Name: Kelly Aiken Date

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Name: Kelly Aiken

Date: 9/27/10

Lesson Title:

Banning Halloween

Course Title and Grade Level:

World Experience – Grade 12 [10]

Content Standard(s) and Prior Knowledge:

Content Standard(s):

2.4 Write persuasive compositions:

    • a. Structure ideas and arguments in a sustained and logical fashion.

    • c. Clarify and defend positions with precise and relevant evidence, including facts, expert opinions, quotations, and expressions of commonly accepted beliefs and logical reasoning.

d. Address readers' concerns, counterclaims, biases, and expectations.

Prior Knowledge Needed for This Lesson:

  • Definition of sensory details

  • Definition of action verbs

  • Definition of a persuasive argument

  • Business Letter format

Desired Results

Enduring Understanding(s):

  • Making an argument and supporting ideas.

  • Addressing a specific audience.

  • Using personal experience to support a point

Essential Question(s):

  • How do you make a convincing argument?

  • How do you write for a specific audience?

Academic Language:

  • Students will learn how a rubric is used to evaluate a persuasive essay

  • Students will write casual narratives and formal business letters surrounding their personal experiences and opinions

  • Students will learn how to make claims and support them in a persuasive essay

  • Students will learn how to write for a particular audience


  • Objection

  • Analyze

  • Audience

Evidence of Learning: Assessment of Skills and Knowledge

  • Writing a persuasive essay

Essays will be graded using the same rubric (CAHSEE rubric) used in activity Two.


  • Final assessment will be modeled

  • Rubric for final assessment will be used in class activity

  • Students will use personal experience in classroom

  • Students will use primary sources in rubric practice

  • Students will do formal writing in-class with teacher guidance

Lesson One: Halloween Journals


  • Read Halloween Experience essay [15]

  • Discuss sensory details/action verbs [5]

  • Write Halloween Experience journal entry [20]

  • Share Halloween Experiences in small groups [10]

Write the following definitions on the board:

Action verbs – a verb that expresses an action

Sensory details – a description of something using one of the 5 sense

Class begins with a group reading of a Halloween Experience essay. Each student will be given a copy and asked to read along. Teacher will ask students to:

  • make sparks on any connections

  • highlight any sensory details or action verbs

Teacher will read essay aloud. After reading, students will be first allowed to volunteer any sparks they wrote. Next, students will be called on to share the action verbs and sensory details they found.

Students will write journal entries, choosing one of the two topics:

  1. Think of a time you had a happy or fun experience that relates to Halloween.

  2. Think of a time you had a disastrous experience that relates to Halloween.

Students will write their experiences down in their journals. Focus should be on personal experience, using sensory details and action verbs to “show, don't tell.” These should be narratives, in first person.

Students will be asked to THINK/PAIR/SHARE after their journal entries – first to share them with groups, and then volunteers to share with the class. Students should also take notes during this part of the activity, on any details/ideas they might be able to incorporate in to their own written accounts.

- Materials

  • Halloween Experience essay

  • Post-it's

  • High-lighters

Lesson Two: Persuasive Evaluations


  • Read article #1 [15]

    • Class Discussion

  • Read article #2 [15]

    • Small groups

  • Read article #3 [15]

    • Individual written response

  • Review Rubric [10]

    • Grade Sample Essay

Teacher will pass out 3 example articles about banning Halloween in various communities. The first will be read aloud by teacher, with the class reading along and highlighting anything they agree with or object to.

For the 2nd essay, teacher will once again read the essay aloud. This time, students will be asked to discuss in small groups anything mentioned in the article that they agree or disagree with.
For the last essay, teacher will read aloud. Students will be asked to write a short paragraph on anything mentioned in the article that they agree or disagree with
Next, teacher will go over persuasive writing essay rubric with class. Students will be called on to read small sections aloud, with a quick summary by the teacher at the end. Students will then be given a model essay which they will read individually and grade with the given rubric. Teacher will call on students to share the scores they gave the essay, with reasons.

Homework: Students will be asked to pretend that their city is planning to ban Halloween this year. They will write a journal entry with 2 columns, 1 for reasons for banning Halloween and 1 for reasons for keeping Halloween. They must have at least 2 entries on each side.


Lesson Three: Letter to the School Board

Students will begin by sharing their homework in small groups.
After the activity, students will begin rough drafts of a letter in response to the following prompt:
The local county School Board is planning on banning Halloween in all public schools this year. Write a letter to the the board expressing your support of t or your opposition of their choice.
Students should use at least 2 examples from the column that they are choosing to write their letter on. They should also address a potential objection based on 1 example from their homework on the side they are choosing not to write on. Remind students to use personal examples and support them.
Remind students that their persuasive letters will be graded the same way they graded earlier essays.


- Computer Lab (ideally)

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