Sunday, February 8, 2015

Language Arts Lesson - "Argumentative Writing Exercises, Quiz, and Peer Review"

Create by Dianne Mason
Grades 10-12
Used as supplements for a lesson on argumentation, the exercises in this product ensure that students achieve a good understanding of how to create effective thesis statements and how to integrate counterarguments into an essay.

Exercise 1: Thesis Statement
This exercise asks students to rate each other's thesis statements and explain their answers. It is useful in learning the importance of including counter arguments.

Exercise 2: Emphatic Order
In this exercise, students are asked to mix-up the main points of their essay and re-arrange them in emphatic order. They then mix-up the points again and have a partner arrange them in emphatic order. Finally, they compare the orders and discuss the differences.

Exercise 3: Effective Thesis Statements
Students are given 5 pairs of sentences and must choose the ones that are effective thesis statements. They must also explain why the other sentences are not effective.

Exercise 4: Introducing Arguments and Counterarguments
Students are given five pairs of sentences identified as either an argument or a counterargument. Then, they must write one or two sentences that introduce each pair. 

Quiz: The quiz is similar to exercises 3 and 4 above. In the first part, there are ten sentences which students must identify as effective thesis statements or ineffective ones and explain their answers.

The second part of the quiz has ten arguments and counterarguments. Students write one or two sentences introducing each pair. 

Answer Sheets are provided for both the exercises and the quiz. 

Fully Editable Peer Review Forms
In my classes, I require the peer review sheets to be turned in to me along with the final essay. I ask the reviewer, in section four of the review, to evaluate how well the writer has completed his/her argument. They must defend their assessment, and I grade the reviewer on his/her assessment. By doing this, I have found that, instead of peer review sessions being about what a reader “likes,” they become meaningful and helpful discussions about what works or doesn’t work and why. Students become more engaged in each others’ writing and both writer and reader benefit. 

Click on the following link to visit my Teachers Pay Teachers store to see a preview and to purchase this helpful lesson for your high school students.

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Thank you!  Dianne

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