Series Evidence & Arguments: Evidence & Arguments: Lesson Planning


Common core State Standards

  • ELA:  English Language Arts
  • RI:  Reading Standards for Informational Text 6-\x80\x9312
  • 9-10:  9th & 10th Grades
  • 2: 
    Determine a central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course
    of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific
    details; provide an objective summary of the text.

Download Common Core State Standards (PDF 1.2 MB)


Common core State Standards

  • ELA:  English Language Arts
  • W:  Writing Standards 6-12
  • 9-10:  9th & 10th Grades
  • 6: 
    Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update
    individual or shared writing products, taking advantage of technology'\x80\x99s
    capacity to link to other information and to display information flexibly and

Download Common Core State Standards (PDF 1.2 MB)


Common core State Standards

  • ELA:  English Language Arts
  • SL:  Speaking and Listening Standards 6-\x80\x9312
  • 9-10:  9th & 10th Grades
  • 1a: 
    Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions
    (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9-\x80\x9310
    topics, texts, and issues, building on others'\x80\x99 ideas and expressing their own
    clearly and persuasively.

    a. Come to discussions prepared, having read and researched material under
    study; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence from
    texts and other research on the topic or issue to stimulate a thoughtful,
    well-reasoned exchange of ideas.

    b. Work with peers to set rules for collegial discussions and decision-making
    (e.g., informal consensus, taking votes on key issues, presentation of
    alternate views), clear goals and deadlines, and individual roles as needed.

    c. Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that relate the
    current discussion to broader themes or larger ideas; actively incorporate
    others into the discussion; and clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and

    d. Respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives, summarize points of
    agreement and disagreement, and, when warranted, qualify or justify their
    own views and understanding and make new connections in light of the
    evidence and reasoning presented.

Download Common Core State Standards (PDF 1.2 MB)

Evidence & Arguments: Lesson Planning

Lesson Objective: Plan a lesson about identifying main ideas and developing arguments
Grades 9-10 / ELA / Planning
ELA.RI.9-10.2 | ELA.W.9-10.6 | ELA.SL.9-10.1a


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Discussion and Supporting Materials

Thought starters

  1. How does Mr. Hanify integrate the different Common Core standards into this lesson?
  2. Notice the varied opportunities for student discussion throughout the lesson. How does Mr. Hanify design activities that scaffold student learning?


  • Private message to Danyale Davis

1. Mr. Hanify integrates the different Common Core standards into this lesson by facilitating discussion based lessons, using argumentative writing and identifying various reading techniques.

2. Mr. Hanify uses prior knowledge and technology as a method of scaffolding. The students discuss things in a fishbowl type setting which allows students to demonstrate their knowledge of the subject matter.

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  • Private message to LaTonya Calvey

1. Mr. Hanify places emphasis on reading standards having students identify central ideas; example thinking niotes. He also incorporation speaking and listening standard which is done by presentations and student interacting in groups. 

2. Activities that scaffold student learning included Socratic Seminar, Fish Bowl, Students centered quetions, and groups and partnering.  Also, incorporating writing blogs, students producing powerpoint creating textual elements as well as high quality writing and application. 

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  • Private message to Carolyn Havard

Groups of students are working on their reading, writing, speaking and listening within their group. With their ideas, they will learn from their work by other interpretations.

With the students prior knownledge, fishbowl and technology, the students will be able to get more of an understanding on the topic. The more a student goes in dept on a topic, the more they will learn.

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  • Private message to Shaina Champagne

1. He concentrates on three main area's which are: findind central idea, reading/speaking and writing. He integrates this through different learning activities and group work.

2. One way he scaffolds student learning is by argumentivie writing and implementing the use of technology. Internet based writing and blogging. 

Recommended (0)
  • Private message to Sade Lewis-Fuller

1. How does Mr. Hanify integrate the different Common Core standards into this lesson?

By identifying different reading strategies, implementing discussion based lessons, and promoting argumentative writing  

2. Notice the varied opportunities for student discussion throughout the lesson. How does Mr. Hanify design activities that scaffold student learning?

