Hameray Classroom Literacy Blog

Building Argumentative and Reasoning Skills

Happy New Year! As your students return from the winter vacation, they will surely be excite dot share stories about hteir holiday adventures. While their memories and schema for different places are still fresh, why not read a book about exploration?

Where Would You Like to Live? , an informational text from the Story World Real World series, examines different houses that the reader can live inside. For each location, the author presents an argument for and against living in that house. This structure   helps students understand and "describe how reasons support specific points the author makes in a text" (CCSS.ELA-LlTERACY.RI.2.8) . Although the book is leveled at guided reading level I, the book can be utilized for any grade—the content is relevant and intriguing for higher ages too!

 Before reading:

  • Read the book title. If necessary, review the function of a question mark.
  • Explain that the book will present different possible answers to the question " Where Would You Like to Live? "

Page 4:

  • Has anyone been to a lighthouse before? If so, what was it like?   If you're lucky, one of your students will have visited one over the break and will be able to provide details for other students.

Page 5:

  • Read the paragrah titled "Yes!"   What is another reason why living in a lighthouse is a good idea?  Write down your students' ideas on the left side of the board.
  • Next, read the paragraph titled "But..."  What is another reason why living in a lighthouse is a bad idea?  Write down these ideas on the right side of the board.
  • Hold a class vote.  Would you like to live in a lighthouse?  Ask students to raise their hands if their answer is "yes."

Page 6 to 12:

  • Repeat the discussion for the remaining houses. Encourage students to come up with as many reasons as possible for each location, and allow them to answer "yes" to more than one house.

Page 14:

  • Why is it a bad idea to live in a dollhouse?

After reading:

  • Have a whole-class "debate" to decide which house is the best place to live: a lighthouse, tree house, motorhome, igloo, or houseboat. 
  • Encourage students to provide both supporting reasons for their opinions and counterarguments to other students' claims.
  • At the end of the discussion, hold a class vote answering, "Where would you like to live?" This time, students can only vote once!

Where would  you   like to live?


Click the image below to download an informational sheet about the   Story World Real World   Series , which includes the books featured in this blog post.