Explanatory and Argumentative Speaking and Writing (continued from part 1)
Argumentative Speaking and Writing
In Argument writing and speaking, on the other hand, students should make a claim about a phenomena, investigation, or current situation. Using a Claims-Evidence-Reasoning structure is especially helpful in developing Argument structured thinking with students. When using this structure in science, students should gather data (evidence) first. After analysis, students can determine what case the evidence seems to make for them. Crafting a statement that answers the focus question and is supported by their evidence becomes a Claim. Finally, older students can add some Reasoning statements which explain how the Evidence supports their Claim statement. So in writing an Argument, the structure follows the order of 1) Claim, 2) Evidence, 3) Reasoning, but in developing the Argument the order is 1) Evidence, 2) Reasoning, 3) Claim. When students are engaging in the practices of Investigation and Data Analysis, Argument speaking and writing is a natural fit.
There are many strategies which help students engage in Argument thinking, writing and speaking. This site, Argument Driven Inquiry outlines an 8-Step Process and The Core of Science Relating Ideas and Evidence, outlines how both students and scientists craft arguments from investigations. Some further strategies can be found in this resource called Scientific Argumentation and these examples. This resource is aimed at high school students and teachers but helps understand the ideas of Claim, Evidence and Reasoning. One important skill includes helping students craft arguments from texts they read, and this article is a good resource to consider for this process. Generally, a gradual release process similar to that outlined for Explanatory writing should be followed. When students are ready for a more formal written Explanation or Argument, working with them to develop an “indicator list” or “gotta-have-it checklist” is a helpful strategy. This can become very helpful in scoring the writing. Just as with Explanation, we need to keep in mind what we know about the Argument practice from Appendix F, p. 12 and at left. This rubric is a good resource for more ideas on scoring Argument writing as aligned with ELA.
Here is a good summary comparison of Explanatory and Argument speaking and writing: in an article from NSTA which does a good job of describing each.