Grade 7: Building Evidence-Based Arguments – “Doping can be that last 2 percent.”


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Reading Informational Text

 RI.7.1 Cite several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

RI.7.2 Determine two or more central ideas in a text and analyze their development over the course of the text; provide an objective summary of the text.

RI.7.3 Analyze the interactions between individuals, events, and ideas in a text (e.g., how ideas influence individuals or events, or how individuals influence ideas or events).

RI.7.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings; analyze the impact of a specific word choice on meaning and tone.

RI.7.5 Analyze the structure an author uses to organize a text, including how the major sections contribute to the whole and to the development of the ideas.

RI.7.6 Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how the author distinguishes his or her position from that of others.

RI.7.7 Compare and contrast a text to an audio, video, or multimedia version of the text, analyzing each medium’s portrayal of the subject (e.g., how the delivery of a speech affects the impact of the words).

RI.7.8 Trace and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is sound and the evidence is relevant and sufficient to support the claims.

RI.7.9 Analyze how two or more authors writing about the same topic shape their presentations of key information by emphasizing different evidence or advancing different interpretations of facts.


W.7.1 Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.

W.7.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.

W.7.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1-3 above.)

W.7.5 With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on how well purpose and audience have been addressed. (Editing for conventions should demonstrate command of Language standards 1-3 up to and including grade 7 here.)

W.7.9 Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

Speaking and Listening

SL.7.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 7 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.


This Grade 7 unit titled “Building Evidence-Based Arguments – Doping can be that last 2 percent” from is part of a developing core proficiencies program. The instructional focus of this unit is on analyzing and writing evidence-based arguments with specific attention to argumentative perspective, position, claims, evidence and reasoning. Students learn to think about a complex societal topic, the issues and controversies surrounding Performance Enhancing Drugs, as they read and research to better understand the issue and various perspectives, and to form a position of their own. The culminating task asks students to develop an argumentative essay that explains and supports their position, acknowledges the perspectives and positions of others, and uses evidence gleaned through close reading and analysis to support their claims.


Connecticut teachers should be aware that teacher notes and preparation materials will require familiarity to be used effectively, especially in regard to pacing of instruction. Due to the rigor required for student success, additional supports for students who are ELL, have disabilities, or read well below the grade level text band may be required. The articles included in the text sets are somewhat dated for this timely topic and could be updated.


The design of this unit is exemplary. In addition to reading and writing, it incorporates many structured collaborative activities to develop key speaking and listening proficiencies. Files, including detailed daily lesson plans, are organized so that teachers can easily browse through the materials. Instruction in this unit links to a sequence of text sets. Each text set provides multiple entry points into the issue, giving teachers and students flexibility with respect to the time and depth with which they wish to explore the topic. The unit includes a progression of learning where concepts and skills advance and deepen over time; it gradually removes supports and requires students to demonstrate their independent capacities. Varied modes of assessment provide guidance for interpreting student performance.