Common Core is in love with argumentation. Thumb through the CCSS and you’ll see that wily little Argument knocked out Informative and Narrative to grab the writing top spot.
Really, though, a case can be made that all writing is argumentative. Writers write because they want to prove that they’re right, right? Informative writing tries to convince us that we really do need all of those screws to build the bookcase. And narrative can be viewed through an argumentative lens if we consider the writer is trying to convince us that his experience is worthy of our time, attention, and $17.99. (Heck, this blog is even written as an argument that I sometimes know what I’m talking about. How am I doing?)
Still, our administrators don’t want semantics or long, philosophical debates about the nature of the written word. They want us to teach argumentative writing. Specifically, they want claim, reasons, evidence, and counterclaim.
It can be overwhelming for an English major who has spent an academic career crafting literary analysis to head into the Land of Argument. (FYI – the CCSS buried lit. analysis at the very bottom of the writing skills list. We can be sure our kids won’t be asked to write about the significance of Holden Caulfield’s red hunting cap on any upcoming state test, but you know my juniors will still be doing that very thing this May.)
I can help with those important argument skills. You’ll find a bundle of materials located here that can get your kids (and maybe even you, too) excited about Argumentative Writing. In the download, you’ll find interactive multimedia lessons, models of high-quality essays, a bunch of handouts, and compelling topics that appeal to our students.
Hope these materials save you some prep time and sharpen your students’ skills.
Teach on, everyone!