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Problem Based Enhanced Language Learning

iteachELLs, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University

Teacher: Ms. Gardner Grade/Subject: 7th Grade, English Language Arts

Title of Experience/Topic: Persuasive Writing, Solutions for Heavy Textbooks

How can we persuade our school’s administration to implement a better solution for the heavy materials they
require students to use?

Time Frame: 2 sessions, 1 hour and 15 minutes long

Content Standard(s): (must put code and verbiage)
Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.
Introduce claim(s), acknowledge alternate or opposing claims, and organize the reasons and evidence
Support claim(s) with logical reasoning and relevant evidence, using accurate, credible sources and
demonstrating an understanding of the topic or text.
Use words, phrases, and clauses to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among claim(s), reasons, and
Establish and maintain a formal style.
Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented.

English Language Proficiency (ELP) Standard(s):

B-31: identifying words used in persuasive text to affect the reader (e.g., stereotypes, testimonial,
exaggeration, loaded words).
B-30: identifying fact and opinion in persuasive text.

B-4: writing sentences using appropriate punctuation (e.g., ending punctuation; period: abbreviations;
colons: time; commas: items in a series, introductory words, friendly letters; apostrophes: contractions).
B-1: generating, recording, and organizing ideas for pre-writing.
B-3: using a pre-writing plan (e.g., graphic organizer, KWL chart, log) to develop a draft with main ideas.
B-4: identifying and applying tools (e.g., resources, reference materials) or strategies (e.g., peer review,
rubrics) to rearrange and modify words, sentences, and paragraphs in order to clarify meaning.
B-6: presenting writing in a format appropriate to audience and purpose

B-5: sequencing events from information presented in read-alouds, presentations, and conversations.
Content Language Objective (Language Function + Content Stem + Supports1): (verbs should be in bold)
Students will be able to...
 Students will be able to describe and propose new solutions for the school’s heavy textbook issue.

Sub-Objectives: (steps to achieving main objective – verbs should be in bold)

Students will be able to recognize the elements of a persuausive letter.

Students will be able to identify potential solutions to implement within their school.
Students will be able to implement solutions through a persuasive letter to their school’s administration.
Students will be able to support their peers through peer editing of another persuasive letter.

- Pencil
- Thesarus
- Dictionary

Vocabulary taught prior to the experience Vocabulary developed during lesson:

(Background): - Propose
- Brainstorm - Implement
- Circle Map - Persuade
- Persuade - Justify
Lesson Planning Considerations:
Academic Conversation:
What language function will students have the opportunity to practice? How will this language be explicitly
taught? How will this language be applied and practiced?

The language function that the students will have an opportunity to practice: persuade/ justify, synthesize.

This language function will be explicitly taught through examples provided on handouts for the students to
read prior to their persuasive letter. Students will highlight the greeting and closing in each of the examples.

This language function will bee applied and practiced through writing a persuasive letter to the school’s
administration proposing a solution for the heavy classroom materials problem.

Establish the Problem:

How will prior knowledge be accessed? How will the problem be introduced to students? How will students
inquire about the problem (optional planning tool attached) How are students using language (reading,
writing, listening, and/or speaking) and how are they being supported?

Prior knowledge will be accessed through a classroom discussion.

The problem will be introduced through classroom discussion questions such as:
- Has anyone had their backpack rip or tear from their heavy textbooks?
- Would you rather keep your textbooks at home or at school?
- Can anyone think of a solution for the heavy textbooks that the school could implement?

Students will inquire the problem through a brainstorming activity with a partner. The students will create a
circle map in order to come up with 2-3 solutions for the heavy textbooks.
Example solutions would be:

World Class Instructional Design and Assessment Consortium (2012). Model Performance Indicator. Retrieved
- Assigned cubbies at school for students to store their textbooks there
- Only assigned textbook to be done at home (textbook stays at home)
- School puts on a fundraiser to raise money for ipads or electronic readers

Creating the Experience:

How will students work together to develop and present solutions? How are students using language
(reading, writing, listening, and/or speaking) and how are they being supported?

Students will work together by getting into groups of two or three in order to brainstorm potential solutions.

Students will present solutions by writing a one page persuasive letter to the school’s administration asking
them to implement one of their solutions. The students will have to justify why their solution is the best path
in order to benefit the students and the school.

