Students write at a table.
Assessment

Adding to Evidence Logs, 3 of 3

In step 5 of the unit assessment, students reflect on the writing prompt in its entirety, add evidence from Lessons 19-21 to evidence logs, and engage in mini-debates about the writing topic.

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At a Glance

Assessment

Language

English — US

Subject

  • History
  • Social Studies

Grade

6–8

Duration

One 50-min class period
  • The Holocaust

Overview

About This Assessment

Students are now ready to reflect on, gather evidence for, and discuss the unit writing prompt in its entirety:

What does learning about the choices people made during the Weimar Republic, the rise of the Nazi Party, and the Holocaust teach us about the power and impact of our choices today?

In addition to reflecting on the entire prompt and adding evidence from Lessons 19 to 21 to their evidence logs, you might also ask students to engage in structured conversations or mini-debates that challenge them to support their ideas about the writing topic with evidence and listen actively to their peers. For many students, the process of talking before writing helps them organize their thoughts, explain their thinking, and develop a clear point of view.

This assessment is designed to fit into one 50-min class period and includes:

  • 4 activities
  • 2 teaching strategies

Preparing to Teach

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Lesson Plans

Activities

  • Ask students to reread their journal entries in response to the essay topic. Challenge them to look for, and maybe even mark with a star, places where their thinking about the question evolved or changed. Then ask them to respond to the writing prompt in their journals:
    What does learning about the choices people made during the Weimar Republic, the rise of the Nazi Party, and the Holocaust teach us about the power and impact of our choices today?
  • Use the Wraparound strategy to allow each student to share an idea from his or her journal entries with the class.

Students should add to their evidence logs any information from Lessons 19 to 21 that helps them respond to the essay question.

Although students will continue to gather evidence throughout the final two lessons of this unit, this is an appropriate time for them to begin the process of developing their position in response to the writing prompt by engaging in structured discussions with their peers. You might select from the Common Core Writing Prompts and Strategies supplement’s Strategy 14: Taking a Stand on Controversial Issues: Speaking and Listening Strategies or Strategy 15: Building Arguments through Mini-Debates. Or  you might select a different pre-writing teaching strategy from the website.

In a final journal response or on exit cards, ask students to respond to the following questions:

  • How has your thinking about the essay topic question changed over the course of the unit? Which text (reading, image, video), lesson, or activity contributed the most to this change?
  • What do you feel you need to learn more about in order to answer the essay topic question and write your essay?

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Facing History and Ourselves is designed for educators who want to help students explore identity, think critically, grow emotionally, act ethically, and participate in civic life. It’s hard work, so we’ve developed some go-to professional learning opportunities to help you along the way.

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