Writing Lessons ask students to use close reading strategies and build formal arguments around a given text. The term “Writing Lesson” replaced the term “Applied Reading & Writing lesson” in July 2018.
ThinkCERCA’s Writing Lessons are differentiated for grades 3-12, with some lessons available at the Higher Education level. Writing Lessons are differentiated within a Writing Module, allowing teachers to select a Writing Module by content area or theme and assign individual Writing Lessons by student reading level. While each Writing Lesson contains a unique writing prompt, all Writing Lessons within a Writing Module center around the same debatable Class Discussion Question.
Where to Find Writing Lessons
To access Writing Lessons, navigate to the Curriculum page. Select a Content Area or Theme, and then select a Writing Module. Upon selecting a Writing Module, you will see a differentiated Writing Lesson. By default, the appropriate lesson for your class’s grade is shown. Click “Less Challenging” or “More Challenging” to toggle through Writing Lessons within the Writing Module.
Writing Lessons can also be found via keyword search.
How to Assign Writing Lessons
Writing Lessons can be assigned by class, reading levels, or individual students. Learn more here.
The Writing Lesson Process for Students
When students work on a Writing Lesson, they go through a multi-step process to build their formal argument.
- Connect: Each student reads a topic overview that models the conceptual vocabulary they will need to understand the context of the argument at hand. Students then make a personal connection to the topic, which can later be used in their formal argument as an introduction or detailed anecdote.
- Read: Students read materials (with or without audio support) based on levels set in your Class Roster. Then, students complete a five-question comprehension check.
- Engage with Text: Students highlight and annotate to gather evidence from the text. Highlighted text and annotations are then saved so that students may refer to this evidence while building a formal argument.
- Summarize: Students can use the provided sentence stems to summarize their findings from the text.
- Build a Draft: Students use a graphic organizer to create a written draft with the CERCA framework. Students' CERCAs are then stored in the argument builder, which they can access in the final writing step.
Discuss: Between steps five and six of the Writing Lesson, you can use the Whole Class Discussion Question to bring students of all levels together around a common question. This will help students develop their arguments and consider additional perspectives.
- Write Essay: Students write their formal piece of writing in response to the writing prompt. Students can click the "Need Help Getting Started" for sentence starters and other useful tips.