I think this is a winning idea for several reasons! First of all, I’m really intrigued by the idea of flipping the writing instruction so that students are doing more of their writing practice in the classroom where the support is available. I would imagine that this would lead to less student frustration and that students are finding themselves better equipped to tackle the roadblocks that occur during writing. I like the fact that this activity asks students to work collaboratively to create thesis statements and build off of each other’s ideas. Also, I really like the fact that the teacher models editing and thinking out loud. This is a great way to show students what you mean, rather than just telling them. Finally, making this activity fun with music and good-natured competition will most likely make for more engaged students. Love the fact that this idea can be adaptable to other mini writing lessons. Thanks for the great idea!
Which type of claim is right for your argument? Which type of thesis or claim you use for your argument will depend on your position and knowledge of the topic, your audience, and the context of your paper. You might want to think about where you imagine your audience to be on this topic and pinpoint where you think the biggest difference in viewpoints might be. Even if you start with one type of claim you probably will be using several within the paper. Regardless of the type of claim you choose to utilize it is key to identify the controversy or debate you are addressing and to define your position early on in the paper.
Be sure to choose only the arguments you will be able to illustrate and develop in your essay. Feel free to revisit your thesis statement and rewrite it while you work on your paper and want to add or change something. If you decide to use the thesis statement suggested above, you will need to write one paragraph discussing a relationship between literacy of population and economic development of the country. Another paragraph should shed light on the current situation in Africa. Try to find the latest stats on education and economy in Africa. Numbers often speak louder than words when you need to illustrate your point and to persuade readers to share your position. The third paragraph should address the question of humanitarian aid and the attitude of the locals to it. Finally, make sure to repeat your thesis statement in the conclusion part, but use different wording.