Arguments with Gateway Activities - Clare

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Transcript Arguments with Gateway Activities - Clare

CCSS Writing Argument
Across Content Areas
Three Types of Writing
1. Write ARGUMENTS to support claims through analysis of
substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and
sufficient evidence.
2. Write INFORMATIVE / EXPLANATORY texts to examine
and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately
through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of
3. Write NARRATIVES to develop real or imagined
experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen
details, and well-structured event sequences.
Our Focus
While all three text types are important, the Standards put
particular emphasis on students’ ability to write sound
arguments on substantive topics and issues, as this ability is
critical to college and career readiness. When teachers ask
students to consider two or more perspectives on a topic or
issue, something far beyond surface knowledge is required:
students must think critically and deeply, assess the validity
of their own thinking, and anticipate counterclaims in
opposition to their own assertions.
CCSS ELA Appendix A, p. 24
Argument vs. Persuasive
Goals of Persuasive?
Tools of Persuasive?
ACT Persuasive?
Argumentation is Deeper . . . Wading In:
Argumentation is Deeper . . . Wading In:
The value of effective argument extends well beyond the classroom or
workplace, however. As Richard Fulkerson (1996) puts it in Teaching the
Argument in Writing, the proper context for thinking about argument is one
“in which the goal is not victory but a good decision, one in
which all arguers are at risk of needing to alter their views, one
in which a participant takes seriously and fairly the views
different from his or her own” (pp. 16–17). Such capacities are broadly
important for the literate, educated person living in the diverse, informationrich environment of the twenty-first century.
~Appendix A, p. 25
Objectives of Argumentation
Argumentation as a writing format (as described in
CCSS) goes beyond Opinion or Persuasive. It
• Research on both positions of a controversial content area
related to issue
• Arguments and counter arguments
• Prioritization of arguments in order of importance
• Writing Skills and process, as in any Writing to
Demonstrate Knowledge performance
• Formal Presentation of final product
Critique of Written
Is their explanation sufficient and coherent?
 Did they use genuine evidence and did they use enough?
 Is their evidence high quality? Is their evidence valid and
 Is there any counter evidence that does not support their
 How well does fit with other theories and laws
 Is their rationale adequate and appropriate?
Try It!
Critique a Student Sample
Writing Arguments
Where to Start?
Gateways to Writing
Logical Arguments
• Secondary students have a conception of the
basic demands of logic, they draw on their
understanding of certain demands made by
teachers and parents to defend positions.
HOWEVER, we have to scaffold the process or
students will not make the transfer to writing.
• Thus classroom dialogue is critical and needs
to be a precursor to the writing process.
GATEWAY Activities
What are they?
• A Gateway Activity is a Writing to Learn
strategy that teachers employ throughout a
lesson and/or at the end of a lesson to engage
students and develop big ideas and concepts
• Provides students practice and scaffolding
with new writing skills such as Argumentation
• Requires higher level thinking skills
• Focuses on ideas rather than correctness
Gateway Activities
• Opinion statements (Kindergarten - 2nd Grade)
• C-E-R (Claim – Evidence – Reasoning)
• Classroom Debates / Roundtable Discussions
• E-Forum Discussions
• Lateral to Linear
• Debate Games
Mystery Pictures / Stories
Gateway Activities:
Opinion statements
Kindergarten 2nd Grade,
and good
starting point
for all levels
Gateway Activities:
• CLAIM: A statement about the solution to a
problem or answer to a question.
• EVIDENCE: Scientific data that supports the
• REASONING: A logical scientific argument
that explains why the data counts as evidence
in support of the claim.
Gateway Activities:
C-E-R Example
• C-E-R: can be used for
experiments and labs
Consider you just performed
a lab experiment where
you mixed yellow and blue
food coloring and the
result was green food
C-E-R Example
• Claim: When yellow and blue are mixed together they
make the color green
• Evidence: 10 ml of yellow food coloring was measured
and mixed with 10 ml of blue food coloring which
resulted (you ended up with) 20 ml of green food
coloring. Three identical tests were done and they all
resulted in green
• Reasoning: Observations were used to see that when
yellow and blue were mixed together they made green.
The fact that the experiment was done 3 times means
that it is reproducible and accurate. Two different colors
when mixed together do make a new color.
