Digital Skills: Developing Online Assessment Skills in Everyday Classroom Activities Western Reserve Public Media

We Need a Hero
This lesson follows the study of Beowulf, The Canterbury Tales, and miscellaneous stories about King Arthur. During the study of these texts we have looked at the characteristics of the Epic Hero and evaluated the characters in the stories using those characteristics.

I can:
  • Craft an argument essay to support a claim about the article, “Where Have all the Heroes Gone?”
  • Use MLA documentation to cite evidence to support my claims
  • Use internet search engines to provide evidence to support claims
Tech Skills:
  • Keyboarding

  • Using databases and search engines

  • Mouse skills

  • Editing

Materials and Resources:

Characteristics of an Epic Hero

Suggested Readings

We Need A Hero - assignment document

“Where Have All Our Heroes Gone?” - article

Resources for Writing Argument Essays:

Grade Level:
  • 12th Grade

Subject Area:
  • ELA

Activity 1

Students will review the process for writing argument essays using links to the Purdue OWL (Online Writing Lab) website.

Activity 2

Students will review Characteristics of an Epic Hero and read the article “Where Have All Our Heroes Gone?” by Dr. Jim Taylor.

Activity 3

Students will be given the We Need a Hero assignment:

In his article, Dr. Taylor suggests “...heroes are essential to children’s development. They convey the values that reflect the best that society has to offer. They influence the choices children make — what would my hero do in this situation? And heroes act as role models, shaping children through their words and deeds.” He goes on to say that each generation’s heroes reflect the defining mood or spirit of that generation, and suggests that your generations’ defining mood/spirit is not one that is highly regarded. Is Dr. Taylor’s assumption correct? Write an essay to answer this question.

You will need to go beyond just agreeing or disagreeing with Dr. Taylor. You will need to support your agreement/disagreement with evidence both from the text provided, and from other sources. You will need to use Dr. Taylor’s key points as the basis of your argument for or against his stance.

Students will need to use INFOhio’s iSearch, or other similar databases to find support for the position they take in the essay.

W.11-12.1 Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.

  1. Establish a clear and thorough thesis to present a complex argument.

  2. Introduce precise, knowledgeable claim(s), establish the significance of the claim(s), distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and create an organization that logically sequences claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence.

  3.  Develop claim(s) and counterclaims fairly and thoroughly, supplying the most relevant evidence for each while pointing out the strengths and limitations of both in a manner that anticipates the audience’s knowledge level, concerns, values, and possible biases.

  4. Use words, phrases, and clauses as well as varied syntax to link the major sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify the relationships between claim(s) and reasons, between reasons and evidence, and between claim(s) and counterclaims.

  5. Establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone while attending to the norms and conventions of the discipline in which they are writing.

  6. Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented.

W.11-12.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

W.11-12.6 Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products in response to ongoing feedback, including new arguments or information.

W.11-12.7 Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

W.11-12.8 Gather relevant information from multiple authoritative print and digital sources, using advanced searches effectively; assess the strengths and limitations of each source in terms of the task, purpose, and audience; integrate information into the text selectively to maintain the flow of ideas, avoiding plagiarism and overreliance on any one source and following a standard format for citation.

W.11-12.9 Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research

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