C3WP Instructional Resources

Mini-units are:

  • designed to build capacity for students' argument writing over time
  • focused on one or two skills in argument writing
  • intended to build on routine argument writing and lead towards extended research argument
  • limited in duration, usually from 4-6 class periods

Below is a short video describing the mini-units:




Mini-units help students:

  • curate information
  • participate in conversations that matter
  • understand multiple points of view
  • use evidence from nonfiction sources
  • take reasonable stands and seek thoughtful action

Below is a short video on the reasoning behind using nonfiction sources:

Why Non-Fiction?

How to use the chart below:

  • This chart assists teachers in selecting and sequencing mini-units based on specific instructional goals. Each mini-unit focuses on a specific set of skills identified by the title. Because each unit is focused on a different area of emphasis, the unit set provides multiple entry points to develop and stretch student skills with argument. 
  • The chart is organized in clusters of related mini-units so that teachers can choose from multiple options for teaching broader skill. For example, if a formative assessment indicates that the next instructional step is to support students in being more deliberate about selecting and using evidence, a teacher might decide to teach both Ranking Evidence and Organizing Evidence or he or she might decide to teach one of the two and then see that students are ready to move on to writing a more nuanced argument. 
  • The chart is not meant to suggest that a teacher should move from top to bottom through the sequence of mini-units, but rather that the selection and sequencing of mini-units can depend upon a variety of factors such as students’ experience with argument skills, area of emphasis, written product, student engagement, or need to reteach or go deeper into an area of emphasis. The ultimate goal is to move beyond the mini-units and get to the Extended Research resources at the bottom of the chart. 
  • One primary function of these charts is to identify Next Steps based on a needs assessment, the Using Sources Tool, or another protocol for looking at student work.

C3WP Instructional Resource Guide

To access each instructional resource, click on the title.  

Google Docs Video