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Argumentation Strategies for ALL ages...

The new Missouri Learning Standards are rife with references to the ability to write arguments, support claims, evaluate others' analyses of topics, and use valid reasoning in a range of conversations and collaborations. Below, find classroom activities to support student growth in the area of reasoned argumentation, along with a few digital tools to enhance the use of evidence to substantiate claims.

Classroom Argumentation Protocols:
SPARring Practice: Spontaneous argumentation format where students have to frame an argument in one minute and then react quickly to their opponents’ ideas.  This strategy helps students practice using evidence and examples to defend a position.

Stand and Decide (Variation on Four Corners): While the examples given in the link are intended for  secondary students, age-appropriate controversial questions are the driving force behind this activity. Great distributed practice for evidence-based claims that heighten student engagement (without major loss of in-class time).

BarometerEngaging in a barometer activity can be an effective pre-writing exercise before an essay assignment because it gets many arguments out on the table. Excellent for our more active learners!

DIGITAL TOOLS to Support Building Strong Arguments:

Google Apps for Education: Google Drawing is another great opportunity to build evidence-based arguments in a visual way. Read more on how to here!

Pro-Con It- This social-media tools allows you/your students to pose a question, add evidence for or against it, and then VOTE. There's even an option to open votes up to the whole WWW! Talk about authentic audience.

DebateGraph-Concept mapping + online collaboration + evidence-based reasoning = awesome arguments! Even the WhiteHouse is in on the 'visual debate' bandwagon.


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