Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Argument Writing in 4th Grade

Now, I know that argument writing isn't part of the 4th grade writing standards-but opinion and persuasive writing is.

I thought it would be a good idea to be introduced to stating opposing opinions in their writing-so they'll be super awesome when the time does come for them to write arguments :)
I used a few different strategies from Making Thinking Visible to do this.

I first started out by writing different (and I thought thought-provoking) questions on half pieces of chart paper.

I did read the questions aloud before placing them around the room-and I loved hearing their first reactions. Let's see if we can't change that :)

Then I had the kids work in pairs to write a reason for, and against each question.

After they had done their first one, I had them move onto the others. They could also extend upon a previous sticky on the chart.

*Side note-on the day we did this it was Orange Day in honor of my student (who is doing a little better but still not back on school)*

Then, a few days later (and this took multiple days), we went through each questions, and ranked the reasons from weakest to strongest.

We put the strongest reasons on the outsides and the weakest ones in the middle.

They took this one in a different direction than I was anticipating-but we still had some great convos about it!

The discussions they had while placing each reason was amazing! They would start to talk amongst themselves and build upon what others' had said. There were times that I just sat back and smiled. :)

Then, I took one of the posters (Should students wear school uniforms), and started showing them how to write an essay.
I laid out the other questions, and had the students start writing theirs.
I did have them use the reasons on the charts-that's the reason we did it and talked about it-but I did allow them to add in their own if they wanted to.

I also showed them how to state and opposing opinion and rebut it, and highlighted the different 'power words' they could use.

They've been working hard on their drafts-and this is one we are going to type (hopefully! The labs may be busy with more testing).

So even though argument writing isn't a 4th grade standard, I think that we have had a nice introduction to it-and maybe they've learned to think about other's viewpoints and opinion. :)

Smiles and Sunshine,

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