Here is an activity I have used with my class this week to help them to build their confidence in writing to argue.
First of all, I asked them to put the focus of the question into the centre of a grid. In each box they had to add an idea which could form the basis of a supporting paragraph.
I then gave them one minute to add initial ideas to each paragraph box. They also had to number their paragraphs in the order in which they would write them – so they were thinking about logically structuring their response.
Step three was to take one of the paragraphs and to repeat the process. They had to add ideas around the central idea in order to extend and develop that paragraph.
Finally, I asked them to add some extra detail to each box again. They had to consider where and how they would use their persuasive techniques.
As a plenary I asked them to write one of the paragraphs. I encouraged them to pick the one which they thought would be most difficult and they all rose to the challenge. This suggested to me that the activity had succeeded in raising their confidence levels. The feedback was positive as they said it would help them to develop their ideas. We’ll see next lesson when we do a timed response!