Wednesday, March 27, 2024

A Little Chuckle 22/31

Image by Jan from Pixabay

Starting a new unit with my students is full of anticipation. What new texts and new teaching ideas do I add this year? What do I want change? What do I want to do again?

To begin our unit this week, we immersed ourselves in reading argumentative texts. This year, I added one about changing Halloween to the last Saturday in October. Teachers would love that idea, and I thought students would enjoy reading it.

The only problem was that it wasn't well-written. I debated on how I was going to use it. Do I show it as a bad example, or do I let students figure it out themselves?

I chose the latter.

After dividing students into groups, I passed out a different text to each one. They were to read the text, find the parts of the argument, and determine its strength. As I passed out the text, I gave the Halloween text to a group of boys who are strong thinkers and problem solvers. I circulated the room yet tried to listen more to their conversation. 

"Is this the claim?

"I think so, but they say the opposite here."

"Why did they write a new paragraph here?" 

"Is this a new reason?

"This doesn't make any sense."

I let them struggle a bit, and then went over to tell them I gave them the more difficult example. After groaning, we talked a bit about why this argument wasn't strong, how the writer rambled, and how the text was poorly organized.

Finally, one student looks at me and says, "Is this how you feel when you read our essays?"

I laugh and tell him, "Yes, sometimes it is!"

Join Two Writing Teachers and other teacher-writers as we 
share a slice of life during the month of March. 


  1. What an insightful kid! He must be really fun to teach. It sounds like a great way to kick off this unit!

  2. Leigh Anne, your ending brought a huge smile to my face. From the mouth of babes...Your lesson sounds like a sound lesson and it was great to hear the conversation among the group. PS: Iresponded to your slicer party and added a new slice (Day 27) about it.Love your party theme!

  3. IYKYK! 🤣 I love the way you presented the lesson. My favorite moments were when kids complained about having to reread their own writing or that of their classmates. Talk about flipping the light switch.