Instructional Action Plan

An Argument for Writing

First Things First

Writing an argumentative piece means having to do many things in order to make a logical writing draw in your audience. One of the first parts of this kind of writing includes finding data, and information to back up your argument. There also needs to be an opposing argument included. I think this is one aspect that should be taught before students move on to other parts of this particular writing. Culham (2014), says students need more direct teaching and modeling to write an argument piece, because they may not have had the experience with argumentative writing, they have had with narrative and informational.

Introducing Argument and Logic

I would begin by writing the following on the board. Why is reading so important? Next I would allow students to use their ipads, books, LA books, to find good reasons to answer the question. When they have had a chance to find several things each, we would discuss each answer and I would write it on the board. I would use this question to show how logic is so important to an opinion writing.

The Great Kapok Tree by Lynne Cherry

Nudging Along

Another golden nugget that Culham (2014), shared was allowing students to gather needed information for a particular topic, along with guidance and support. Therefore, I would introduce this amazing book The Great Kapok Tree, by Lynne Cherry. I would read until the part where the man lies down and falls asleep. The question I would ask is if people should cut these trees down in the rain forest. They may need land to grow crops. Or should we try to save the tree and rain forests from being cut down. I would ask that each student find facts to back up their side of the problem. As students are working and researching, I would help them narrow their searches down and answer questions as needed. I believe as students find facts, the choice they make for "forest or farmland" will become clearer.

Experience and Practice

In Culham (2014), it states that we should allow students time to learn one thing and then move on to the next part. With this in mind, I would have students work on their opinion pieces and work on one thing at a time. This would be done during our writing time. It may take time to see the end results, but it would be interesting to have each side share their writing and point of view.

The goal would be to help students find facts for their side of the argument. As we worked on argument writing throughout the year, I would focus on other aspects of this writing mode.


Culham, R., (2014). The writing thief: Using mentor texts to teach the craft of writing.

Newark DE: International Reading Association.

Cherry, L., (1990). The great kapok tree. A tale of the Amazon rain forest. San Diego:

Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.