After five weeks of preparation, the 8th graders are gearing up to present their argumentative speeches starting next Monday, March 11th! I am very excited to see all of the work students have completed come together in their speeches!
The purpose of this unit is to introduce students to the art of argumentative writing and speaking. This was accomplished by first introducing them to basic terms such as claim, counterpoint, rebuttal, support, and refute. Knowing these terms allowed students to establish relationships between claims, reasons, and evidence. It also helped students analyze an author’s use of argument in text to which they were exposed throughout their research time.
One aspect of this unit that makes me proud is that it was completely inquiry based. In other words, students self-selected contemporary and controversial topics. Students felt completed to take a stand on one side of the issue, which became their argument. Students used their own research questions to drive the time they spent in the IMC, and they refined their claims as their research progressed.
In the end, it is not the “what” of the speech that matters. Students will not be judged on their side of the argument. What is most important is the “how” of the speech such as, “How are students supporting their side of the argument?” “How did they determine what was a credible source or not?” and “How are they delivering their information?”
Good luck to all the 8th graders as they prepare their speeches for next week!