Lesson Plan

My Writing, My Peer, and Me

Students will want to write after they read this
Rachelle W.
Digital Learning Specialist
Fort Settlement Middle School
Sugar Land, TX
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My Grades 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
My Subjects English Language Arts
EdTech Mentor

Students will be able to...

1.  Trace and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, distinguishing claims that are supported by reasons and evidence from claims that are not.

2.  Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.

3.  With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach. 

4.  Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

English Language Arts
text analysis
using supporting evidence
Grades 6 - 8
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook

Engage students by asking the following question as a bellringer activity (hook): The principal wants to hear from students on the subject of school uniforms.  In 140 characters are less, state your position on this issue.

Today's Meet.com is a great tool for engaging all students quickly and easily.  Since we are a BYOD campus, I would have the link to the todaysmeet question as a QR code that students can scan as they enter the room.  This gives them time to think about their response and articulate them in 140 characters or less.  I also get to create a PDF transcript of the responses for later review. 

2 Direct Instruction

Before students dive into responding to the writing prompt, students will read the article on ThinkCERCA titled, "ACLU Wins Settlement in 6th Grader's Facebook Posting".  As a quick formative assessment, you can have students complete the five questions to check for student understanding of the text.

After reading the text, explain to students that they will be using this article to generate reasons for a text and supporting them with text.

Have a graphic organizer template to model.  Here is one for Three Reasons and Two Facts.

Make sure to model the following steps (as mentioned in the Learnzillion video):

1.  Stated their position on the issue.

2.  Analyzed the text for evidence to support their position.  Elaborate on that reasoning.

3.  Organize evidence into body paragraphs.

If you are using a "flipped classroom" model you may want to have students view a video like this one at home to model the thought process.  In addition, if you would like extra support on modeling the thought process for planning arguments, refer to this Learnzilion lesson here on Planning an argument with Evidence from the Text.

3 Guided Practice

Free, Paid

Now have students read the article, "Appeals court finds Nevada school’s uniform policy unconstitutional" on ThinkCerca.  Then students can complete the short quiz as a check for reading comprehension.  Then give students the following prompt: Should schools or courtroom judges determine uniform policies?

Students will then complete the graphic organizer adding reasons and evidence from the text to support their reasons.  Be ready to provide support when students need assistance and make sure they are using their steps.


4 Independent Practice

Activity: Creating

Using their graphic organizers, students will now begin drafting their response to the essay question: Should schools or courtroom judges determine uniform policies?

5 Extension

Students tend to appreciate and value the feedback of their peers.  One way to accomplish that in writing is through peer reviews:  After students have completed their drafts, have them type them up and upload them to Turnitin.com for peer reviews.  

Students may need support in what to look for when reviewing the work of their peers.  You can include: 

1.  What did you like best about the paper?

2.  What questions do you have about the paper?

3.  Were the reasons supported with enough evidence from the text?

4.  What suggestions would you make to the writer to improve their paper?