Lesson Plan

Position Paper

Students learn the parts of a position paper, brainstorm, plan, write and review
Stephanie T.
Classroom teacher
Detroit Country Day School
Beverly Hills, MI
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My Grades 7, 8
My Subjects English Language Arts

Students will be able to...

  • Identify argumentative writing
  • Disseminate between argument and opinion
  • Write a five paragraph essay taking a stand/position on a specific topic of their choosing
English Language Arts
Grades 6 - 8
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook

As an introductory activity, students will explore Mars Gen One with their teacher. This app allows students to assemble argubot "cores," where they look at claims and supporting evidence. They explore claims and supporting details and take notes on what makes a solid claim and what makes good evidence.

This is a fun activity, where students may forget they are learning (in a good way!). As a teacher, you will need to monitor student progress, perhaps stopping by and conversing with students about claims vs. evidence.

2 Guided Practice

Free, Paid

After taking notes on claims and argument supporting details, students will look at the overview and then read, "The Moral Case of Drones." Students will be asked to peruse vocabulary and look at the rubric. Students will compare the rubric with the teacher to see what the expectations of writing this assignment will be.

Students should be given time to explore "The Moral Case of Drones" or read it together as a class, and then read it once more individually. You may want to ask that students annotate their reading, noting vocabulary or key ideas/terms that may be confusing to them. You can then check for understanding after students have read - may be helpful to discuss confusing prats for the students.

3 Independent Practice

Free, Free to Try, Paid

Students will browse Opposing Viewpoints and look for a topic they feel connected to or that irks them. These are the best topics for students to write a position paper on. With teacher guidance, students will choose a topic and begin researching it.

Once they begin researching, students will begin recording their findings in Noodletools. They should share their project with their teacher.

Teachers: You may want students to annotate their bibliography using notecards. You should decide this ahead of time.

4 Writing & Evaluating

Free, Paid
Google Drive
Free, Paid

Using Google Drive, students will write their position papers. Students will then peer edit each other's papers using Kaizena, a Google Drive add-on which allows students to add voice and written comments to each other's written drafts.

Students must remember to reference the rubric in ThinkCerca, as this is what they'll be graded on. You will want to make sure, as at teacher, that you review the rubric ahead of time and formulate your lesson accordingly.