Grade 8 ELA Module 2A, Unit 2, Lesson 13

Students working on writing assignments in class.

In this lesson, students write the draft of their essay about Atticus’s decision to defend Tom Robinson. In the previous four lessons, students have shaped their arguments, planned their essays, and critiqued one another’s work. At this point, students need time to craft their essay.
• This lesson is written assuming students will use computers to draft the essays in order to make later revisions easier.
• Consider the setup of your classroom if you are using laptops; since students can distract themselves on computers, think about positioning the desks so that it is easy to scan the screens throughout the lesson.
• If your students are not familiar with expectations about computer use in the classroom, explain them at the beginning of work time.
• Be sure to think about how students will submit their drafts at the end of class: printing, saving to a server, emailing, etc.
• If using computers is not possible in your classroom, consider giving students more time to handwrite their essays.
• Since students will produce this essay draft independently, it is used as an assessment for “Claim and Reasons” and “Command of Evidence” on the argument rubric. Return the essay drafts with feedback in Lesson 16. Be sure to give feedback on the “Coherence, Style, and Organization” row and the “Command of Conventions” row of the rubric so that students can make those revisions in Lesson 16.
• A sample student argument essay is included for teacher reference in the supporting materials of this lesson. While it is not needed during the lesson itself, it may be useful to have a sample student response for assessment purposes.
• See teaching note at the end of this lesson regarding the possibility of launching independent reading at this point in Module 2, in order to have more time to read and give feedback on students’ draft essays.

Downloadable Resources

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Common Core Learning Standards

CCLS State Standard
W.8.1 Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.
W.8.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are...
W.8.9 Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

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