Students draft the supporting argument portion of their editorials, using their completed Editorial Organizers (Handout 3.1a) as a guide. They incorporate their source information into the body of their editorials.
Technology: LCD projector, laptop, speakers, Internet access or the Writing Editorials CD, and student computers with Internet access
Other Materials: Student folders, writers’ notebooks, Editorial Organizer (Handout 3.1a) and draft of supporting arguments for the Teacher Model
If there is no access to the technology needed for this lesson, try the following options:
Students will generate paragraphs that clearly express their supporting arguments and back them up with evidence.
How can you draft paragraphs that will persuade the reader to agree with your opinion?
Show lesson visuals, Draft Your Supporting Arguments.
Introduce Step 4 by showing the introductory animation, Write Your First Draft. Explain that it is time to take the material outlined in their organizers and turn it into a piece of writing that influences readers to take action. Tell students that the purpose of today’s lesson is to draft the argument portion of their editorials, using their Editorial Organizer (Handout 3.1a) as a guide.
Review the structure of an editorial, emphasizing the body. The body of the editorial is often written first because it addresses the main ideas in depth and is therefore very important in shaping the introduction and conclusion. The body of an editorial is made up of two separate sections; the first contains the supporting arguments and evidence. The second is the other side where the writer acknowledges and counters the opposing arguments. Tell students that they will be drafting the argument section of their editorial today. Remind students of the importance of using relevant supporting evidence if they want to convince their readers to think the way they do about their topics.
Show Section B of your Editorial Organizer (Handout 3.1a) and model writing your first supporting argument with a clear connection to your opinion statement. Continue to draft the paragraph by incorporating your evidence. Remind students how this was done in some of the mentor texts the class has read.
Ask students to find their first supporting argument on their Editorial Organizers (Handout 3.1a) and turn to a classmate to share what their first sentence of their body paragraph could be. Have one or two students share their sentences with the full class. Students will then begin to draft on computers.
Note: Students will find your model editorial especially helpful when drafting their own. Try to keep your model projected on your computer or up on chart paper to guide them as they continue to craft their paragraphs.
I’m going to start my paragraph with my supporting argument expressed in one sentence. I’ll write: Overcrowded subways cause significant service problems like train delays and increased passenger injuries.
Now I have to introduce my supporting evidence and connect it to my supporting argument. I’ll add: A NYC Transit study done in 2003 showed that it took up to five times longer for passengers to get on and off an overcrowded subway car than a non-crowded car. This led to long delays in service and more overcrowding.
I have one more piece of evidence: Safety is also an issue on overcrowded platforms. A study funded by NYC Public Advocate Mark Green showed that overcrowding on subway platforms sometimes led to passengers accidentally falling or being pushed onto the tracks.
Distribute computers. Ask students to:
*There will be a midworkshop interruption after the students have started writing their arguments.
Students select supporting arguments and evidence from their Editorial Organizers (Handout 3.1a) to use in their drafts. Circulate among students to answer questions and provide support. Focus on helping students build paragraphs that contain evidence and explanations that support their opinion statements.
Remind students that editorials are most persuasive when they include evidence from trustworthy sources. Explain how editorial writers usually mention their sources directly within their writing, instead of listing their sources at the end. Provide a list of sentence starters to aid students in incorporating their sources into their argument paragraphs. A list could include:
Suggest that students scan the mentor texts in the Editorials Packet (Handout 1.1a) to find examples of how these sentence starters are used within the body of editorials.
Students continue to draft their arguments, making sure to use sentence starters as a way to cite their sources to strengthen their arguments and connect them to their evidence. Help students save their work in a word processing document and upload it to the Online Classroom.
Individual conferences: Review students’ writing, checking to make sure that each paragraph has one or two pieces of evidence, a connection to the opinion statement, and an explanation of how their evidence connects to their supporting arguments. Prompt them to select appropriate ways to refer to their sources. Advise them to refer frequently to the prewriting on their graphic organizers in order to draft organized paragraphs.
Reconvene the class. Revisit the Editorials Rubric (Handout 2.1b). Review the section on supporting arguments. Have students reflect on what other information they might need when they revise their paragraphs. Give students a a moment to make notes about changes they will make to their supporting argument paragraphs.
Review students’ drafts. Using the Online Classroom, you can view and download all of your students’ editorials. You may choose to give feedback to students in one of the following ways:
(These techniques can be employed whenever students submit new drafts.)
Check whether students’ writing clearly connects their supporting evidence and arguments to their opinion statement. Make sure their paragraphs contain ample evidence in order to be persuasive. Use the Teacher’s Checklist to identify what students have completed to this point.