Why use modeling expectations strategy?
- Students learn the structure of a well-organized essay.
- Students learn how to develop a logical argument using the components of an argumentative essay.
- Students learn how to organize their essay.
Materials (i.e. technology access requirements, room configuration, additional resources)
- Whiteboard, Smartboard, or blank poster paper
- Model essay
- Poster of essay outline
- Writing partner
- Graphic organizers for modifications, if needed
Student Background Knowledge (How familiar are students with CERCA? What prior knowledge, skills or experience should students have?)
- Students should have basic familiarity with how ThinkCERCA works.
- Students should understand the following vocabulary terms: claim, evidence, reasoning, argument, counterargument, transition words.
- Students should have an understanding of the basic organization of an essay: introduction, body, and conclusion
1. Students read and analyze a model essay with their writing partner (A grade
level Thinkcerca text, an op-ed piece from a local paper, or a past student
paper can be used as a model.) [15 minutes]
Students consider the following as they read:
- Does the writer make a strong argument? How?
- Is the argument logical?
- Does the evidence and reasoning prove the claim?
- Is the essay well organized?
- How does the writer use transition words?
- What did the writer do well? What could the writer have done differently?
- Teacher guides as needed.
2. Students discuss whether the writer makes a strong argument using the
guiding questions in Step 1 with small groups. Teacher monitors and guides
students as they discuss. [10 minutes]
3. Students share their analysis with the whole class. As students share, the
teacher writes their ideas on the SmartBoard or poster paper. [5-10 minutes]
Teacher guides discussion to what makes a strong argument:
- Well-organized (introduction, body, conclusion)
- Supports and proves the claim through evidence and reasoning
- Logical (makes sense)
- Uses effective transition words.
4. Teacher shares a poster of essay outline. Teacher encourages students to
refer to the outline when writing to ensure their argument is well-organized and
logical. [5 minutes]
5. Optional: Have students complete an exit slip to assess their understanding. -[5 minutes] Suggestion:
- What is one thing you learned about making a strong argument?
- What is one question you still have?
6. Two options [15 minutes]:
- If students are already working on an essay, have them complete a self assessment using the rubric provided by ThinkCERCA
- If students have not started their essays, have them create an outline of their essay before writing.
Outcomes (What do students learn by utilizing this strategy?)
- Identify a strong argument.
- Authentic practice in speaking and listening skills.
- Practice in analysis and self-reflection.
Tips & Tricks
- Give a handout of the outline for students to keep.
- Group writing partners homogeneously.
- Options for small groups - group students homogeneously or heterogeneously.
- Provide students with a graphic organizer when analyzing the model essay.
- Have students complete an outline graphic organizer before writing the essay.