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Welcome to Georgia Classrooms Live! - From Conversation to Composition

Growing Great Writers

From Conversation to Composition

Dr. Zackory Kirk, K-12 ELA Coordinator
Hampton High School
Henry County School District

Supporting Documents

Model Lesson High School Anchor Book – Anthony Stokes
Guiding Questions
American Literature Writing Prompt for Anthony Stokes Decision
Anthony Stokes Nonfiction Constructed Response
Noncompliant Behavior
AJC Article – Tragic path for heart transplant teen
Op-ed AJC Article – It’s never too late
Georgia Standards of Excellence Group Evaluation Grid
Role Cards for Anthony Stokes

Grade Level and Content Area

American Literature

Standards Addressed

English Language Arts Georgia Standards of Excellence (ELAGSE)

ELAGSE11-12RI1; ELAGSE11-12SL1a; ELAGSE11-121c; ELAGSE11-12L1d


The objective of this lesson is to help students ascertain how effective writers use researched evidence to support their claims. An additional objective is to provide students with an opportunity to access complex texts and to synthesize multiple sources for the construction of a coherent argument. An enthusiastic Dr. Kirk opens the session by communicating the learning outcomes and having students contribute to the success criteria. Ripped from the newspaper headlines in Atlanta, “The Anthony Stokes Decision” fuels a hot and somewhat emotional debate among students who are then plunged into a medical journal article on “Understanding Noncompliant Behavior,” for a stretch-text medical explanation of why a young Anthony Stokes was turned down for a heart transplant. Students engage in activities that compel them to examine issues from multiple points of view. Once the research and debate settles into words on the page, a concluding article is shared that surprises the class and captures the contemporary relevance of the issues in a memorable lesson.

Video Segments

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Opening: Getting Ready to Learn
Collaborative Session: Releasing Students to Work
Work Session: Making Sense of the Learning
Closing: Reflecting on the Learning

About the Teacher

A graduate of Mississippi State University, Zackory Kirk started his journey in education at Eagle’s Landing High School in McDonough, Georgia.  Throughout his classroom tenure, Zackory Kirk taught every course offered within the secondary ELA curriculum, earned recognition as a Teacher of the Year (2006) and as Star Teacher (2008, 2011).  Additionally, Zackory Kirk worked at Frederick Douglass High School as an Instructional Coach for School Improvement and served the Mays Cluster of the Atlanta Public School System as a Professional Learning Specialist for Teaching and Learning.  Currently Zackory Kirk works to ensure quality literacy instruction for almost 40,000 students as ELA Coordinator for the Henry County School District.

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