Lesson Plan

Literary Argument Writing: Defining Your Topic

This lesson will help your young writers develop a claim, or thesis, and construct an argument around it. You may have students complete the essay by continuing the process with the lesson Literary Argument Writing: Drafting Your Essay.
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Learning Objectives

Students will be able to construct an argument around a claim about a piece of literature that they have read.

Introduction

(5 minutes)
Literary Argument Writing: Selecting Your TopicLiterary Argument Writing: Supporting Your Claim
  • Tell students that you are going to read aloud a short story by Langston Hughes called Thank You, Ma’am. Explain that while you are reading you want them to listen carefully and try to draw a conclusion (make a judgement) about one of the two main characters. Tell them you will discuss their conclusions after the story. You may need to provide a sentence starter to help them understand what a conclusion is, such as “I think that (character) is (adjective)," or "I think that (character) did (action) because (reason)."
  • Read Thank You Ma’am by Langston Hughes to the class.