Ch 2: Reasoning & Evidence for Arguments: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.1B

About This Chapter

Present these videos in class or assign as homework to enhance your 7th-grade students' abilities to write and review essays with solid, audience-based reasoning. Check out the activity suggestions below for ideas on including these videos in your lessons.

Standard: Support claim(s) with logical reasoning and relevant evidence, using accurate, credible sources and demonstrating an understanding of the topic or text. (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.1.B)

About This Chapter

As you review these fun, informative videos with your students they will become more competent in constructing effective arguments based on good reasoning and credible and applicable evidence. They will be able to identify various reasoning strategies and choose their method based on their target audience. The lessons in this chapter describe:

  • Using ethos, logos, and pathos to appeal to audiences
  • Effective techniques for evaluating reasoning
  • Identifying and using sources as evidence in essays

Mastery of the lessons taught here will be exhibited as students approach essays with stronger critical thinking skills, understanding how to make effective judgements about material they read and recognize shortfalls in their own papers. They will understand how to look for, filter, and cite primary and secondary sources to support their ideas. These skills should increase capacity for independent study and thought.

How to Use These Lessons in Your Classroom

Below are some ideas for bringing together these videos, the CCSS standard, and classroom instruction with interactive activities.

Treasure hunt: finding effective sources

After watching the How to Use Sources to Write Essays and Evaluate Evidence video divide your students into groups and assign each group a research topic. Give them a set amount of time to use available information resources to learn more about the topic and develop an educated opinion about it. Have each group share their topic, what they know about it, and where they found the information. Discuss the source material--including its relatedness to the topic and credibility--as a class.

Identify that appeal strategy

Watch the Logos, Ethos, and Pathos video in class. Assign a homework project asking the students to find a well-known speech by an historic figure (e.g. Gettysburg Address, I Have a Dream, etc.) and memorize an excerpt which they feel presents a strong argument for or against something and which appears to use one of the methods of appeal--to character, emotion, or logic. Have them recite the portion of speech in class. Discuss which method the excerpt used as a class, whether it was an effective argument, and how the speaker may have presented the argument differently to appeal to a modern audience.

Fact-checking the Op-eds

Bring to class several op-eds from a newspaper or identify video clips of commentary on popular news programs. After watching the How to Evaluate Reasoning video, have your students review the material in small groups, deciding which pieces contained mostly credible data and which contained mostly unfounded conjecture. Have each group decide which of their pieces was the most influential and why. They should decide both in terms of credibility and appeal strategy, making it possible for a piece filled with half-truths to be most effective because of a productive appeal strategy or for a lifeless piece to be most effective because its evidence is so powerful.

Chapter Practice Exam
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Practice Final Exam
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