9 Mini-Moves for Argument Writing

One of the things I’m loving most about Mini Moves for Writers is how flexible the video lessons are — able to slide into so many different kinds of writing units and activities.

For example, take the Scene Drop Intro. Writers could use this in a review, an op-ed, a profile, a personal essay.

And the reason for this is simple: good writing is good writing.

So, say your students are embarking on a piece of argument writing. Regardless of what genre you are tackling within that mode, you know students will need to do a few key things:

  • Make a claim
  • Support that claim with evidence
  • Organize the argument
  • Write with style and authority

Without changing anything else about your writing unit, Mini Moves for Writers can swoop in and elevate students’ writing by connecting them with authentic writing mentor texts that make big changes in small increments.

I’ve made you a playlist of 9 mini-lesson videos that can help students with those key skills of argument writing:

Here’s what the playlist includes:

Making a Claim

Three options for ways to make a clear concise claim:

  1. Identify the Message of a Text with the Question Theme
  2. Simplify Your Thesis Statement with the Big Idea Claim
  3. Craft a Complex Thesis Statement: The Analogy Claim

Supporting a Claim with Evidence

  1. Connect to Reader’s Prior Knowledge with Comparison Evidence
  2. Zoom in on Significant Language with a Dictionary Moment
  3. Cite Your Source with Text Evidence Parentheses

Organize the Argument

  1. Seamlessly Transition Between Ideas Using a Contrasting Conjunctions

Write with Style and Authority

  1. Tap Into Your Reader’s Brain with the Magic Three List
  2. Give Background to Your Ideas by Opening with Context

We can’t teach everything in a single unit — it will totally kill us and completely overwhelm our students. So, these certainly aren’t the only possible lessons to teach in an argument writing unit; these are a handful of lessons that will help students do more as writers with mentors at the helm.

I’d love to hear how you use these videos with students! Do you watch them as a whole class? Assign them as individual work? Leave them as options for students who want them? Leave a comment or find me on Twitter @RebekahODell1!

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