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The Art of Teaching Argument Delia DeCourcy Susan Wilson-Golab Oakland Schools ELA - Social Studies - Science. Today’s Workshop Goals. To review the foundational moves of argument. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


The Art of Teaching Argument

The Art of Teaching Argument DeCourcy Susan Wilson-GolabOakland SchoolsELA - Social Studies - Science

Susan/DeliaAllow time for participants to sign onto Workshop GoalsTo review the foundational moves of argument.To experience how to build a culture of argument in your classroom.To explore a possible argument task progression for your students.To experiment with effective argument task design.

Susan. Mention MAISA units.

Susan/DeliaArgument vs. PersuasionArgument

Argument is about making a case in support of a claim in everyday affairs in science, policy making, in courtrooms, and so forth.- George Hillocks, Jr., Teaching Argument Writing

logical appeals


In a persuasive essay, you can select the most favorable evidence, appeal to emotions, and use style to persuade your readers. Your single purpose is to be convincing.-- Kinneavy and Warriner 1993

advertising, propagandaDeliaArgument in the CCSSReading Anchor Standards:CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.8 Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, including the validity of the reasoning as well as the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence.

Writing Anchor Standards:CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.1 Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.History, Science & Technical Subjects:CCSS.ELA-Literacy.WHST.6-8.1 Write arguments focused on discipline-specific content.

DeliaYour Goals for Your Teaching Practice?Identify an open-ended question or two about teaching argument writing that you would like to explore during this 2-day workshop.

pair & share

post to the wallSusanArguments Surround Us9:20 SusanAs listen, consider how song functions as a memoir, a poem, speech, and argument. Watch w/lens of what argument is he making about role athletic shoes play in life? It changes across the text.Arguments Surround Us - DeliaUnpack the Argument INFORMAL WRITESelect one visual argument from the page.Identify a possible argument that is implied by this image/text. (claim)Name evidence to support your claim. (details from the image, anecdotal, etc.)Explain your reasoning.DeliaShare & Analyze Share your flash draft with a partner.Partner say back. What was the:claimevidencereasoning (connection between claim & evidence)Delia - Finish at 10:00.Share & AnalyzeHAVE A CONVERSATION: FEEDBACK

What was the strongest part of the argument and why?

What could the writer add or subtract to improve the argument?Delia; debrief: what did you notice about the process of developing the argument about a visual text as a learner? Arguments in the Real World10:00 SusanWhat is the claim and where during the speech does she state her claim? Transition into real arguments in the world.Students Concept of Argument/WritingWhat high schoolers sometimes come to us with (and what can get in the way of their college writing/thinking):* a tendency to see writing and research as report rather than discovery; not seeing or believing that you can write to find and hone your ideas, and that some of this comes from the richly complex relationships that evolve between ideas that may take sentences and paragraphs (i.e., not just a "However") to explain and unpack; in conjunction with this, not always knowing or believing how thoughtful responses from readers (including themselves) can really help along a writer's process of discovery. - MSU Writing Instructors

SusanFoundational Concepts of ArgumentClaimEvidence (standards and nature of evidence differs by subject area)Reasoning/Analysis/Warrant - an explanation of how the evidence supports the claimCounterargument/Rebuttals - refute competing claimsConsideration of audience

Susan transition Delia - focus on the discovery involved in these foundational arguments

Toulmin ModelDelia - reference election video; importance of examining evidence first in order to develop a claim and not vice versaArgument as a Habit of MindIn your teachingIn your students thinkingdiscussionwriting

Teach across the yearEverything is an argument.Consistently use rhetorical language to build students academic vocabulary. Name the moves of argument.

DeliaInstructional Strategies to Build Argument Culture & Habits of Mindinformal writingfirst thoughtsrespond to a promptvisual thinking routinesflash drafts annotationtalk to the texttext in the middlediscourseSocratic seminarstructured small groups - test ideastalk protocoldebatesthink alouds

component tasks

building reasoning musclesDeliaBREAKJoin the Art of Teaching Argument CommunityLog in to your Google accountVisit: for The Art of Teaching ArgumentClick Join CommunityWe will accept your invitationOnce youre a member, click on the cog (settings) to turn your notifications on.Share your current interests, curiosities, and challenges with teaching argument writing.

