When you think of Mister Rogers, what words come to mind?
Kind? Yes.
Nurturing? Of course.
Master of debate? Wait…what?

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New(ish) teacher Kelli was wondering this week how to help her middle schoolers slow down and gather their thoughts before writing. Our email conversation led me to build this free set of tools that’ll hopefully help all English teachers. Continue reading

Last week’s launch of the NFL season provides a timely and compelling way to excite your students about the tools of argument, beginning with this recent Instagram gem Continue reading

After spending a few too many hours fine-tuning my new Common Core-aligned argument writing materials, my brain cells entered that slap-happy place where the dumbest things are the funniest. (Cue the “Your Argument is Invalid” meme parade.) When my freshmen submit the final drafts of their upcoming argument essays, I’m going to explain that there […]

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 […]

We all know that teens love to argue. Give ‘em the right topic and the room’s temperature will rise as the debate quickly gets heated. The trick, though, is to help them clarify their thinking, move beyond emotion, and spot the difference between logical and illogical reasoning. In the world of rhetoric, speakers and writers […]