in the event you’d like to practice more on your own. Feel free to email me for answer keys.

Station 1: Independently, students sorted cards in order to practice differentiating between claim, reason, evidence, and supporting claim. After each group member was finished sorting, they compared their work and come to a consensus before I checked their work.

Station 2: Students looked at a sample letter, and using different colored highlighters, they worked together to highlight to different components of the argument.

Station 3: Students were given a claim and a variety of evidence that could support that claim. They needed to work together to sort the evidence into like piles and then determine what reasons could be drawn from the evidence. This is something they will have to do once they begin researching, so it was good to start practicing this skill.

After going through the stations, we debriefed a bit, and then we headed to the library where Mrs. Roche did a presentation about social injustice – some from the past and many from today. Of course, many of these topics are controversial, and students were told on multiple occasions that the point of this presentation was to just get them thinking, and they are encouraged to choose EITHER side of the issue for their argumentative letter. Some of the ideas shared during the presentation are below:

Child labor (specifically talked about for harvesting cacao for chocolate, minerals/metals for our technology), police brutality and training, Kapernick kneeling for the national anthem, the Confederate flag, Confederate monuments, animal rights (specifically – should there be zoos and/or aquariums?), gay rights, women’s rights (specifically – What could be improved in our country? Could companies be doing more to promote women’s rights in other parts of the world?), sex trafficking (Specifically – is there more our government could be doing to cut down on this?), gun control (specifically – should teachers be armed?)

(I will be showing the students more ideas tomorrow.)

The presentation ended with a message about the following: We live in a great community in a great country, but no matter where someone lives, there are things that can be improved for someone, and even though students are only 12 and 13 years old, they do have the power to change things by having their voice heard. We are just encouraging them to find something they care about or think is interesting. They do NOT need to know anything about the topic at this point. They do NOT need to know what side of the argument they are in (in fact, sometimes it is much better to start research that way). Just find something that seems interesting, and go from there.

Homework:

  1. Read for 25 minutes.
  2. Grammar notes due WEDNESDAY (linked on Friday’s post)
  3. Headphones needed TUESDAY – FRIDAY this week