10:15-10:30BUILDING REASONING MUSCLESAre rats useful friends to humans or dangerous foes?ARGUMENT TALK PROTOCOL

10:30 until 11:30LUNCH!


SusanCoding Activity

12:15-12:45 SusanShifting Our Language

Curriculum and Assessment

12:45 - 1:05List of Events Learning ProgressionShifting the conversation: islands of content to connected learning that scaffolds writers across a year and beyond. Working at the Edge of LearningProgressions invite a developmental view of learning because they lay out how expertise develops over a more or less extended period of time, beginning with rudimentary forms of learning and moving through progressively more sophisticated states.

-Margaret Heritage, p. 37Formative Assessment in Practice SusanWhats a Learning Progression?Sequence set of subskills and bodies of enabling knowledge

Composed of step-by-step building blocks needed to attain target curricular aim

What it isntFlawless


One size fits all

Transformative Assessment, W. James PophamWhat it isSusan- Moving from GLCEs/HUSKIES to CCSS: content and skills wrapped together = conceptual understanding and application.

Building Blocks of ArgumentEnabling Knowledgeclaim evidencecounterargumentaudienceSubskillreasoninganalysisangling evidence for audience

ExampleWhat has our learning skill progression been today?TURN & TALK

Todays Task Progression

video analysisvisual argumentargument talk protocolcoding activity

DeliaTodays Learning Progressionvideo analysis: notice pattern of and shifts in argumentvisual argument: make an argument, identify argument traits, and give feedbacktalk protocol: gather evidence, make a claim, argue with an opponent, angle evidence for a particular audiencecoding activity: identify argument traits, norm across content areasDelia: consider the skills and content knowledge of the learner and how to develop complexityThesis Statement Parallel Topic Sentence #1Parallel Topic Sentence #2Parallel Topic Sentence #3Concluding Statement GRADES 3-5 LUCY CALKINS: BOXES & BULLETSFoundational stage where writers working on creating an overall thesis/idea and reasons. THESIS PARAGRAPH Thesis Statement (Stance, Position, Claim) May require sentence order or sentence #. BODY PARAGRAPH #1Topic Sentence (Least important point or reason)Include evidence, explanation, and concluding sentence BODY PARAGRAPH #2Topic Sentence (2nd most important point or reason) Include evidence, explanation, and concluding sentence BODY PARAGRAPH #3Topic Sentence (Most Important Point or Reason)Include evidence, explanation, and concluding sentence CONCLUDING PARAGRAPH Restate Thesis Include summary and/or commentComplexity ramps up in this template where writer begins to not just list a reason or an example but also explain its connection and sort evidence from least to most important. KEYHOLE ESSAYThesis Paragraph General: Grabber Specific: Thesis (Claim)

Body Paragraph #1Topic Sentence (Specific Point) Evidence, explanation, transitional conclusion Body Paragraph #2Topic Sentence (Specific Point) Evidence, explanation, transitional conclusion Body Paragraph #3Topic Sentence (Specific Point) Evidence, explanation, transitional conclusion

Concluding Paragraph Rephrase Thesis (Claim)Summarize Points

Reasoning of deductive and inductive introduced to the already more complex task of sorting and organizing evidence and explanation. WHAT ARE THE EQUIVALENTS IN SS/SCIENCE? Students & Structures/Reasoning What high schoolers sometimes come to us with (and what can get in the way of their college writing/thinking):

* a relentless search for / use of formulas (3- to 5-paragraph essays) and "rules" (i.e., Never use "I" in an essay; Never begin a sentence with "But," etc.) rather than focusing on audiences, purposes, contexts, etc. In other words, not recognizing, as a friend of mine says, that there are "different spokes for different folks," and that different contexts invite different kinds of writing.- MSU Writing Instructors1:05 Delia: having an idea, developing a line of reasoning, not getting stuck in formulas, more and shorter writing, more real world tasksArguments: encouraging complexityTeacher provided question/problem

Student generated responseTeacher provided topic

Student generated question/problem + response

COMPLEXITYconsider alternatives, evaluate evidence, and think criticallyWHO DECIDES?control of question/problemcontrol of data/evidenceDelia

Delia: Learning progression options for a task; 3 concepts; developing