This is the third blog post in the “How do I teach______ series?”
In this blog post you will walk away with clear steps for how to launch and teach your next argumentative text unit.
Teaching students how to read or approach a genre or text is important and tantamount to teaching students how to plan for a road trip to a particular location, using a specific route. In this episode we will talk about the what, the why and the how of teaching students how to navigate argumentative text.
What is Argumentative Text?
Let’s talk about the what. Argumentative text refers to a type of persuasive text that presents one viewpoint and includes: claim, evidence, facts and opinions. Now that we’ve talked about the what, let’s talk about why we teach students how to read or approach argumentative text.
Why Teach Argumentative Text?
We live in a time when most people take to google to do their research about a topic. It is important to equip students with knowledge of the genre and tools for how to read it so that they can decide what they think for themselves. We’ve talked about what argumentative text is, and why we should teach students how to read argumentative text. Now we are going to talk about how to teach an argumentative text reading unit in your classroom.
How Do I Teach Argumentative Text?
Let’s start by taking an airplane view of how to teach students how to navigate argumentative text, then we’ll take a closer look at each teaching point.
- Teach students the elements of the genre.
- Teach students how to identify bias
- Teach students how to decide if the text they read will inform or change their opinion.
4.Teach students how to respond to what they have read
Teach students the elements of the genre
- Strong stance on topic
To do this Immerse students in argumentative text. I would highly recommend attaining at least two texts about a common topic from opposing viewpoints. This will allow your students to get a big picture view of the genre as well as serve the purpose for our unit of study and culmination activity of having students take a stance on the topic.
Some book/text suggestions for this genre are:
Should There Be Zoos
Should There Be Pets
Animals Should Not Wear Clothing
One Word From Sofia
Choose two or three of the above mentioned texts for immersion and then use these same texts to teach from during the rest of your Argumentative text unit.
Teach students how to identify bias
- Who is writing the article?
- Are there any hyperboles?
- Would the writer stand to gain anything from the reader adopting their stance?
- Help students identify the author’s purpose for writing the text.
To do this read the text as well as who wrote it. Help students comb through and identify hyperbolized language and think about how this language supports their overall purpose for writing the text.
Teach students how to decide if the text they read will inform or change their opinion.
- Do I or did I have an opinion about this topic before I read this text?
- What did I learn from reading this text that I didn’t know before?
- Did reading this text change my thinking about the topic?
To do this make sure that students understand the difference between facts and opinions. Make sure that students have time to think about what their own opinion is on the topic if they have one. Show students how to identify what they learned from the text they read. Finally have students ask themselves if what they read added to their learning or if it changed their thinking in any way.
Teach students how to respond to what they have learned.
- Model your thinking
- Provide students with the steps you took to get there
- Give them an opportunity to practice
- Provide students with stems to communicate their thinking orally and in writing
So to recap we teach argumentative text by….
1.Teaching students the elements of the genre.
2.Teaching students how to identify bias
3.Teaching students how to decide if the text they read will inform or change their opinion.
4.Teaching students how to respond to what they have read
One tool you can use to help you execute this model is my argumentative text reading response choice boards. These choice board units include a roll out plan, a teacher rubric, a student checklist and a reading log. We talked about the what, the why and the how of teaching students how to read argumentative text. Teaching the argumentative text unit in this way will give students the opportunity to learn how to analyze the elements of argumentative text as well as well respond to their reading both orally and in writing.
Teaching students how to read and analyze argumentative text will allow students to learn how to discern whether what they read will add to their knowledge base or change their thinking. In this day and age it is an important life skill.
Next steps: Use the steps you learned in this episode to teach students how to navigate argumentative text. If you need one-on-one coaching support with this endeavor or want me to talk to your school about how to teach their students to love reading, let’s set up a discovery call. If you want to work alongside other educators in a group coaching container then get on the waitlist for my mini lesson revamp bootcamp. Getting on the waitlist will ensure that you are the first to know when the group coaching program opens for enrollment.
Prefer to Listen? Listen to the podcast episode below: