This beginning step supports students in developing ideas for their own writing. After exploring the persuasive nature of editorials, students brainstorm ideas for their own writing. By the end of this step, students commit to editorial topics that they believe are controversial and about which they feel passionately.

After being introduced to Writing Editorials by watching the animated program, students learn some of the reasons why editorials are written. They read two editorials and identify and describe the characteristics of this genre, with an emphasis on how editorials persuade readers to change their actions, thoughts or feelings.
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Students learn about the first step in the writing process, generating ideas. They generate five or six possible editorial topics, focusing on issues they encounter in their daily lives that they feel should be changed. Students narrow this list of topics to the single one about which they feel most passionate.
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Lesson 1.3: Focus Your Topic

by Teaching Matters
Students continue to work with the editorial topics about which they feel most passionate. As a strategy to focus their topics even further, students develop and respond to a series of “should” questions that help them identify whether or not their topics are sufficiently controversial to be appropriate for an editorial.

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Animation: Select Your Topic

by Teaching Matters
Animated short on selecting your editorial topic.
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Animation: Focus Your Topic

by Teaching Matters
Focusing animation on how to focus your editorial topic
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A handout containing a few samples of student editorials.
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Read an editorial. Then complete the chart below by writing an example from the text of each editorial characteristic you notice. If you notice other characteristics of an editorial in the text, add them to the chart.
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Think about your typical day. Identify things that you feel passionate about or things that make you angry. Concentrate on topics that will also be interesting to other people. Then make a list of these items.
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Write at least four controversial questions about your topic.
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Visuals for step 1 of Writing Editorials.
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