the art of teaching argument

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a day long workshop of elements of argument, building a culture of argument in the classroom, task and learning progressions and effective argument task design


  • 1. The Art of Teaching Argument Delia DeCourcy Susan Wilson-Golab Oakland Schools ELA - Social Studies - Science
  • 2. Todays Workshop Goals To 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.
  • 3. Argument vs. Persuasion Argument Persuasion Argument is about making a case in support of a claim in everyday affairs in science, policy making, in courtrooms, and so forth. 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. - George Hillocks, Jr., Teaching Argument Writing -- Kinneavy and Warriner 1993 logical appeals advertising, propaganda
  • 4. Argument in the CCSS Reading 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 disciplinespecific content.
  • 5. Your 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 wall
  • 6. Arguments Surround Us
  • 7. Arguments Surround Us
  • 8. Unpack the Argument INFORMAL WRITE 1. Select one visual argument from the page. 2. Identify a possible argument that is implied by this image/text. (claim) 3. Name evidence to support your claim. (details from the image, anecdotal, etc.) 4. Explain your reasoning.
  • 9. Share & Analyze 1. Share your flash draft with a partner. 2. Partner say back. What was the claim evidence reasoning (connection between claim & evidence)
  • 10. Share & Analyze HAVE A CONVERSATION: FEEDBACK What was the strongest part of the argument and why? What could the writer add or subtract to improve the argument?
  • 11. Arguments in the Real World
  • 12. Students Concept of Argument/ Writing What 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
  • 13. Foundational Concepts of Argument Claim Evidence (standards and nature of evidence differs by subject area) Reasoning/Analysis/Warrant - an explanation of how the evidence supports the claim Counterargument/Rebuttals - refute competing claims Consideration of audience
  • 14. Toulmin Model
  • 15. Argument as a Habit of Mind In your teaching In your students o o o thinking discussion writing Teach across the year Consistently use rhetorical language to build students academic vocabulary
  • 16. Instructional Strategies to Build Argument Culture & Habits of Mind annotation talk to the text text in the middle informal writing first thoughts respond to a prompt visual thinking routines flash drafts discourse Socratic seminar structured small groups - test ideas talk protocol debates think alouds
  • 17. BREAK Join the Art of Teaching Argument Community Log in to your Google account Visit: search for The Art of Teaching Argument Click Join Community We will accept your invitation Once youre a member, click on the cog (settings) to turn your notifications on. Share your current interests, curiosities, and challenges with teaching argument writing.
  • 19. LUNCH!
  • 20. Coding Activity
  • 21. Shifting Our Language Curriculum and Assessment
  • 22. List of Events Learning Progression
  • 23. Working at the Edge of Learning Progressions invite a developmental view of learning because they lay out how exper>se develops over a more or less extended period of >me, beginning with rudimentary forms of learning and moving through progressively more sophis>cated states. -Margaret Heritage, p. 37 Forma>ve Assessment in Prac>ce
  • 24. Whats a Learning Progression? What it is What it isnt Sequence set of subskills and bodies of enabling knowledge Composed of step-by-step building blocks needed to aMain target curricular aim Flawless Un-changing One size ts all Transforma)ve Assessment, W. James Popham
  • 25. Building Blocks of Argument Enabling Knowledge claim evidence counterargument audience Subskill reasoning analysis angling evidence for audience
  • 26. Example Todays Task Progression video analysis visual argument argument talk protocol coding activity What has our learning skill progression been today? TURN & TALK
  • 27. Todays Learning Progression 1. video analysis: notice pattern of argument 2. visual argument: make a claim, identify argument traits and give feedback 3. talk protocol: gather evidence, make a claim, argue with an opponent, angle evidence for a particular audience 4. coding activity: identify argument traits, norm across content areas