Overview of LessonCreated in collaboration with the Philadelphia Writing Project and the National Writing Project, this lesson plan uses the Declaration of Independence as an example of a powerful written argument, and is based on this inquiry question: How can I harness the power of an argument to change the world?
Designed for middle school students, the lesson can be used in the classroom for a unit on argument writing. The lesson includes a guide for teachers as well as a packet for students. Additional resources include background information about the Declaration of Independence and the American Revolution, and photos and multimedia.
Learning Targets#1 Having an argument vs. making an argument
Students will be able to articulate the difference between making an argument and having an argument in order to prepare for writing an argumentative essay.
#2 Reasons and support
Students will identify areas of improvement in their own school in order to make an argument for change.
#3 The Declaration of Independence as an argument
Students will be able to match quotes from the Declaration of Independence to the parts of an argument in order to prove that the document is an argument for independence.
#4 Claim and reasons
Students will be able to develop claims in order to draft an argumentative essay.
Students will be able to explore a variety of sources to identify evidence for their claim in order to prepare for writing an argumentative essay.
Students will be able to locate counterclaims for their arguments in order to prepare to draft their argumentative essay.
Students will be able to draft an argumentative essay that includes all the parts of an argument in order to demonstrate their understanding of argumentative writing.
Last updated: December 13, 2017