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9H English

Students will be able to score above an 85 based on objective learning standards for 
their counter­claim paragraphs. 
I will introduce the lesson by handing back the early drafts of the counter­claim paragraphs that 
the students were suppose to write. I will explain, first of all, that there is nothing to panic about, 
as these grades aren’t saved until they are 85’s or better. 
I will hand out the worksheet that is attached in this email. I will tell students that a common 
problem on this part of the essay was the fact that they did not try to turn an argument around 
and make it the opposite, which is a very important skill when writing persuasive papers, but 
they just made a 3rd claim paragraph that argued their side without any sort of counter and 
entertainment of the other side. I will have a student read aloud the counter­claim example and 
have another student read aloud the claim #3 example. 
I will then have the students go question by question in a think, pair, share activity. I will have 
students answer question by question silently, then discuss. Each question will be discussed as 
a large group after there are think, pairs, and shares. 
I will then read some student examples of what a counter­claim should look like and ask why 
these look good. 
I will re­assign the counter claim to be due the next day. They will work off this lesson and my 

Mr. Bourgoin

9H English

Example of an actual counter‐claim paragraph
While it seems that Odysseus may seem arrogant and childish when escaping the Cyclops’s
cave, he is still a hero. After being trapped in the Polyphemus’s cave, Odysseus and his men
escape after blinding the cyclops and escaping to their ship. However, once the men acquire
a safe amount of distance away from the cyclops, Odysseus decides to start taunting the
cyclops. He says, “Cyclops, / if ever mortal man inquire / how you were put to shame and
blinded, tell him / Odysseus, raider of cities, took your eye: / Laertes’ son, whose home’s on
Ithica!” (l. 457 ‐ 460). Odysseus starts yelling at the cyclops about how he should spread
Odysseus’s name throughout the land as a hero. Odysseus taunts the cyclops and reminds him
how he blinded the monster, and after this, tells the monster where there destination is.
While this may seem to be very immature, arrogant, and lack any good judgement, Odysseus
is both proud of his men’s escape and is also emotionally fueled from losing his men to the
monster. Odysseus saved all his men and feels the right to let the world know about his
deeds. Beyond this, Odysseus has just lost his men to the monster, therefore, his taunting is
validated since this monster has been even more cruel than Odysseus’s words are. For all of
this, even though Odysseus may have not been the best example, his actions are validated,
and he is therefore a hero.

Example of a claim statement #3
While it seems that Odysseus may seem arrogant and childish when escaping the Cyclops’s
cave, he is still a hero. Odysseus and his men realize that they are trapped in Plyphemus’s
cave. In order to escape, Odysseus has to think quickly. When Polyphemus asks his name,
Odysseus says, “insert quote here where he says ‘Nohbdy’” (l. 201 ‐ 203). When Polyphemus
asks for Odysseus’s name, Odysseus says a name that sounds exactly like, “no body.” This is
very tactical and smart, for if and when Polyphemus gets trapped by Odysseus’s plans, he will
shout to the other cyclopes, “nobody has hurt me,” therefore making it that no one comes to
the rescue, since no threat is imminent. Odysseus’s wits make him a hero, and even though
he’s arrogant later on in this part of the story, he’s still a hero.

Mr. Bourgoin

9H English

What is similar between the two paragraphs?

Try to cite a line that makes the 2nd attempt for a counter‐claim just a 3rd regular claim

What does the line not accomplish when looking at the counter‐claim criteria?

Now take a look at your paragraph. Does your paragraph discuss a third claim from “The
Odyssey,” or do you try to turn an argument around like the counter‐claim criteria states?

Why or why not?