By implementing Socratic seminar activities into his lesson plan, the students demonstrate their ability to grasp and discuss the concepts. 

Recommended (0)


    Common Core: ELA
    Pre-Class Prep
    Teaching “Evidence & Arguments”
    LANCE BALLA: before you teach,

    Common Core: ELA
    Pre-Class Prep
    Teaching “Evidence & Arguments”
    LANCE BALLA: before you teach, um, tell me a little bit about your lesson, kind of your goals and objectives, the standards you’re going to be focusing on. TEXT:
    Lance Balla
    K-12 ELA Curriculum Developer
    Bellevue School District, Wa
    02:12 TJ HANIFY: Okay, well we've got two days of lessons here and it's really starting and centering on a reading standard about being able to identify the central idea in a text and not to just be able to do that but to be able to connect specific elements of the text and show how they develop or reveal that main idea. TEXT:
    T.J. Hanify
    9th and 10th Grade Ela Teacher
    International School, Bellevue, WA


    Start class with reading standard:
    Identify Main Idea

    02:40 TJ HANIFY: Um, so what kids will be doing is they've come in having read, um, the text Letter From Birmingham Jail

    and they've used one reading strategy altogether called thinking notes, or Metacognitive Markers. So they'll be able to track their r-, their own reactions.

    Then we'll do a close reading exercise in class.
    I'll have different groups actually doing some differentiated tasks to help them identify some other really important elements of what they see in there. And they'll also be considering what is that central idea. TEXT:
    Letter From Birmingham Jail

    Use Thinking Notes

    Close Reading Exercise

    TJ HANIFY: So, they'll sort of come up with an initial draft and as they move through the close reading process they'll be coming up with a continually more refined version of what that central idea is, but have to be able to explain where in the text you see that being developed.
    03:04 LANCE BALLA: So tell me a little bit about the challenges you faced in planning a class that would address these … Standards in particular.
    TJ HANIFY: Well, I think one thing that's important when planning using the standards is that you can't just look at one set. So you can't just say today I'm going to have some writing standards or some reading standards or some speaking and listening.
    TJ HANIFY: So, what you'll see is a strong emphasis especially on the first day on a reading standard that calls on students to identify the central idea but to be able to connect that to specific text elements and understand how those help develop or reveal the central idea. TEXT:
    Common Core:
    Determine central idea

    03:34 TJ HANIFY: Um, you'll also see a lot of work on speaking and listening standards about presentations, about presenting e-, reliable information and factual information, about the way that students should interact during a conversation and about how to follow set protocols …. TEXT:
    Common Core:
    Speaking and Listening

