Planning a Position Paper
- Grades: 9–12
- Unit Plan:
- 1 copy of the position paper rubric (PDF) per student
- 1 copy of the position paper assignment (PDF) package per student
- LCD projector and laptop computer (optional)
Set Up and Prepare
Connect the LCD projector to the laptop computer and run the Planning a Position Paper presentation (PDF).
- Distribute the position paper assignment package to students and have them complete number one under the procedure section as a warm up activity.
- Inform students of their task by explaining the purpose of a position paper along with the topic of the paper they will write and having them select the perspective from which they will write (number two under the procedure section of the handout).
- After students have selected to write from the perspective of an artist, a music store owner, or a parent, model how students should go about selecting their position on the issue. This can be done by first selecting one perspective and creating a T-chart with "Pro" on one side and "Con" on the other. You would then list all of the reasons that you would choose to be "pro" on the issue and all of the reasons you would choose to be "con." Whichever side has more rationale is the side that you should take for your essay. After modeling, instruct students to go through the same process and then place a checkmark next to the position that they will take for their essay.
- Distribute and review the position paper rubric with students.
- Lastly, model for students how to complete the graphic organizer on page 2 of their handout in order to plan their essays. Refer to the model plan on page 3 of the handout.
Supporting All Learners
As students are working on their "pro vs. con" T-chart after choosing their perspectives, you may need to place your struggling students and ELLs in a small group and provide further assistance.
Instruct students to explain their assignment to someone at home. Students should ask family members for suggested points to make in order to argue their position.
Have students complete the graphic organizer on page 2 of their handout.
Review the "pro vs. con" T-chart to assess whether or not students will be able to write a well-developed essay based on the perspective and position that they have chosen.