As an introductory activity, students will explore Mars Gen One with their teacher. This app allows students to assemble argubot "cores," where they look at claims and supporting evidence. They explore claims and supporting details and take notes on what makes a solid claim and what makes good evidence.
This is a fun activity, where students may forget they are learning (in a good way!). As a teacher, you will need to monitor student progress, perhaps stopping by and conversing with students about claims vs. evidence.
2 Guided Practice
After taking notes on claims and argument supporting details, students will look at the overview and then read, "The Moral Case of Drones." Students will be asked to peruse vocabulary and look at the rubric. Students will compare the rubric with the teacher to see what the expectations of writing this assignment will be.
Students should be given time to explore "The Moral Case of Drones" or read it together as a class, and then read it once more individually. You may want to ask that students annotate their reading, noting vocabulary or key ideas/terms that may be confusing to them. You can then check for understanding after students have read - may be helpful to discuss confusing prats for the students.
3 Independent Practice
Students will browse Opposing Viewpoints and look for a topic they feel connected to or that irks them. These are the best topics for students to write a position paper on. With teacher guidance, students will choose a topic and begin researching it.
Once they begin researching, students will begin recording their findings in Noodletools. They should share their project with their teacher.
Teachers: You may want students to annotate their bibliography using notecards. You should decide this ahead of time.
4 Writing & Evaluating
Using Google Drive, students will write their position papers. Students will then peer edit each other's papers using Kaizena, a Google Drive add-on which allows students to add voice and written comments to each other's written drafts.
Students must remember to reference the rubric in ThinkCerca, as this is what they'll be graded on. You will want to make sure, as at teacher, that you review the rubric ahead of time and formulate your lesson accordingly.
Key Standards Supported
Reading Informational Text
Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
Determine a central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including its relationship to supporting ideas; provide an objective summary of the text.
Analyze how a text makes connections among and distinctions between individuals, ideas, or events (e.g., through comparisons, analogies, or categories).
Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
Determine a central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.
Analyze how the author unfolds an analysis or series of ideas or events, including the order in which the points are made, how they are introduced and developed, and the connections that are drawn between them.
Conduct short research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question), drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions that allow for multiple avenues of exploration.
Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, using search terms effectively; assess the credibility and accuracy of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation.
Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
Apply grade 8 Reading standards to literature (e.g., “Analyze how a modern work of fiction draws on themes, patterns of events, or character types from myths, traditional stories, or religious works such as the Bible, including describing how the material is rendered new”).
Apply grade 8 Reading standards to literary nonfiction (e.g., “Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is sound and the evidence is relevant and sufficient; recognize when irrelevant evidence is introduced”).