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Class Plan -- Unit Three, Day 36
Goals Assignment for Day 37

Reading - Read over Arguing Essay Assignment Sheet and write down any questions you have for next class.

Writing - Complete Argumentative Brief, to be turned in next class; Web Forum On the forum, post a message in which you request help with any "gaps" you are currently finding in your research and/or argument. Ask for any advice your classmates can offer in terms of resources for research or suggestions for the argument itself.


Formulating Appropriate, Convincing Reasons - [THE FOLLOWING ACTIVITY IS DESIGNED TO TEACH STUDENTS THAT WHEN THEY COME UP WITH REASONS TO SUPPORT THEIR CLAIM, THEY NEED TO CHOOSE ONES THAT ARE NOT ONLY SEEM CONVINCING TO THEMSELVES, BUT THAT ARE ALSO LIKELY TO BE CONVINCING TO THEIR AUDIENCE. IN OTHER WORDS, IT REINFORCES THE IMPORTANCE OF AUDIENCE AWARENESS IN THE CONSTRUCTION OF AN ARGUMENT.] Explain to your students that today they are going to practice coming up with appropriate, convincing reasons. Then write a claim like the following on the board: "Meat eaters of the world, stop eating meat!" Ask students to come up with as many reasons as they can to support this claim [You might have to remind some of them that this is all for the sake of the activity, and that they don't have to SUPPORT the claim personally], then write this list on one far end of the board. Secondly, have your students come up with a list of possible audiences that could be addressed with the claim. (Who needs to hear this claim? Who disagrees with it or is neutral on the issue and needs to be convinced?) Write this second list on the other far end of the board. Then break students up into groups, as many groups as you have audiences on the board. [You probably don't want more than 6 groups, so you might eliminate some of your possible audiences if there are too many of them listed, only choosing those that seem most realistic.] Then assign each group to role play a different audience, give each group an OH transparency and pen, and put the following instructions up on the OH:

  1. At the top of your overhead transparency, write the word UNCONVINCING, and list all of the reasons on the board which would not even begin to convince you that eating meat is a bad thing. (Remember that you are supposed to role play the audience you've been assigned.)
  2. Next, list the reasons on the board that might possibly work to convince you under the word CONVINCING. Add to this list any other reasons you can think of (ones that are not on the board) that would be particularly effective in convincing you of the evils of flesh consumption.
  3. Finally, re-write the claim itself--"Meat eaters of the world, stop eating meat!"--if it is not likely to convince you. Turn it into a claim that you think you could be convinced of.


Group Reports and Discussion - Have each group put its OH transparency on the projector in turn, explaining which reasons they found convincing (and why), which unconvincing (and why), and what (if any) new claim they wrote. End this discussion by reiterating for the students the importance of considering their intended audience when coming up with reasons and revising their claim. Just as "not every source is a good source" (as we discussed in the class on source evaluation), not every reason we think of as convincing will be equally convincing to our audience. After all, they're on the other side of this issue. Students need to try to anticipate what will convince their audience when they are coming up with reasons.

Explain Assignment Sheet for Argumentative - Brief Reserve at least 15 minutes at the end of class to go over the assignment sheet and sample argumentative briefs, to answer student questions, to hand out Arguing Essay Assignment Sheet (see Appendix) to be discussed next class, and to explain the assignment for next class.