Brainstorming


Claims, Reasons, Evidence, Acknowledgment and Response
Generate the Principle
Time: 30 minutes
 
This activity is a good way to get students to think about a reading as they practice generating the parts of argument. If you use this technique early in the term, students get better at generating relevant ideas in more free-form discussions later.


Put a claim about the reading on the board. (The first few times you try this activity, choose the claims yourself to highlight aspects of the readings you want to discuss. Afterwards, let students generate claims.)

Ask students to build an argument around the claim, filling in reasons, evidence, a&r, and warrants. Include objections, reservations, and counter-evidence. (Occasionally, choose claims that are difficult or impossible to support.)

Once the students run out of energy and ideas, revisit the claim to see whether you can refine it to fit the argument more closely.

Note: You may want to ask a student to copy the arguments from the board, so that you can type them up and post them/distribute them.