August 26 National Dog Day (argument)
This is a free ELA classroom lesson plan. It is part of the Month-by-Month Common Core ELA Activities book
OVERVIEW of Argument for ELA CCSS Classroom
Students will plan and write an argument essay about what kind of dog they would like to own. This can be a short assignment or an in-depth research assignment.
The CCSS emphasizes the importance of writing logical arguments. All such arguments should refer specifically to a text and should logically back up the assertions. In essence, what the CCSS asks for is for students to develop criteria for an argument, then test the information against that criteria. This lesson plan provides fifteen criteria for choosing a dog breed, making it easy then for students to write a logical argument.
TOPIC for CCSS Argument: What Kind of Dog Should I Get?
Students will argue about what kind of dog a student would like or not like. The goal is to discuss the criteria used in creating an argument for or against a particular dog breed.
The tasks can be adapted to include a full individual research project, a group writing project, or a one hour writing task. You can adapt the listening/speaking part for group projects, or require specific presentation methods of a speech, digital display or essay.
OBJECTIVES – Overview standards.
- CCSS Reading: 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 10
- CCSS Writing: 1, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10
- CCSS Speaking & Listening: 1, 4
- CCSS Language: 1, 2, 3, 4, 6
INSTRUCTIONAL RESOURCES for CCSS Argument
Use these resources as students develop their argument:
- Animal Discovery Breed Selector Tool
- AKC Description of Dog Breeds – www. akc.org/future_dog_owner/findbreed.cfm
- Optional: AKC Breed Poster or Breed Identification Guide. Www.akc.org/store/akc
- Grade appropriate books about dogs and specific dog breeds.
Students should discuss what type of dog they want. Discuss the term “criteria” and what criteria they use to decide on a dog.
Using the Animal Discovery Breed Selector Tool, go through the criteria and decide what sort of dog is desired. For each criteria, students should talk about why they choose a certain type. For example, they may choose a small dog because they live in an apartment.
Here are the criteria in the selector tool:
- Breed size
- Energy level
- Exercise requirements
- Affection level
- Friendliness to other pets
- Ease of training
- Protection ability
- Grooming requirements
- Cold and heat tolerant
Discuss other possible criteria:
- Personal preference
- Previous experience with breeds
Use the tool and its criteria to narrow down choices. Then, go to the American Kennel Club website to read about the recommended breeds: www.akc.org/future_dog_owner/findbreed.cfm
When I used the tool, it narrowed my recommendations to 56 breeds! You’ll still need to look at the breeds. You may want to narrow the task to a couple breeds for in-depth investigation. Decide what criteria you’ll use to narrow down to just a few breeds.
Students will write an argument essay about what kind of dog is right for them. They will use some of the criteria above to support their argument and will cite text to support their argument.
Review the idea of criteria as a way to help make a decision and a clear argument.
Evaluate the essay on how well the student used criteria to argue.
Cats: There is also a cat breed selector tool at http://animal.discovery.com/breedselector/catselectorindex.do
Complexity: For early grades, present three dog breeds and three criteria. For upper grades, students can do a full research project.
Tasks: This is adaptable to a written essay, a speech or a digital display.