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Wuetrich 7 t h Grade ELA

Throughout the unit, we will be reading the novel Hoot by Carl Hiaasen, while learning about how to formulate an argument through claims and warrants. At the beginning of the unit, we will start by a looking at mystery picture geared at introducing and scaffolding claims and warrants. We also will work with an extended definition of Integrity. We will continue to work with this extended definition throughout the novel as we trace the themes throughout and discuss the implications of the various themes and actions of the characters [Literacy RL.7.2]. As we read the novel, we will do several chalk talks, debates, class discussions [Common Core L.SL.7.1], and journal prompts centered on the themes of the book such as acting with integrity, bullying, and environmentalism. We will also look at samples of argumentative writing on related topics, analyzing the strength of the models as well as practicing shaping our own warrants and claims based on the evidence provided [ Common Core Literacy W.7.9b]. By the end of the unit, students will be asked to tie everything they learned throughout the semester to demonstrate their ability to answer both of the essential question in a final writing assignment. This assignment asks them to decide if the main characters acted with integrity throughout the novel and they will be expected to formulate their arguments with claims, evidence, and warrants in a way which demonstrates reasoning and critical thinking about the topic. [Common Core W.7.1]

How can we formulate an argument using claims and warrants?

What does it mean to act with integrity? Specifically, how can we stand up for our principles in a morally conscience way?

By the end of the unit, SWBAT Identify the pieces of an argumentative writing, including claims, evidence, and warrants Given a piece of evidence, construct relevant warrants and claims Formulate an argument (including claims, evidence, and warrants), as well as defend the argument when presented with a counter-claim Trace a theme throughout the novel and analyze its implications to the text. Produce a 5-paragraph argumentative essay in which they successfully argue a claim incorporating multiple pieces of evidence

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.1 Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence. o CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.1a Introduce claim(s), acknowledge alternate or opposing claims, and organize the reasons and evidence logically. o CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.1b Support claim(s) with logical reasoning and relevant evidence, using accurate, credible sources and demonstrating an understanding of the topic or text. o CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.1c Use words, phrases, and clauses to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among claim(s), reasons, and evidence. o CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.1d Establish and maintain a formal style. o CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.1e Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.5 With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on how well purpose and audience have been addressed. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.9b Apply grade 7 Reading standards to literary nonfiction (e.g. Trace and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is sound and the evidence is relevant and sufficient to support the claims). CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.2 Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text; provide an objective summary of the text. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.7.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 7 topics, texts, and issues, building on others ideas and expressing their own clearly

Throughout the unit, weve been discussing issues centered on integrity, and what it means to stand up for your principles and act with moral character. In the novel Hoot, Roy and his friends ultimately saved the breeding grounds of endangered owls from being destroyed by a corrupt corporation. In the process, however, they use some questionable tactics, including trespassing, truancy, releasing dangerous wildlife, sabotage, and getting a (possibly deserving) boy sent to juvenile detention for a crime that he didnt commit. In a 5-paragraph, argumentative essay, you are asked to answer the following question: Did Roy and his friends act with integrity? In other words, was the saving of the breeding ground worth the moral sacrifice involved? In your argumentative essay, make sure to draw upon specific events in the book, as well as our extended definitions of integrity. Avoid simply stating whether or not you agreed with Roy and his friends actions, but instead provide specific reasons as to why their actions are or are not defensible. For your assignment to be complete, it must have the following parts: Introduction: Provide a hook in the introduction followed by an argument that briefly explains your reasons and evidence for your claim and acknowledge the counter claim. You must maintain third person point of view. Three Body Paragraphs: Each paragraph will offer a claim that will support your main argument logically with relevant, specific events or quotes from the book and a warrant which explains the significance of your evidence in relation to your claim. The way your paragraphs go together should build cohesion within your paper and clearly identify the relationships among your claims to support your argument. You must maintain third person point of view. Conclusion: Provide a concluding section that restates your argument and clearly emphasizes your claims that support the argument. Finish your paper with something for your reader to think about. You must maintain third person point of view.

Due Dates: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Planning and Brainstorming your topic and claims. Filling out your organizer Using your organizer, draft your first copy of the paper. Revise and Edit Final Copy with Title Page and Bibliography Due Date: ______ Due Date: _______ Due Date: _______ Due Date: _______ Due Date: _______