The students are using writing because they will have to use their writing skills in order to complete the
circle map. Students are being supported by their peers as they are working in pairs. The teacher is also
walking around the classroom to provide assistance.

In addition, students will be able to get back into pairs to eper edit their outline or start of their persuasive
letter. This allows for the students to give positive and helpful feedback to their peers before beginning their
final summative assessment.

When and how will you use formative and summative assessments to measure student progress and
learning (content and language)?

Formative assessment:
Students will turn in their completed brain storming activity: circle map. This will be collected with their
persuasive letter and will be worth 10 points. Students must have at least 2-3 solutions with one piece of
support for each of their solutions.

Summative assessment:
Students will be writing a persuasive letter to the school’s administration proposing a new solutions for the
students heavy textbook problem. This letter will include all the elements of a persuasive letter including: a
greeting and closing and one solution plus support to defend their solution. This letter is worth 40 points and
is graded off of the following rubric:

(10) points (5) points (0) points

Contents of Includes a proper Includes only one Includes neither of
Persuasive Writing heading and footer. of the following: the following:
heading or footer. heading and footer.
Correct Grammar Includes correct Includes some Includes many
and Punctuctation grammar and correct grammar grammatical and
punctuctation and punctuctation punctuctation errors.
Purpose Includes an Includes some Does not include the
introduction on the introduction but no purpose of the
purpose of writing detail about the persuasive letter
Solution Includes a solution Includes some Does not include a
to help solve the details about a solution to the
purpose solution problem in their
persuasive letter
Lesson Plan Step-by-step instructions:
How will you introduce the lesson/engage the learners to either build background knowledge and/or build
on background knowledge? *NOTE: There should be as many as or more student actions than teacher actions –
use this table to ensure students are doing more of the work to support learning
Teacher will: Student will:

- Pass out handouts with 3 different examples - Read the 3 persuasive letter examples
of persuasive letters - Highlight the greeting and closing in each of
the examples

How will students explore the problem/concepts to find a purpose for learning the content vocabulary?
Teacher will: Student will:

- Instruct students to get into pairs - Get into pairs quietly and quickly
- Draw an example of a circle map on the - Draw a circle map
board for the students to use while creating - Fill out circle map with 2-3 solutions and 1
their own piece of evidence to support their solution

How will students learn the key vocabulary? This is the direct instruction part of the lesson to ensure all
students have access to all the content and key vocabulary to support the understanding of the content
Teacher will: Student will:

- Walk around classroom to answer student’s - Highlight their strongest solution on the circle
questions about the format of the persuasive map and have it checked by the teacher by
letter and their own ideas raising their hand
- Check off student’s solutions as student’s - Ask their peers for opinions and feedback on
raise their hands their solution
- Begin outlining their persuasive letter on the
back of their circle map

How will students move the learning from short term to long term memory to ensure they KNOW the
Teacher will: Student will:

- Give students time at the beginning of the - Review their circle map (3 solutions and 1
next session in order to review their circle piece of evidence to support each).
map and their started outline - Students will begin or continue working on
- Provide feedback for any students who need their outline of the persuasive letter
additional assistance - Get into pairs and peer edit each other’s
- Make sure students re providing positive outline/ start of the persuasive letter
and helpful feedback to each other

How will you use formative and summative assessments to measure content and language objectives?
Teacher will: Student will:
- Give students time in class to write their - Write a persuasive letter to the school’s
persuasive letter administration describing their solutions and
- Collect the persuasive letters and the circle the pros to implementing the solution into the
map after the student has completed them school
- Grade students on circle map - Staple together circle map and persuasive
- Grade students on persuasive letter using the letter and turn it in to the teacher by raising
assigned rubric their hand

Post teach Reflection: (should be done after teaching this lesson in your classroom OR as a microteach)

I did this lesson in my internship at Ridgeline Academy in the last week. I did this because it did not exactly

align with the unit they were currently working on. The students enjoyed the assignment because all of them

have experienced having to carry around huge heavy textbooks or broken backpacks. My intern mentor

teacher is talking to the Principal about the students being able to turn in their final draft to him if they would

like just so the students feel heard. Overall, their biggest struggle was making sure it was formatted like a

persuasive letter but they were very passionate about the content. If I could do this lesson again, I would

format it so the students had designated partners because I allowed them to get into pairs two different times

and it took up more time than I would have liked.