    03:47 And finally we’ll be moving towards an argumentative writing piece to tie into those writing standards and we’ll talk about how to have a central claim and back that up with effective evidence TEXT:
    Common Core:
    Argumentative Eriting
    04:00 LANCE BALLA: Okay, so you’re recognizing that this Letter to a Birmingham, Letter From a Birmingham Jail is a dense text and kids really need to unpack it. They don’t need to gloss over kind of big, large main ideas, but they really want to narrow down kind of in the language in the letter itself.
    04:13 TJ HANIFY: Right so you'll see groups present their findings and share them with each other and then actually on day two we'll continue to work our way through the text and we'll do a Socratic Seminar. We'll use, um, a little variation on it called the Fish Bowl with, there's a lot of turn and talk with an inner and outer ring.
    Socratic Seminar
    04:26 TJ HANIFY: Um, and the kids will have come in creating their own levels of questions. We'll be concentrating on level two, drawing inference from the text and level three, making universal connections.
    TJ HANIFY: And so that they'll be a lot of student centered questioning and conversation going on to really help make sure that they've a very strong understanding of the text before they move to a writing process assignment.
    04:43 LANCE BALLA: So, on that second day, then, the Socratic Seminar…. what are some of the key elements you’re going to be looking for?
    TJ HANIFY: Well in any Socratic Seminar you want to have strong participation from students and that includes strong listening.
    04::53 TJ HANIFY: So even though they may not be speaking at this time you want to be able to track and know that they're reacting to something, maybe jotting down some notes, thinking about maybe what they're hearing and how that might help them with the writing task later.
    TJ HANIFY: And then, by having this inner and outer circle, we'll have groups of partners all the way through and so we'll continually have these turn and talk moments where they'll be working together as a team to come up with more ideas for what they want to share.
    05:21 LANCE BALLA: So tell me how a little bit about the text and how they will use the text during that Socratic Seminar.
    05:25 TJ HANIFY: Sure. So, uh, the text is a slightly c-, um, shortened version of King's Letter From Birmingham Jail.
    TJ HANIFY: Um, so we worked on some of the context to understand what was going on in the Civil Rights Movement at the time. And they're really going to be looking at how it is just an amazing piece of persuasive writing that doesn't just say I'm right, you're wrong but draws in an outside audience that was refuting a lot of King's ideas.
    TJ HANIFY: And so they'll really be looking at the way that he makes a great case for what he's doing. Not just to the eight clergymen that he was directly responding to, but to that full open audience, um, all of us who are continuing to read the letter today.
    05:59 LANCE BALLA: So tell me a little bit about the writing they’re going to do. You said it’s argumentative so it fits in that particular, um, set of standards related to argumentative writing, but what specifically are they going to be doing?
    06:09 TJ HANIFY: So, they're going to be considering to what extent King's ideas are still relevant today.
    TJ HANIFY: And so they'll be encouraged to consider what are certain occasions that are going on in the world and whether that's the Arab Spring or whether that are things that are going on in the United States where people may be breaking laws or feeling that they have the right to break unjust laws.
    TJ HANIFY: And so we'll be talking about th-, their own take on that. So, you know, where do you see his writing still being relevant today? And they'll be doing that actually in the form of a blog.


    TJ HANIFY: I think one of the other challenges th-, for me personally was, um, writing standard six really calls on us to step up our game about writing for the twenty-first century. And that means writing on the web, publishing, taking advantage of all the sort of fluid ways that we can publish and react to text on the internet. TEXT:
    Common Core and Technology

    TJ HANIFY: So they'll be writing a blog entry with their own opinion and then they'll also be required to give some really high quality feedback in the comments section to at least two other editorials.
    06:56 LANCE BALLA: So let’s talk a little bit about the outcomes. How are you going to know that the students addressed the standards that they’ve been working on, that they’ve learned them?
    07:03 TJ HANIFY: Well, I think minute by minute you're going to see a lot of back and forth conversation that's going to tap into some of that speaking and learning. You're going to see students sharing ideas when working in groups. Maybe in a positive way, even, you know, arguing back and forth a little bit defending their own ideas.

    Share Ideas
    TJ HANIFY: But they're going to be relying on protocols to get new takes on some of those ideas from other people. It's going to be important that they develop their own ideas through discussion.
    07:24 TJ HANIFY: As far as the reading you're going to see them producing a, um, a sort of a one slide PowerPoint … where you're going to see that c-, explicit connection between textual elements and the overall meaning where they're going to be having to really talk about how they were able to make that s-, sort of connection. TEXT:
    Produce Powerpoint

    07:51 TJ HANIFY: And then in the writing I think that you're going to see, you know, there's a real challenge there when you move to the sort of internet based writing that you still want to keep it high quality writing and that it's not just something that's casual. Challenge:
    High-Quality writing
    TJ HANIFY: Um, but, m-, what you're going to see is the fact that they took the time to really develop their own ideas on this text over, you know, this long period of time and I think you'll really find that there’ll be a strong sense of not just comprehension but application of that text and new ideas.
    08:00 LANCE BALLA: Well, good luck TJ, have a great class.
    08:08 TJ HANIFY: Thanks.

School Details

International School
445 128th Ave Se
Bellevue WA 98005
Population: 575

Data Provided By:



T.J. Hanify


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