It’s a snow day in Springfield: I salute the administration at the city level for its good sense. Snow days in New York were rare indeed. I recall with some bitterness, actually, making my way to and from the North Bronx to Lower Manhattan in some pretty messy, aggressive storms.
Several years ago, after reading Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein’s book They Say/I Say: The Moves that Matter in Academic Writing (New York: Norton, 2010), I got stuck on the idea of teaching argumentation at the high school level. Accordingly, I worked up this unit plan for teaching argumentation. Unfortunately, in this school in which I was serving there was no meaningful support for this kind of work. So this unit, by my standards, is still in its preliminary stages of development. Still, the basic outlines are there for teaching the material Mr. Graff and Ms. Birkenstein so ably present in their book. Indeed, I’ve already posted a lesson from this unit on Mark’s Text Terminal.
This week’s Text is the fourth lesson plan from this unit argumentation (you can find the other three by searching Mark’s Text Terminal for “argumentation”). Like the other three I’ve published, the work for this lesson is further practice on using rhetorical forms to frame arguments. I open this lesson with this context clues worksheet on the Latin phrase exemplia gratia, which, as you probably know, means “for example” and turns up most commonly in English prose as the abbreviation e.g. Finally, here is the worksheet for trying out various rhetorical figures in arguments.
If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.
Posted in English Language Arts, Independent Practice, Lesson Plans, The Weekly Text, Worksheets
Tagged argumentation, building conceptual knowledge, building vocabulary, context clues/focus on one word, procedural knowledge, questioning and inquiry, readings, research, short exercises
“To argue is to produce considerations designed to support a conclusion. An argument is either the process of doing this (in which sense an argument may be heated or protracted) or the product, i.e., the set of propositions adduced (the premises), the pattern of inference, and the conclusion reached. An argument may be deductively valid, in which case the conclusion follows from the premises, or it may be persuasive in other ways. Logic is the study of valid and invalid forms of argument.”
Excerpted from: Blackburn, Simon. The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008.