Teaching and Learning Strategies for the Thinking Classroom

By Alan Crawford; Wendy Saul et al. | Go to book overview

SEVENTH CORE LESSON:
UNDERSTANDING ARGUMENTS
This lesson shows you ways to help students follow an argument in a written text or a speech. The strategies presented here will enable students to analyze the argument, test it for soundness, and construct counter-arguments. For anticipation the lesson will use an M-Chart to focus on vocablary, in combination with a strategy that was introduced earlier in this guidebook: a Think/Pair/ Share. For the second phase, building knowledge, the lesson will use Text Coding for Arguments. In the third phase, consolidation, the lesson will subject the text to questions from the Critical Literacy tradition.The text for this lesson is called “Let's Hear It for Smokers!” but you can use the procedures in the lesson with any persuasive text that you have—any informative text. This lesson is done here with eighth graders, but you can use the procedures with several grades below or up through the secondary level.
HOW TO READ THIS LESSON
As you read the following demonstration lesson, please bear in mind that its purpose is to demonstrate teaching methods. Think about this lesson in two ways.
1. Imagine that you are a student who is participating in this lesson. What is your experience? What kind of thinking are you doing? What are you learning?
2. Then think yourself into the role of the teacher who is leading the lesson. What are you doing? Why are you doing it? How are you handling the three phases of the lesson— anticipation, building knowledge, and consolidation?

LESSON

Text Preview, Think/Pair/Share, and M-Chart The teacher begins the lesson by reading a short section from the text and calling attention to a key word in it. The talk goes like this:

Teacher: Today we are going to read a piece of writing about cigarette smoking. Let's begin with your own thoughts on the subject. Do you think cigarette smoking should be banned? Take a minute to think about that

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