Teaching the Common Core: Writing Arguments
The recently introduced Common Core State Standards (CCSS) offer K-12 history teachers an opportunity to engage their students in sustained reading and analysis of primary and secondary sources, writing historical arguments supported by textual evidence, and conducting in-depth historical inquiry into significant issues. The new standards focus on students’ thinking rather than the amount of specific historical content they can memorize. Despite these advantages, transition to teaching Common Core skills – adapting the curriculum pacing, finding or developing new instructional materials, and directly teaching analysis and writing skills – can be daunting. In this workshop/practicum, California History-Social Science Project (CHSSP) presenters will demonstrate how to teach students argumentative writing at the 5th, 8th and 11th grade levels. The workshop will begin with an explanation of the CCSS writing standards that specifies the essential elements of an argumentative essay, including claim(s), counterclaims, reasons and evidence. During the remainder of the workshop, the audience will engage in selected activities from three lessons with argumentative writing assignments. The audience will receive copies of all three lessons.