For this argumentative writing assignment, my target age was a 7th grade English Language Arts class. Heavily based on the students and requirements in my current placement, the class size is about 20-25 students per hour, and most of the students are suburban and from a middle-class background. This six week long unit would be taught after Christmas break, perhaps from the beginning of February to the middle of March. Because of the placement of the unit, the students are already comfortable and experienced with the elements of the five-paragraph essay, including introduction, body, conclusion, transitions, structure, and writing in third person. Therefore, my focus for this assignment is not reteaching those elements, but instead teaching the students how to think critically about topics and formulating arguments based on claims and warrants. For this assignment, I chose to center the argumentative assignment around the novel Hoot, by Carl Hiaasen. Targeted at grades 5-8, it is full of relatable characters and relevant themes, such as homelessness, bullying, environmentalism, and standing up for what you believe in with integrity. This unit would fit in well in a course which was thematically organized around topics such as Integrity, personal activism, making choices, and the consequence of our actions. Since this unit is six weeks long, I believe the length of time is justified because of the other elements that the students can take from the novel as well and are expected to learn in Seventh Grade based on the Common Core, including vocabulary, language choice, characterization, ect. However, I also believe that this novel offers a lot in the way of argumentative writing as well, with many opportunities to practice formulating an argument and engaging in discussion. Ive centered my unit on two major essential questions, which are defined below. How can we formulate an argument using claims and warrants? What does it mean to act with integrity? Specifically, how can we stand up for our principles in a morally conscience way? The first question is intended to be the what we are learning, and the second question is the center that we are going to formulate it around. The themes in the novel are all relevant themes in which the students have personal experience and can relate to, and they all go back to the idea of acting with integrity and critically examining your beliefs and how you live them. I believe that this topic can challenge critical thinking skills in students. Also, working with extended definitions is a good way for students to practice working with claims and warrants. As Peter Smagorinsky says in Teaching English by Design , The following assignment can yet be produced in way that students find meaningful and that enable them to engage in significant social action (76). By using an extended definition on integrity, I hope to allow students to and not only determine what they believe, but be able to argue it in an effective, well-reasoned way. The second essential questions deals with formulating claims and warrants, which the students have had little to no formal experience with. Therefore, I would like to start out with introducing claims and warrants through a mystery picture activity, as outlined by Hillocks in the book Teaching Argument Writing . Hillocks says in his introduction to his section on mystery pictures that, Its clear to me from

observing student writing in various contexts that although adolescents may intend to write an argument, they often see no need to present evidence or show why it is relevant; they merely express (usually vague) opinions (15). Based on my observations in my placement, which I based this unit on, this is most certainly true of the seventh graders I work with. Therefore, starting with this scaffold, even though it is unrelated to Hoot, will allow students to begin with the evidence and use it to determine claims that they can turn into an argument, effectively starting from the ground up, instead of starting with their opinion on an argument and not knowing how to properly support it, which is often the case. . Another way to scaffold both working with claims and warrants as well as entering class discussions is the Yes/No/Okay but, strategy outlined in They Say, I Say, by Gerald Graff and Cynthia Birkenstein. As t they say in the book, There are a great many ways to respond to others ideas, but.we focus on these three because the readers come to any text needing to learn fairly quickly where the writer stands, and they do this by placing the writer on a mental map consisting of [these few familiar options (56). This strategy will benefit students in two main ways, first, it will allow students a scaffold to enter discussion if they are not sure what to say/how to respond. Secondly, it will also allow students a way to strengthen their arguments while considering their audience and stating their claims clearly. Although the mystery picture and extended definitions only span the first week of the unit, throughout this unit, we will be building on the skills that they have begun to acquire. Throughout the novel, we will continue to work with reasoning, critical thinking, and writing claims and warrants on topics brought on by the book. For example, according to the Dynamics of Writing Instruction , a good next step for students when working with claims and warrants is to be given data and have to build a claim and warrant around it a skill that we will practice with bullying statistics. As they put it, Students will produce stronger evidence for their claims and drive home their points more forcefully when they explain why the evidence supports their claims (169), and this process is the next good step in helping them formulate strong arguments. We will also look at argumentative essays based on the topic of environmental writing, which will allow students to dissect what makes an argumentative essay a quality piece of writing, one of Burkes 11 elements effective writing instruction (76). Lastly, all of this discussion, journaling, debate, and other practice will allow students to formulate their reasoning for the final assignment they are asked to do for the class. All of the reasoning about the integrity of the protagonists actions will already be done in the class in the weeks leading up to the assignment, and the students can focus on writing their essays in a way that clearly builds and outlines their argument, while still falling within the Common Core State Standards for what the students should know for college and career readiness, and I feel that this unit will help prepare students for. Hoot Sample argumentative essays/articles about topics related to theme, including bullying and environmentalism. Mystery Pictures

Burke, Jim. The English Teacher's Companion. Fourth ed. Portsmouth: Heinemann, 2013. Print. Graff, Gerald, and Cathy Birkenstein. They Say, I Say. Second ed. New York: W. W.Norton & Company, 2010. Print. Hillocks, George. Teaching Argument Writing. Portsmouth: Heinemann, 2011. Print. Smagorinsky, Peter. Teaching English by Design. Portsmouth: Heinemann, 2010. Print. Smagorinsky, Peter, Larry R. Johannessen, Elizabeth A. Kahn, and Thomas M. McCann. The Dynamics of Writing Instruction. Portsmouth: Heinemann, 2010. Print.