Advanced Module on Designing Rich Argumentation Tasks

This module on designing rich argumentation tasks can be executed as four sessions that are each 45-minutes, or fewer sessions that are longer (e.g. one 3-hour session). If held as multiple sessions, the agenda includes an extension section to encourage teachers to implement some argumentation aspect before the next session. The following session then begins with time for teachers to share their experiences, as well as artifacts of their students’ argumentation (e.g. writing, video). These sections are optional. If held as one session, please see the notes in red in the agenda below.  


  • Teachers will be introduced to key criteria and other things to consider when designing rich argumentation tasks.
  • Teachers will consider how various instructional activities (e.g. Evidence Gradient Tool, Anticipation Guide) align with the key criteria for rich argumentation tasks.
  • Teachers will be introduced to the Evidence Gradient Tool as an instructional activity that supports students in evaluating the quality of evidence.
  • Teachers will be introduced to the Anticipation Guide as an instructional tool that supports students in tracking their thinking, and revising claims given new evidence.
  • Teachers will consider the ways that different instructional activities can support the four areas of argumentation in which students need extra support.
  • Teachers will design a new lesson or revise an existing lesson to integrate a rich argumentation task into their science instruction.
  • Teachers will identify areas of argumentation that are challenging for their students.*

*Note: The final goal is only applicable if the module is implemented as multiple sessions


The agenda for this module’s sessions can be found within each session’s page. However, you can also view a downloadable version of the agenda that cuts across all four sessions in this module. 

Session NameDescriptionLength
Session #1: What design criteria support rich argumentation tasks?This session introduces four criteria and other considerations when designing rich argumentation tasks.45 minutes
Session #2: How can you support students to evaluate the quality of evidence?This session incorporates an Evidence Gradient Tool as a means to support students in evaluating the quality of evidence. 45 minutes
Session #3: How can you support students to revise their thinking given new evidence?This session uses an Anticipation Guide to explore ways to support students in revising their thinking given new evidence.  45 minutes
Session #4: Work session – designing a rich argumentation taskThis session provides teachers with work time to develop or revise a lesson that includes a rich argumentation task. 45 minutes