Grade 7 ELA Module 2A, Unit 2, Lesson 2

Stacks of books.

Unit 2 Lessons 2-7 are adapted from the Making Evidence-Based Claims unit developed by Odell Education. For the original Odell Education unit, go to
• In this lesson, students will begin to work with the central text, César Chávez’s Commonwealth Club Address (1984). This text is challenging. Therefore, students will first read and listen to large chunks of the speech for gist. Then they will reread and analyze each selection in greater depth.
• In this lesson, students read along as they listen to a recording of Chavez delivering the first half of the speech (paragraphs 1 – 15). This is a powerful way for the students to connect with the text.
• Then students dive deeper into the first eight paragraphs of the Commonwealth Club Address to analyze one of Chávez’s claims. In Unit 1, students formed evidence-based claims after collecting evidence. Here they reverse that process: hey are given the claim but must find evidence to support it. The examples provided in the teacher versions are possibilities meant more to  illustrate the process than to shape textual analysis. Instruction will be most effective if the evidence used in modeling flows naturally from the textual ideas and details that you and the students find significant and interesting.
• Students use a Forming Evidence-based claims graphic organizer (similar to ones they used in Module 1). This graphic organizer is adapted in collaboration with Odell Education based on their Evidence-Based Claims worksheet (also see standalone document on and
• In this unit, students often hold their thinking by annotating their text. Because students may have little experience with annotating text, consider displaying your own copy of the text on a document camera and annotating it as you go to provide students with a visual model of what their speech should look like.
• In this lesson, students begin their work on RI.7.5: understanding how each section of the Chávez speech contributes to his central claim. They begin to work with a graphic organizer that notes the main claim in each part of the speech and has a place to note how each section connects to the central claim of the speech. Keep this as a class anchor chart and also provide students with their own copy to take notes on.
• Note that in these lessons, the term “central claim” is used to refer to the overall claim of Chávez’s speech. As with any argument, his central claim is supported by a number of smaller claims that add together to create his central claim. These
lessons use the language of “main claim in the section …” to refer to the smaller claims that together support his central claim.
Both central claim and main claim refer to arguments that are supported by evidence or reasons.
• Note that Chávez’s central claim is in Paragraph 15, in the middle of the speech. Lead students to understand how this is different from the essays they have written and how a persuasive speech differs in structure from an argumentative essay. In an argumentative essay, the central claim is established early. In this speech, it is introduced in the middle.

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Common Core Learning Standards

CCLS State Standard
RI.7.2 Determine two or more central ideas in a text and analyze their development over the course of the...
W.7.5 With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by...

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