Our Examples and Anecdotes Lesson Plan explores the differences between examples and anecdotes, using them in writing, and identifying them in text and content. In addition, students are shown the problems with anecdotes, especially when anecdotal evidence is used instead of facts about a claim or situation. This lesson prepares students to be aware of anecdotes and examples, which are both used regularly by popular media, the Internet, and other sources. Pairing the lesson with current events and stories is highly recommended to help students generalize their ability to recognize anecdotes in action.
Sample Classroom Procedure / Teacher Instruction
- Open the lesson by sharing a fact (Earth is a round planet) with the students, an example (most planets are round, like Mars and Venus), and an anecdote (many years ago, people thought the Earth was flat, people on ships believed they would fall off the edge…). Ask students: What is the difference between the information I shared about planets (or another topic)?
- Allow for responses and discussion. Help students become aware there are 3 examples of shared information taking place. Ask again, if they can identify the differences.
- Allow for responses and discussion. Display the words: fact, example, anecdote. Ask students if they can label each type of information shared. Introduce examples and anecdotes.
- Distribute Examples and Anecdotes content pages. Read and review the information with the students. During the content reading, ask students to share an anecdote about a dog.
- It is important to stress the problem of using anecdotes as factual evidence. Explain by citing examples from the Internet or other media sources. Allow students to share favorite anecdotes during the lesson closing. Use the additional resources to enhance understanding.
- Distribute Activity page. Carefully read and review the instructions. Pair students. Distribute scissors and containers for anecdote topics. Allow students sufficient time to complete the activity.
- Once students have shared anecdotes, and have chosen the best in each category, the student pairs will share.
- The entire class then votes for the overall best from each category.
- Distribute Practice page. Check and review the students’ responses.
- Distribute the Homework page. The next day, allow students to share the anecdotes from family or friends.
Common Core State Standards: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.5.3, CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.6.3
Class Sessions (45 minutes): At least 2 class sessions.
Want more reading resources? Check out our other Reading Lesson Plans!