Writing an Argument: The Grand Coulee Dam

This Writing an Argument: The Grand Coulee Dam assessment also includes:

The benefits of building the Grand Coulee Dam were enormous—as were the drawbacks. Learners read different points of view on the construction of the dam, including the famous Woody Guthrie song and firsthand accounts from nearby residents, before writing a final argument essay on the dam's merits for the country.

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CCSS: Designed
Instructional Ideas

  • Use as a final assessment for a language arts class after a persuasive writing unit
  • Create a cross-curricular project between social studies and language arts during a focus on land use or dams
Classroom Considerations

  • Designed for sixth graders, but beneficial for older grades as well
  • Does not include a link nor the lyrics to the Woody Guthrie song "Grand Coulee Dam," but both are easily found online
  • The third page of the resource is an advertisement for the publisher's curriculum
  • Some prior knowledge on the construction of the dam would be helpful, particularly for struggling readers or English learners
Pros

  • Prompts learners to compare and contrast different types of text
  • Includes collaborative research activities and discussion before the final writing assignment
Cons

  • None