• Accelerating Writing Performance through Interactive Group Work: Teaching Argumentative Paragraph Using the Order of Comparison in a Short Newspaper A

    An Alternative lesson Plan for Intermediate 2 LIA Student Book
    Teachers frequently fail to demonstrate an interactive writing lesson; as a result their teachings end up uninteresting and less communicative. This lesson plan will give them an overview in teaching argumentative paragraph using order of comparison in a short newspaper article through interactive group work. It explores Intermediate 2 Student Book lesson 4 entitled Something in Common.

    The lesson starts off by asking students to recall difficult words learned in previous meeting (lesson 3) such as acclaimed, breadwinner, juggle, reluctant, etc. Teacher (T) makes use of the words to form a group of four. For example, group one is acclaimed, group two is breadwinner, etc. Then, in groups they do Rallytable, the procedures are as follows:

    • Students (Ss) work in pairs in groups of four.
    • They pass a paper back and forth writing down answers to a problem which has many answers (teacher uses activity A.1 as problem). When time is called, they compare their answers with those of the other pair in the team.
    • T, then, discusses the answers and write some of them on the board.

    Then T, employing the words on the board, elicits new words and phrases taught in the lesson such as identical in appearance, similarity, poles apart, things in common, etc. and after that Ss , in groups, discuss the answers of activity A.2. Then, by doing Rallytable for the second time Ss do activity A.3.

    In the presentation stage, teacher rewrites the paragraph presented in B and divides it into three parts namely topic sentence, supporting details, and concluding sentence and attach three/four sets- depending on the number of pairs- of them on the wall. Afterwards, Ss do Mix Pair Share, the procedures are as follows:

    • Ss silently mix around the room. NO TALKING!
    • T calls “pair.”
    • Ss pair up with the person closest to them and shake hands.
    • Students who haven’t found a partner raise their hand to find each other.
    • Ss are to rearrange the parts or the paragraph into a good one.
    • Ss share with other pairs.
    Subsequently, T presents how to write an argumentative paragraph using the order of comparison in a newspaper article and explains transitional signals to support the paragraph.

    The next phase will be skills practice. Ss practice to connect sentences in activity E.1. in group of four. After discussing the answers, Ss do Popcorn Share in checking the answer with the whole class. The following is the way to do it:

    • Teacher poses a question on the book.
    • Teacher then gives think time.
    • When the teacher calls, “Popcorn,” the students quickly and
    • voluntarily pop up from their chairs one at a time to share an answer.
    • Seated students write responses and mark incorrect answers.
    • Inaccurate information is discussed at the conclusion of the activity.

    After finishing activity E.1., Ss, again, in pairs or a group of four discuss the answers of C.1, C.2 and finally elaborate their points in a paragraph and rewrite the paragraph in a manila paper. Then, they do simplified Gallery Walk activity. The procedures are as follows:

    • Groups display their rewrite argumentative paragraph on the wall.
    • One member stays in the group to explain what they write. Others will move around to read other groups’ work.
    • Besides reading the work, Ss may give and write necessary comments or edit the work.

    At last, the lesson ends when Ss write their own argumentative paragraph using the order of comparison, transitional markers based on the topics chosen in activity F. If time allows, Ss are to do peer correction based on the editing checklist in activity G.

    In summary, teaching writing can be as effective as teaching other skills. Teachers may use cooperative learning techniques to help them provide interactive activities.

    Jacobs, G.M., G.S. Lee, J. Ball. 1997. Cooperative Learning: A sourcebook of Lesson Plans for Teacher Education on Cooperative Learning. San Clemente, California: Kagan Cooperative Learning.
    Johnson, D. W., Johnson, R. T., & Holubec, E. J. (1993). Cooperation in the Classroom (6th ed.). Edina, MN: Interaction Book Company.
    Kagan, S. and Kagan, M. (1998). Multiple intelligences: The complete MI book. San Cemente, CA: Kagan.

    Written by Sari Karmina

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