English Language Arts
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
High School
  • Argument
  • Grade 11 ELA
  • Persuasions
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial

    Visions of the American Dream

    Visions of the American Dream


    In this lesson, students will try to convince their classmates that their character's vision of the American Dream is the best one, and they will evaluate the arguments that their classmates present.


    • Read the lesson and student content.
    • Anticipate student difficulties and identify the differentiation options you will choose for working with your students.
    • Consider how you want to set up your classroom for the presentation. Make any necessary adjustments.

    Convention Procedure Review

    • Review the requirements with your students to make sure they are clear about how the convention will flow.


    • Review the procedures for the convention. What questions do you have?

    Open Notebook

    Convention Presentations

    • Time will be tight, so try to facilitate quick transitions and keep groups to their allotted time.

    Work Time

    Listen to your classmates’ presentations carefully.

    Evaluate each group according to the rubric you and your class developed together in Lesson 17.

    For each character, make notes on the following points.

    • Character’s name
    • Character’s vision of the American Dream
    • Major claims (What are the main points of the presenters' arguments—what are they trying to convince you to believe?)
    • Major evidence and reasoning (How do the presenters support their points?)
    • Counterarguments that are brought up and addressed
    • Questions you have
    • Summary and evaluation (What parts were most convincing and why? Are there major holes in the argument that the presenters didn’t address?)

    Open Notebook

    Convention Reflection

    • Read through students' reflections and check in with any students who need additional support at the beginning of the next class.
      • SWD: Students whose verbal expression is stronger than their written expression may benefit from debriefing verbally, whether by talking to you, another adult, or a partner.
      • ELL: If it would be helpful to them, you can provide ELLs with sentence starters to help them write their reflections.


    Respond to these questions in your notebook.

    • How do you think the convention went today?
    • What would you like to do differently?

    Open Notebook

    When you have finished, share your reflection with your teacher.

    Convention Wrap-Up

    • Remind students to read their Independent Reading books and submit a Dialectical Journal entry to you.


    • If you have any final details to wrap up for your presentation, do so.
    • Continue with your reading and Dialectical Journal entries.