My Favorite Martian: Workshopping Warrants

Sometimes explaining an argument can lead to confusion and miscommunication. Narrow down the details in written arguments with a group activity in which learners pretend to be aliens from another planet, struggling to understand each others' claims, and asking questions about each element of the argument in order to clarify the point.

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CCSS: Designed
Instructional Ideas

  • Use in a debate class or club, or when focusing on defending claims in language arts writing lessons
  • Model the assignment for the whole class before splitting into groups
Classroom Considerations

  • Despite the title, the lesson has nothing to do with the 1960's show or 1999 film 
  • If the martian concept is complicating the lesson, consider instructing learners to simply ask more questions
  • Lesson uses the term warrants to describe one's argument or claim; feel free to use the term provided or substitute with another relevant word that is more familiar with your class

  • Encourages critical thinking and peer editing
  • Aligned to Common Core standards for writing and reading informational text

  • None