Over the past few weeks, my 11th grade ICT class has been working through a unit on nuclear power. After reading through several arguments both for and against the new energy source, the class has been charged with writing an argumentative paper either in support of or opposed to building a nuclear power plant in our area. Students are to consider the readings and find claims and evidence that supports their position, as well as refute counterclaims against their position.
This has been no easy task, for teacher or student. In addition to pushing students further into the argumentative writing demanded by the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), my co teacher and I are in uncharted territory in our own right (honestly, I’ve learned quite a bit about nuclear power, and my own position on the issue is still evolving). Along the way, I picked up a few ideas about making argumentative writing accessible and engaging for students with or without disabilities who are struggling with the CCSS.