Gateway Activities:
Class Debates / Roundtable
Gateway Activities:
Lateral to Linear Example
1. Collaborative talking to the text and about the text:
– Wordle clouds for each character, of language from the text
that reveals traits and values associated with each character.
– Informal reading journals and blog posts
– Mindmapping, using Word or Mindmeister (or that old
technology -- colored pencils and paper) to map and cluster
ideas. Students seem to love this. They enjoy the exchange of
ideas and seeing the variety of their peers' mapping styles.
2. Then it's time to go linear. I give them a format for a Two Reasons
paper. I counsel that this is merely a working scaffold upon which to
build their argument.
Gateway Activities:
Debate Games
1. Spot the Fallacy
– Teach common fallacies, then watch C-SPAN or CNN.
Student who finds the most wins a small prize.
2. Four Corners
– Label four corners of room with Strongly Agree to
Strongly Disagree. Give class a claim and have them go to
the corner that best fits their opinion. Corner groups
discuss and write their reasons then share.
Gateway Activities:
Debate Games
3. Stakeholders Debate
– Scaled down role-playing. Start with a topic. Students
brainstorm possible stakeholders and work in groups to
write a paragraph from their viewpoint.
4. Sweet Debate
– Divide class into groups. Give each group one type of
candy. Have each group make a list of reasons why their
candy is the best one. Use the reasons to develop a claim
and paragraph of support." \l "xzz1EiGPuc2b
Gateway Activities:
Mystery Pictures / Stories
I ask students to become detectives. They work in small groups with
handouts from a wonderful children's book by Lawrence Treat Crime and
Puzzlement. There are a number of crime scene line drawings, with titles
like "Slip or Trip," "Junior Prom," and "Dead Aim." A body lies on a
bathroom floor. There is a shard of glass. A puddle. A footprint. Some of the
scenes are hilarious. Students examine the picture, look for clues, develop
a theory, and a logically sequenced possible order of events. They share
ideas and have conversations and solve "the crime." They wrestle with a
problem and seek a solution.
From Linda Vasu and George Hillock
Going Farther
• After we've opened the “Gate” a crack what is
• The following slides illustrate ideas and
strategies to develop your own Gateway
activities and begin to have students develop
“true” argumentation.
Start Grappling with a Problem
• Start with a problem that resonates with students and
immerse them in the process of drawing conclusions,
supporting conclusions for a skeptical audience and
assessing the merits of competing points of view.
– Letters to the editor,
magazine point /
counterpoint articles are
good sources.
– Try
George Hillocks, Jr. Teaching Argument: Critical
Thinking for Reading and Writing
How to Construct Gateway Activities
• Identify the target outcome by envisioning what students will
be able to do at the end of the process.
• Complete a task analysis
• Through informal assessment gauge the prior knowledge
• Formulate an appropriate problem
• Construct a supportive data set
• Structure a small group task
• Specify context and forum
• Plan summarizing activities
• Transition plan to independent practice
• Build in self-reflection that included procedures
Dr. McCann’s article “Gateways to Writing Logical Arguments is an excellent resource
Planning & Drafting:
Questions to Guide Students
What position or claim will be developed?
What grounds will convince the reader?
What is the link (warrant) between grounds and claim?
Is the backing reliable?
What are other possible views on this issue?
Is a qualification necessary?
Have I adequately summed up the case?
Kittle's Argument Organizer
C-E-R Write to Learn Strategy, Planning and Drafting Questions, L. VanDyke Writing to Read and
Learn PDF
Graphic Organizers and Planning Guides (Toulmin: 1958, S.Toulim, The Uses of Argument / Kittle:
2003, J. Burke,
CCSS, Appendix C – Student Samples
Hillcocks, George Jr. “Teaching Argument for Critical Thinking and Writing: An Introduction” English
Journal 99.6 (2010): 24-32.
McCann, Thomas. “Gateways to Writing Logical Arguments” English Journal 99.6 (2010): 33-39.
Warren, James E. “Taming the Warrant in Toulmin’s Model of Argument” English Journal 99.6
(2010): 41-46
Crime and Puzzlement children's book by Lawrence Treat
Debate Games:" \l "xzz1EiGPuc2b
Vasu, Linda. “Teaching writing. Teaching argument. A process.” February 20, 2011,
Debate and Roundtable: and
Sentence frames for argument