Following up from my last post, another strategy to help eradicate a string of quotes in student writing is to evaluate/ rank evidence. The idea is that not every piece of evidence needs to be presented within the argument, but rather the piece of evidence that packs the most punch. So in this small group you are working with students to evaluate the evidence they included in their writing and helping them rank it from strongest to weakest. This allows students to present the evidence that best matches their point.
As always, this small groups began with a teaching point:
Then I showed a piece of my writing for demonstration:
Next, using the chart that goes along with our unit of study (from The Reading and Writing Project’s 7th grade Argument Unit- The Art of Argument), I worked with students to rank each piece of evidence. To add a kinesthetic touch, I have students sort text evidence strips– putting the piece of evidence that works best at the top (closest to the reason) and the weakest at the bottom.
The beauty of this teaching tool is that there is no right answer. I let the students come to whatever conclusion they decide on as long they have sound reasoning that they can explain. Too often kids are hung up on figuring out what “our” right answer is and they don’t have the confidence to productively struggle through the process. It is important that we give them open-ended opportunities to build those muscles.
Finally, students try this work on their piece.
Give it a try. Let me know how it goes! 🙂
I hope that you all have a happy and safe holiday. I’ll be back with more strategies after the New Year!
Let’s keep the conversation going-