Workshop Genre: Editorial
I love using this editorial with students since it is written by a fellow member of their tribe — a sixteen-year-old high school junior. In addition to showing them a living, breathing example of editorial, this mentor text has the great secondary benefit of providing an example for how student writing can and does have a real audience.
In teaching editorial, possible mentor texts abound. However, finding one that students have adequate context to understand and engage with is challenging. Students can connect with this mentor text on both an intellectual and a personal level.
How I Used It:
I use this mentor text about ⅓ of the way through our editorial genre study. Students have learned the difference between an article and an editorial, they have parsed out the “parts” of an effective editorial, decided on their own claim, and outlined their main reasons.
I introduce this mentor text when we are ready to broach the subject of finding corroborating evidence. I want my students to know that there are lots of different ways to support your claim and this mentor text does a great job of demonstrating multiple types of evidence.
I begin by sharing the mentor text with students. We read it together. As I read, they mark places where they think they see evidence supporting a claim or reason. We go through and mark these examples on a copy of the mentor text projected on the board.
Then, students work in their writing groups to categorize these pieces of evidence. We talk about their categories and combine them when we can.
I move into a mini-lesson on the different types of evidence: anecdotal, analogical, testimonial, and statistical. We talk about what these mean and brainstorm examples of each. Then, we take the categories we already came up with and see how they gel with the four types outlined in the mini-lesson. Typically, they fit together nicely. When they don’t, we have a discussion about the discrepancy.
Students use this as a launching pad for beginning research for their editorials.
Practice revising — particularly rearranging and reorganizing
Paragraphing in an editorial/news writing
- Incorporating evidence
What editorials do you love using with students? How else might this editorial be used as a mentor text?
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