Claims and Evidence
Identify/Generate the principle
Time: 15 minutes (plus student prep work outside of class)
This exercise calls on students to do research (building skills
for them, saving time for you); it makes sense only after the class
visit to the library. In fact, it works well as an assignment due
just after the library visit.
Generate a list of claims or sub-topics based on recent class discussion.
Narrow the list down into the 3 or 4 most promising and interesting
ones. Assign students to cover different claims/topics, and ask
each student to find and read 3 pieces about their assigned claim/topic.
(You might require 3 different sources: a newspaper article, a
journal piece, and the introduction of a book.) They should write
a summary of each source (listing claims and evidence), and post
it on toolkit.
For the next homework assignment, ask students to review the database
and choose the most interesting claims, or the best evidence, or
the least persuasive evidence. Base future class discussions and
writing assignments around the database. (Students can gather additional
evidence on their own, or continue adding to the database.)