By Thomas DeVere Wolsey
This week on Literacy Beat, I gathered some resources for teaching students to create and critique effective arguments. This list will appear in Literacy in the Disciplines: A Field Guide by Thomas DeVere Wolsey and Diane Lapp to be published by Guilford Press in summer 2016.
In the first section, you will find several resources that are useful across disciplines. The second section includes argumentation resources for specific disciplines, such as science, social studies, and mathematics. Have you found useful resources for working with argumentation in your classroom? Please share them in the comments section, below, or send me an email.
- The Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University has a wealth of resources for writers in schools and universities. Though this one on argumentative essays is intended for use by university students, it is accessible for high school students, as well. https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/685/05/
- The WebEnglishTeacher has compiled a number of resources for teachers to use as they and their students work with opinions and arguments including suggested prompts from the New York Times. http://www.webenglishteacher.com/argument.html
- The Utah Education Network (UEN) offers many resources for teachers and students, as well. The resources include handouts, explanatory material (such as a lesson on the differences between argumentation, persuasion, and propaganda from ReadWriteThink), and graphic organizers. There are so many resources for teachers here, that you will end up spending quite a bit of time on the site. Be sure to fill your coffee cup before you start browsing. http://www.uen.org/core/languagearts/writing/argumentative.shtml
- Writing samples of argument and opinion writing for various grade levels are available in Appendix C of the Common Core State Standards http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/ (scroll down the right side to find the link for Appendix C) and at Achieve The Core http://achievethecore.org/page/507/in-common-effective-writing-for-all-students
- Logical Fallacies presented as visual memes with football referees calling out the fallacy. http://imgur.com/a/QDbyt/all
- Science: Lessons and resources for argumentation in science classes are excerpted here from The Science Teacher: http://www.indiana.edu/~ensiweb/Sci.Argumentation.html
- Social Studies: This game from iCivics.org allows students to argue real U.S. Supreme Court Cases. https://www.icivics.org/games/argument-wars
- Social Studies: This site offers some tips for writing in history using evidence with links to guides for high school and middle school teachers along with guides for teaching students to annotate documents and read them closely. http://teachinghistory.org/issues-and-research/research-brief/24487
- Mathematics: Making the Case: Mathematical Argumentation is a video from WGBH Education that explores arguments in math. https://youtu.be/pVdH91NkEzM
From the Literacy Beat archives: See how we used the Visual Thesaurus in the Vocabulary Self-Collection Strategy Plus technique then visit their site. Just click the image below.