Common Core Standards: Teaching Argument Writing
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Common Core Standards: Teaching Argument Writing

Written by 12 March 2013

*ISTE Workshop: Transitioning to the Common Core with Google Apps - Join Catlin Tucker!

Common Core Standards: Teaching Argument Writing

The following is a guest post by Catlin Tucker, one of SimpleK12's presenters. Click here to watch Catlin's Webinars inside the Teacher Learning Community.

Argument writing is one of three types of writing stressed in the Common Core Standards for English, history, and science/technical studies. As I transition from persuasive to argument writing, my focus is on using technology to engage and support students throughout the process. Tall order. Here are some of the strategies I used to teach argument writing.

What's the difference between persuasive and argument writing?
Persuasive writing aims to persuade the reader that the stated position is correct. The writer wants to "win over" the reader, often by appealing to emotions. In contrast, argument writing must present a strong claim and support that claim with "sufficient evidence" and relevant "valid reasoning."

First, select a high interest topic.
I selected the death penalty because Californians will be voting on this issue on the November ballots. It also went nicely with our To Kill a Mockingbird unit as I was able to incorporate informational texts related to this issue.

TED Talks: Get Kids Thinking
I showed Bryan Stevenson's TED Talk titled "We need to talk about an injustice" which explored racial inequality in the justice system as it relates to the death penalty.

Common Core Standards: Teaching Argument Writing

Collaborize Classroom: Extend the Discussion Online to Engage All Voices
Using online discussions gives every student time to consider a complex question, articulate a position and learn from their peers' points of view. This exposure to other students' ideas is essential to understanding counterarguments

Common Core Standards: Teaching Argument Writing

Common Core Standards: Teaching Argument Writing

Face-to-Face Conversations: Exploring Differences
Complementing the online discussions with face-to-face conversations is important to developing real time speaking and listening skills. It can be a challenge for students to listen to an opposing viewpoint without interruption, but it is a crucial skill to cultivate.

Common Core Standards: Teaching Argument Writing

Google Docs: Research & Organize Ideas
Teach students to find credible resources and analyze those resources to support their claims.

Common Core Standards: Teaching Argument Writing

Common Core Standards: Teaching Argument Writing

YouTube: Flip Your Explanation
I recorded a short lecture on how to write a timed argument essay and posted it to YouTube for my students. This gave them time to watch the lecture at their own pace.

Common Core Standards: Teaching Argument Writing

Citation: http://goo.gl/ATmJW

This approach made it possible for me to weave together reading, writing and speaking and listening standards into a single writing task.
If you are teaching argument writing and have had success with specific tools or strategies, please share them!

*ISTE Workshop: Transitioning to the Common Core with Google Apps - Join Catlin Tucker!
 

About the Author

Common Core Standards: Teaching Argument Writing

Catlin Tucker is a Google Certified Teacher and CUE Lead Learner. She teaches 9th and 10th grade English language arts at Windsor High School in Sonoma County and has taught online college level writing courses. She spent the 2011-2012 school year on leave finishing her first book, Blended Learning for Grades 4-12: Leveraging the Power of Technology to Create Student-Centered Classrooms (Corwin). She is an experienced professional development facilitator and trainer, education consultant, curriculum designer and frequent Edtech speaker. She earned her BA in English from UCLA and her English credential and Masters in Education from UCSB. She is active on Twitter @CTuckerEnglish and writes an education technology blog at CatlinTucker.com.

Click here to view Catlin's original article on her blog.

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Common Core Standards: Teaching Argument Writing

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