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Children develop the skills to present arguments and persuade others early, with skills increasing with Verbal Reasoning skills. However, as they grow, their Argumentative Reasoning skills become more complex and include the ability to answer questions through evidence-based claims. Adolescents are increasingly able to produce detailed arguments and analyze the effectiveness of others' arguments.
Argumentative Reasoning can promote more effective content learning as it requires organizing information into cohesive explanations for others. Rather than simply writing for persuasion, students are now following a set of interrelated argumentative components to bolster their original theses. Adolescents may not fully master these skills without formal instruction and practice.
The component skills of Argumentative Reasoning include:
Physically acting out a text or enacting major themes from texts enhances reading comprehension, particularly as texts become more complex.
When annotating, students engage deeply with a text and make their thinking visible while reading.
When adolescents can connect and communicate with authentic audiences about their interests and values, reading and writing become more personally meaningful and relevant.
Students practice making and finding meaning in texts through book discussions moderated by teachers to varying degrees.
Checklists and rubrics help students understand expectations as they navigate more complex tasks and assignments.
When peers are able to work together to plan, draft, edit, and revise during the Composition process, their writing quality improves.
When preparing for and debating with peers, students analyze, form, and express verbal arguments, fostering their critical thinking and literacy skills.
As part of a varied curriculum, explicit instruction in reading comprehension strategies from teachers can help older students use strategies meaningfully and flexibly.
Interpreting and composing discipline-specific texts requires tailoring literacy strategies, like annotating or asking questions, to the disciplinary goals and practices.
Increasing how much and how frequently students write improves both their writing quality and content knowledge.
Providing constructive feedback supports students' writing development by letting them know how to improve their writing.
Setting overall goals with actionable steps for achievement can help students feel more confident in their skills and abilities.
Visualizing how ideas fit together helps students construct meaning and strengthens their recall.
During guided inquiry, teachers foster student autonomy by designing lessons centered on meaningful questions in which students locate, analyze, and present relevant information on their own or in small groups.
Journaling allows students to reflect on their thinking and feelings, process their learning, and connect new information to what they know.
By observing, rereading, and closely analyzing published writing, students see examples and learn the strategies of good writing that they can integrate into their own Composition.
Providing multiple texts on the same topic or theme allows students to interact with multiple perspectives and develop their critical thinking skills.
Providing guiding prompts and questions for students to use when reading or participating in discussions deepens their understanding of texts and gives them space to question and grapple with issues of power, justice, and equity.
When teachers provide students with model texts for their writing, they learn to identify effective elements to incorporate into their own writing.
Teachers can provide individualized support through one-on-one conferences to assess reading comprehension, understanding of content, and spark further interest in reading.
Sentence frames or stems provide language support for students' writing and participation in academic discussions.
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