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SCOPE AND SEQUENCE (Week Three): Teaching Argumentation


Week Three: Some of you might have asked your students to come to class today having watched a sports event on the weekend and bringing examples of play-by-play CDs and color commentator CMs. If so, use the first half of the class having them write samples in a carousel fashion on paper attached to the walls of the classroom (with music, of course) and then reviewing the accuracy of their findings.

Before we begin, you'll notice that I have not divided Week Three into Days. Teachers have different schedules and interruptions. The list below can be done in five days. I've bolded nice starting points. Some of you might complete it in less time; some of you might need more time. The key is to "TAKE YOUR TIME."

Solicit questions. Don’t let them sit in those desks for more than 15-20 minutes without having them get up and move – Suggestion:– music and brain breaks!

  1. Give the students two handouts: the color-coded paragraph you presented last week (p. 44) and a blank “Gathering CDs” graphic organizer. If you cannot copy the color-coded paragraph in color, then copy it in black-and-white; but then have your students highlight (blue, pink, green) or underline (blue, red, green) the document as a review.
  2. Gathering CDs – 
  1. Review your PowerPoint® slide on CDs; 
  2. Quiz students on the four places where CDs can be found; 
  3. Do some kind of fun activity about “pointing” and then email me that activity to add to the newsletter (; 
  4. Have the students list the CDs from the model; 
  5. Review your rules about using evidence from the internet (if you want to know my rules, email me a question (, and I’ll feature it on Writing with Dr. D’); 
  6. Have the students circle or label which CD or CDs were chosen (depending on which mode and ratio you are using), and 
  7. Explain the importance of the decision-making process when choosing which CD(s) are the best to use (e.g., supports the TS; generates CM[s], resonates with audience [ethos]).
  • Give the students p. 36 and explain Thesis. Note: For ELA teachers, explain how each type of Thesis Statement has a different purpose (complex sentence vs. compound sentence vs. three-pronged framed thesis). 
  • Give the students the model (p. 37). Explain how writers need to write the thesis sentence for both sides of the argument and talk through those thesis sentences.
  • Show them how the reasons on each side of the argument are blue and will become topic sentences. Notice how the numbers are in red; they represent the numbering of the CDs and assigning which CDs would go well with the different reasons. Explain that the selection of the topic sentences should be based on the CDs; if you have two or three CDs that go with a TS, then that TS is a good one to use because ample evidence (CDs) exist to support that reason (TS). Select one Reason and the CDs. This information will go to the Tchart.
  • Give the students a blank T-chart (Use the one without the CA/CCA); we’re working with a model first. 
  • To avoid confusion with color-coding and before your write anything or show the model, place a blank Tchart on your doc camera, and with you as their guide, have the students circle TS in blue; CD column heading in red; and CM column heading in green.
  • Go through the steps on p. 39. Note: As they copy the simple model TS, remind them that it is a “working TS” or a “throw-away TS.” It focuses the Tchart, but it’s not in its final state.
  • Explain that by completing the Tchart in the process, they have completed their first drafts. 
  • Give the students two handouts: a blank “Shaping Sheet” and my “Transitions” handout. Tell them, “We’re going to ‘Move and Improve’ (from trainer Lauren Roedy-Vaughn).”
  • Have them move (don’t say “Copy”) the information from the Tchart to the “Shaping Sheet,” revising the sentences as they move them (e.g., include more CMs from what they did not use – TS, CM, CS). Here, you may go beyond the model and let them do some revising on their own, adding transitions between sentences where necessary. Create complete sentences for the CDs.
  • For ELA teachers, give the students three rules for editing and revision; for non-ELA teachers, focus on the TS to make sure it accomplishes what the prompt asks; and then look at the CDs and explain that determining the content of these cells is critical in presenting explanation/information.
  • Completing the “Shaping Sheet” results in their second drafts!
  • Move and Improve to the final draft (write or type in black-and-white or color), using the paragraph form (if writing) in your graphic organizers.

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Dr. D'

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