Argumentative Writing Graphic Organizer

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Argumentative writing may sound like a new concept or approach, but it is not.  This term basically means to argue one’s opinion while understanding that there is an opposing side. 

Brought to the forefront with the adoption of the new ELA Common Core Standards, middle and high school students alike need practice in developing argumentative writing.  This allows them to increase their comfort level in choosing a side on a controversial issue and developing their opinion using persuasive language and techniques.  From there, writers should be able to think about the arguments or counterclaims that the opposing side would make in response.  Not only should the author seek to provide these counterclaims, but to add support that dismisses the opposition’s argument.  

The argumentative graphic organizer is a strategic teaching tool that better equips students to develop this type of writing.  This graphic organizer is designed to anticipate the needs of the readers, as well as have the author utilize a variety of detail types to develop their opinion with more than just fluffy, eloquent language.  

Click here to download the graphic organizer

Cell Phones in the Classroom: Writing Task

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Learning Intention / Overview

These opening two days of this potential argumentative unit will provide students with a way to effectively take notes and research their own opinions about cell phone use in the classroom.  Students will also be able to explore relevant literature that provides support that correlates with their opinion.  These instructions guide students to creating a unique folder graphic organizer that provides storage space for them to uniquely store details appropriate for their introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion.  This unique method of brainstorming saves time writing down all the research and allows students to group their findings as they collect it.  This is a concrete way to provide needed organization for students that may struggle with using their research once it is collected. 

Methods / Teaching Strategies

 Group work

Research Project

The Writing Process (brainstorming)

Essential Questions

How do i feel about cell phones in the classroom? 

How can I develop my opinion with relevant details?

What is a counterclaim?

Click here to download the entire lesson plan

Video about the potential use of a cell phone in the classroom

In this episode of The Mind Matters Show, host Dr. Craig Pohlman talks to Tom Dubick of Charlotte Latin school about the untapped potential of cell phones in the classroom. Follow Mind Matters on Twitter! @MindMatters_SEP