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Eastman’s “Now We Can Begin” in Writing Lesson Plan


The lesson on writing arguments is developed for students from Grade 9. Although students develop their skills in writing arguments in different grades, it is important to enhance their knowledge and train practical skills. Therefore, the purpose of this lesson is to improve students’ skills in analyzing speeches, formulating claims, and planning their own effective arguments. In this class, students have developed skills in discussing arguments, and the needs of diverse students are addressed with the help of differentiating instructions and providing additional materials to stimulate their participation in the lesson activities.

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The strategy selected for the lesson is the ‘Micro Lab Protocol’ that allows for presenting and discussing students’ claims and counterclaims. Working in groups, students receive opportunities to share their visions without being interrupted, and they can listen to other ideas. The discussion of the shared views allows for revising students’ approaches to presenting their opinions. The used strategy is effective to prepare students for writing according to principles of active learning.

Lesson Plan

UNIT: Writing Argumentative Essays.
TEXT: Crystal Eastman’s “Now We Can Begin.”
Learning Objectives
By the end of the lesson, students will be able to:
  1. Distinguish claims and counterclaims.
  2. Recognize rhetorical strategies and language of argumentation.
  3. Formulate claims and counterclaims to support arguments.
  4. Plan, edit, and revise the structure of arguments.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.1 – Students write arguments to present and support their claims.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.1.a – Students distinguish claims and counterclaims.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.1.b – Students develop claims and counterclaims.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.1.c – Students use specific words to connect sections.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.5 – Students develop skills in planning, editing, and revising papers.
Pre-Assessment CulturalRelevance
Students are asked to read Eastman’s speech at home, identify topics and claims, review rhetorical strategies, and recognize them in the speech. The teacher asks students to discuss the topic and determine claims and rhetorical strategies (7 minutes). Students discuss the topics of feminism, communism, suffrage, and women’s rights in the context of the history and social development and with reference to their own visions of these problems.
Teacher Moves Purpose
Pre-Writing Activities:
  1. The teacher uses the PowerPoint presentation to provide students with the information regarding arguments, claims, counterclaims, rebuttal, support, and evidence (7 minutes).
  2. The teacher draws the scheme related to the language of argumentation and asks students to add words and phrases that are used to introduce claims, evidence, make connections, and draw conclusions (5 minutes).

During-Writing Activities:

  1. The Micro Lab Protocol.The teacher asks students to form groups (3 students in each) and share their claims to support Eastman’s ideas and counterclaims to oppose the author’s ideas during 1 minute. The pause between speeches is 30 seconds, and the group discussion lasts 5 minutes (10 minutes) (Ritchhart, Church, & Morrison, 2011).
  2. Students are asked to take a certain position regarding the problem of women’s rights in the 1920s and write a plan of their argument with the focus on the claims, counterclaims, rebuttal, and specific language used in arguments (12 minutes).

Post-Writing Activities:

  1. The teacher asks some students to read aloud their plans, and other students ask questions and discuss the effectiveness of claims. Students are asked to revise their plans if necessary (10 minutes).
Students review the concepts related to writing arguments.

Students review the language of argumentation and phrases used to write arguments.

Students think of possible claims and counterclaims to support or oppose the argument.

Students develop skills in writing well-structured arguments.

Students develop skills in discussing and revising their arguments.

English Language Learners are provided with:
  • definitions of terms;
  • handouts to support the PowerPoint Presentation;
  • the translated variant of Eastman’s “Now We Can Begin” (Spanish).

Students with hearing impairment are provided with transcripts for the PowerPoint Presentation.

Formative Assessment Evidence
To assess:
  1. Students’ answers to pre-assessment questions.
  2. Students’ participation in the Micro Lab Protocol activity.
  3. Students’ plans of arguments.
  • Short answers
  • Detailed answers
  • Written plans of arguments with claims, counterclaims, rebuttals, and signal or connection phrases.


Ritchhart, R., Church, M., & Morrison, K. (2011). Making thinking visible: How to promote engagement, understanding, and independence for all learners. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.

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