1920s boom time high School Instructional Performance Task Module

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Activating Strategy

  • Show Attachment H: WWI poster (1917 poster “Call to Duty” available at the Library of Congress http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/00651808/ - or similar). Teacher Note: This is intended as a review of thesis statements (argumentative thesis includes claim about a debatable position. All claims must be able to be clearly warranted to evidence in the essay body). An introductory paragraph would include the claim plus information about the purpose of the text, context, and a reference to the information about the evidence (reasons) that will be presented in the body to support the claim).

  • Ask students to brainstorm a list of requirements for argument and for argumentative claims. Then tell students (in pairs or small groups) to study the poster and draft a possible claim about whether or not the poster is persuasive. After the students have completed the thesis statements, the teacher will call on volunteers and non-volunteers to write their thesis statements on the board.*

  • The teacher will then ask the class whether these thesis statements follow the criteria produced by the class (arguable but defensible) and then have the students rate the sample theses as 1 (needs work), 2 (average), and 3 (superior). Then have the students choose one thesis statement to revise. Call on students to go up and revise the thesis statements on the board. Again, clarify for students that an argumentative thesis statement is a claim or proposition that is debatable and that can be supported by verifiable evidence that is clearly related to the claim. These requirements can be posted on chart paper or in students’ writing folders. Differentiation: Rather than solicit students, *teacher can post 3 thesis statements (1 strong, 1 adequate, and 1 weak example) and have students evaluate strength of statement and revise the weaker statements. For example, “The poster relies on pathos to achieve its persuasive purpose” is a strong (and arguable but defensible) thesis whereas “The poster is persuasive” is a weak thesis statement. “The poster uses a soldier to persuade the viewer” is not a thesis as stated.

Key Vocabulary: Assuming students have familiarity with argument (pre-requisite), there are no vocabulary words to preview

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