Demographics of Class

The class has 20 students composed of 9 girls and 11 boys. There are two students of African American race/ethnicity, eight students of Hispanic race/ethnicity while the rest are considered White from an ethnical point of view. There are nine English Language Learner (ELL) students.

Unit Goal

At the end of the lesson, students will be able to write an argument essay.

Essential questions: how do we choose a topic for an argumentative essay? How do we draft a thesis statement for an argumentative essay? How do we collect evidence to support your thesis? How do we organize information for an argumentative essay?

Focus question(s): how does an argument essay communicate the value and impact of service-learning?

Lesson Objective

Students will be able to write an argument essay that includes strong reasons and pertinent evidence.

Assessment

  • Entry Level – At the beginning of the lesson, diagnostic assessment will be conducted through informal questioning. It will help determine a student’s familiarity with arguments.
  • Formative – as learning progresses, teacher will shift focus and assess whether students are able to grasp the general structure for writing an argument essay. It will require the use of direct and guided questions.
  • Summative – at the end of the lesson, the work product of each student will be reviewed through an informal assessment. Individualized support will be provided to students experiencing difficulties. The support will include closer examination of a student’s work to identify the areas in which the student may have more difficulty. It may lead to the provision of additional work.

Materials

  • Student generated topic list
  • Sample arguments essays
  • Writing rubric/criteria
  • Windows Live Movie Maker (Steps to writing an argument)
  • Nonfiction reading/reference materials
  • Planning outline and computer for research and publishing

Instructional Plan

Teacher Actions

Student Actions

Preparations – before the lesson, teacher will confirm availability of the materials. Windows Live Movie Maker will be utilized to draw students’ attention to argument writing. The visual will help stimulate students’ background knowledge and motivate them towards the subject matter.

1. (INTO) – The lesson will commence with a discussion focusing on the essential questions: “How do we choose a topic for an argumentative essay? How do we draft a thesis statement for an argumentative essay? How do we collect evidence to support your thesis?” & “How do we organize information for an argumentative essay?” Guided questions will follow to trigger prior knowledge and develop interest towards upcoming content. The discussion will lead to the introduction of the focus question: “How does an argument essay communicate the value and impact of service-learning?” Students will be directed to review sample argument essays so as to scrutinize the structure employed. It will help in stimulating more insight about the lesson. Guided questions will be utilized to assess student knowledge.

2. (THROUGH) – Use of photo story will help in introducing the procedure of writing an argument. The teacher will then guide students in reading, analyzing and discussing sample argument essays. Use of guided questions and think-aloud strategies will assist students focus on the essential aspects of the text. It will be geared towards understanding the structure of an argument essays. Guide a discussion that will culminate into a list of topics for arguments. Review the Windows Live Movie Maker to help in introducing the process of writing an argument. Guide students in choosing a topic to argue and provide the writing rubric. Discuss the rubric with the students and guide in the planning, research, and creation of an outline for the arguments. Use various reading and reference materials. Guide students in formulating their own outlines to create their first drafts. Encourage peer editing and revision of the drafts. Publish final drafts on the computer.

3. (BEYOND) – Practice on argument essay writing will continue through group work. Students will be advised to form groups with each choosing its topic for the argument essay. Materials will be provided for research and referral purposes. Each group will be advised to select topic based on their experiences or articles given for review. The groups will then craft a thesis statement for their argument essay. Then, they will collect evidence to support their thesis through observations, personal interviews, and questions. After that, they will organize gathered information using boxes and bullets. They will then write an introductory paragraph that will engage the reader. The body of the argument essay will introduce evidence and its relation to the thesis statement. A concluding paragraph will summarize the argument. The students will then publish their group works on the computer. Groups that perform diligently will be rewarded.

1. (INTO) – Students participate in discussion regarding essential questions. The discussion is essential in providing students with the lesson’s purpose and goal. The students utilize knowledge gathered in participating in a discussion regarding the focus question. The discussion activates student’s prior knowledge and helps the teacher assess the extent of such knowledge. The students are also best placed to connect with what they already know as it assists in comprehension and retention. Also, students familiarize with samples on make notes from the Steps to Writing an Argument. It ensures students who prefer visual and kinesthetic ways of learning benefit.

2. (THROUGH) – Students will watch photo stories and participate in discussions as guided by the teacher using focused question. Students will be engaged throughout the lesson using the think-aloud process. The participation will help the teacher understand student’s thought process regarding argument essay. Students will be involved in reviewing work done by their peers to further their understanding on argument essay structure. Publication of their work will help them retain it and improve the quality.

3. (BEYOND) – Students will receive procedure for the upcoming group work. They will listen and participate as instructed by the teacher to achieve the tasks. Then, students will form groups and set to achieve the task at hand. The students will also engage the teacher in instances where they experience difficulty. Finally, they will publish given work.

Self-Reflection

WORKED: Several factors contributed towards achievement of the academic content standard goal. Firstly, the teacher ensured students worked independently before introduction of group work. It ensured that they mastered the content and asked for assistance whenever they needed. Secondly, the questioning strategy adopted by the teacher assisted in the achievement of the goal. It included guided and personalized questions that invoked memories of past knowledge among students and their connection with the new information learned. Finally, the teacher ensured full participation by the students through the use of classroom management plan. It included class rules and a reward for good performance.

DID NOT WORK. The teacher failed to recognize presence of students who needed individualized attention. The effect was severe among the nine English Language Learner (ELL) students as they could not understand properly the language of instruction. It made them perform dismally in the individual assignments.

CHANGES. The following changes are to be effected in the next lesson to ensure needs of the nine English Language Learner (ELL) students are taken into consideration. Use of charts will provide them with clues to supplement spoken or written words that are hard to understand. Incorporation of modeled talk and gestures will help them complete tasks assigned to them. It is because they will understand what is expected of them and become less anxious. The use of modeled talk and gestures by the teacher will help the English-speaking students learn the same skills and utilize them in classroom discussions. The interaction between the students will build a feeling of a community within the classroom. Thus, ELL students will not feel neglected leading to improved performance. Finally, the teacher may introduce real objects as a way of connecting vocabulary to real life.

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