Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Wednesday 11/30:


Today we will be using a Symbaloo to find articles with specific structures in it.  Please click HERE to access the Symbaloo and begin working.  If you need help, refer back to our blog for yesterday's lesson on the difference between each structure.

At the end of the lesson, please complete THIS form with your partner.  Include both of your names on it.

Nonfiction Text Structure

The structure of text is how text is "built."

Think about a Lego tower you are building. All of the decisions you make go into the structure of your building. You might decide:
  • How big will the base be, to hold up the rest of the building?
  • How many floors will you have?
  • What colors will you use for each floor?
  • What decorations will you put on the building?
  • Will there be stairs or an elevator?
  • Are there enough doors and windows? Emergency exits?
If you think about it this way, when authors write text, they make these types of decisions too. 
  • The "base" might be the introduction. How much background knowledge does your reader have or do you need to put more information at the start so your reader can follow along?
  • The "floors" might be sections. How many sections or paragraphs will you have? Will you have subheadings for different sections? 
  • The "colors" might be what you put in the sections. What is your strongest starter? Do you want to entertain or inform? What types of words will you be using?
  • The decorations may be "extras" you add (quotes, maps, pictures, etc.) 
  • When you're thinking about stairs vs. elevators, or doors and windows, think of the text's organization. Does the design of the text make sense? Can a reader follow it from beginning to end without a problem?

Below is the power point we used to discuss this idea in class on Tuesday, and the examples we  used. You MUST become familiar with the different types of text structures before you can move on to the application of this concept.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Tracing and Evaluating Claims

For the past week we have been working to learn the skill of tracing and evaluating claims in an argument. We are working toward proficiency of this standard:

RI6.8 Trace and evaluate an argument and specific claims in a text, distinguishing claims that are supported by reasons and evidence from claims that are not.

The link to the rubric is here.

Students will be assessed on this skill on Thursday, November 17.

I've scanned and attached all of the resources we have used in class to model and practice with. If students need extra practice at home, please feel free to use the resources linked here. I have also linked some articles that are not annotated so that they may practice using these.

11/8/17: Introduction to Arguments/Parts of Arguments Notes (1) (2) (3)
11/8/17: Model tracing and evaluating claims: Hip-Hop Argument
11/9-10/17: Student practice tracing and evaluating claims: Wasting Fish Argument
11/14/17: Credible evidence notes and practice: Wasting Fish Argument (credible evidence notes)
11/15/17: Student practice tracing and evaluating: Should Dogs Eat Grass
11/16/17: Teacher model proficient constructed response: Should Dogs Eat Grass

Supplemental example: Longer School Day

Non-annotated argumentative articles for practice:
To Buy Or To Lease A Car
Many Believe GMOs Unsafe
The Smart Snacking Choice

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

What is Worth Fighting For?

The overarching concept of our new unit is What is Worth Fighting For. The unit is about the Power of Argument. Please check out the What Are We Studying tab for specifics on what standards we will be assessing in this unit.

Today, students explored the essential questions and thought about what is worth fighting for to them. This brainstorm will lead to an eventual argumentative paper in which they defend their ideas about what is worth fighting for.

Period 1:

Period 2:

Period 3:
Period 4:

Tuesday, November 1, 2016


Analysis is the single most important skill a student needs to be successful in Language Arts. Therefore, we revisit this skill every few months! It's so important it even has it's own tab on this website! Have you checked it out?

Some of the "a-has" we had in Language Arts around the discussion of analysis are:

  • On assessments, we cannot just re-write what is in the text.
  • Language Arts is different than science and math -- there is no one right answer.
  • The student who can explain their thinking and connect it to the text is the student who is proficient
  • Almost every assessment prompt will have the word ANALYZE in it.

We practiced seeing the difference between summarizing and analyzing using quotes. 

Teacher example:

Student work: