English Language Arts
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
High School
  • American Dream
  • Arguments
  • Grade 11 ELA
  • Group Work
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial

    Evaluating Arguments

    Evaluating Arguments


    In this lesson, students will hear the final presentations, evaluate the arguments, and vote on the most convincing visions presented.


    • Read the lesson and student content.
    • Anticipate student difficulties and identify the differentiation options you will choose for working with your students.

    Reflection on Arguments

    • Elicit a few responses. This will allow students to begin to process trends and distinctions among the different visions of the American Dream.


    Respond to the question below.

    • What stood out to you about yesterday’s arguments?

    Open Notebook

    Convention Presentations

    • Time will be tight, so try to facilitate quick transitions and keep groups to their allotted time. ELL: Some ELLs may have difficulties when attempting to simultaneously follow presentations and take notes. Accommodations that could be helpful include allowing students to work with a partner, pausing after each presentation to review and allow quiet time for note taking, and having groups designate a primary note taker who records during a quick group discussion.

    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

    Voting and Response

    • If feasible, use online polling to make this process easy.
    • Remind students to explain their choices when they vote.

    Work Time

    • Take a few minutes to vote for your top two choices of the American Dream, not including the vision your group presented.
    • In your notebook, name each character you are voting for, describe the vision he or she represents, and explain why you are voting for that character’s version of the American Dream.

    Open Notebook

    Submit your choices to your teacher.

    Convention Reflection

    • Read through students' responses before the next class to gauge how they are doing.


    Complete the questions below.

    • How do you think your class did in this convention?
    • What are the major lessons you learned from this assignment?

    Open Notebook

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

    Independent Reading and Journal

    • Remind students that they need to complete their Independent Reading books for the next class.
      • SWD: Before students leave can be a good opportunity to check in to assess their progress and provide specific feedback about what they have accomplished and what needs to be completed for homework.


    • Finish your Independent Reading book before Lesson 23.
    • Make sure you are up-to-date on your Dialectical Journal entries.