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This site has a list of 200 prompts for argumentative writing.We chose prompts for 7-12 that connected to the units, and then created the assessment based on the EAP style of writing, this year being incorporated into the Smarter Balance Assessment students will take in 11th grade.
The second thing we did was design units of study using Understanding by Design.
Teachers have the freedom to use our units, or to create their own as long as the unit outcomes and learning experiences match the level of rigor and engagement for students.
My next post will focus on strategies you can use with your teachers and students once you have a starting point.
Writing a persuasive essay is like being a lawyer arguing a case before a jury.
Next, we created purposeful argumentative essay prompts as a diagnostic tool for teachers.
We used The New York Times Learning Network (organized by category) to find the prompts we thought best matched the EUs and EQs for the units.
Persuasive writing is a fixture of modern life—found in advertising, newspaper editorials, blogs, and political speeches.
Often persuasive writing assignments and test prompts concern contemporary issues, for example: “The school board is debating on whether or not to ban cell phone use in school.
I look back and I am a bit embarrassed by the isolated questions, the thoughtlessness of the topics, and the lack of rigor in the process. In the Riverside Unified School District in California we have been working very hard as a 7-12 English Language Arts team to transition to more relevant work (notice I do not say Common Core, though that is a big portion of what we do — regardless of what we call it, what we really want is to provide opportunities for students to read, write, listen, speak, and research effectively, and with confidence).
Beginning in July, I started working with two amazing colleagues, Lorrie Cobain-Danelski and Lisa Kells, on this transition.