In 7th Grade Humanities, we are currently engaged in the messy process of writing argumentative essays! Instead of working alone, we are working in a group with like-minded individuals who share the same point of view on one of the following questions:
Should Native Americans be used as mascots?
Should Columbus Day continue to be celebrated in America?
Should The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie be banned?
Process and Product
We analyze exemplar argumentative essays to guide our own process. Each student in the group writes each paragraph of the essay in the Process Google Doc. Then the group highlights the strengths and struggles of each author’s work. After that, the group discusses their ideas, then takes the best parts of each person’s paragraph to create a new, polished, whole group paragraph that goes in the Product document.
Self-Reflection, Self-Assessment, and Feedback
Through collaboration, communication, and compromise, we learn from one another and improve not only our writing skills, but our ability to co-create in a group and navigate the sometimes tricky realm of giving and receiving feedback. We regularly reflect on our strengths and struggles in order to improve. One on one conferences with the teacher and regular check-ins with the group provide direction on the journey.