Claim Counterclaim

Recently our school is charged with teaching our students how to develop claims and counterclaims.

Our mission is to teach our students how to interpret text and cite textual evidence for each claim and counterclaim they make.  Students are encouraged to use templates to formulate their thinking and improve their note taking skills.   I recommend two books which I found very helpful to develop critical thinking and engaging students while attacking various texts.

Texts and Lessons
Texts and Lessons

One excellent book is  Texts and Lessons for Content-Area Reading, With More Than 75 Articles from The New York Times, Rolling Stone, The Washington Post, Car and Driver, Chicago Tribune, and Many Others by: Harvey “Smokey” Daniels, and  Nancy Steineke,

It contains some great ideas for teaching students how to react to a text, including shoulder to shoulder writing where students partner with one another and write one side of an issue, then sit across from each other and argue the points they listed in the writing exercise.

Another great book I highly recommend is Teaching With Text Sets by Mary Ann Cappiello, published by Shell Education, ISBN 978-1-4258-0688-0. It has sample units with student work sheets and model units. This book focuses on note taking and unit planning ideas.

Looking for student templates?  I highly recommend the New York State Information Fluency Curriculum, published by the New York City School Librarian System.

If you are looking for lessons and curriculum plans, Engage NY now has complete modules for English Language Arts, grades K-12 online.  Full modules can be downloaded here:  The ninth grade ELA curriculum is best aligned with our goads of teaching point counterpoint articles.


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