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Independent Study
Age 11-13: Concept 1 - Semester 1: Unit 5

In this unit, you will explore a controversial topic of your choice and learn about multiple perspectives on the issue. You will write an argumentative essay and give a presentation to your audience at the conclusion of the unit.

Prerequisites

  • Able to read and comprehend novels at a late 7th or 8th grade reading level
  • Able to write multiple paragraphs on a topic
  • Familiar with the five-paragraph essay

Table of Contents

  • Lesson 1: Independent Study Introduction
  • Lesson 2: Bias and Propaganda (2 Days)
  • Lesson 3: Starting Your Research (2 Days)
  • Lesson 4: Finding Information (4 Days)
  • Lesson 5: Writing the Essay (3 Days)
  • Lesson 6: Presentation (3 Days)

Summary of Skills

Moving Beyond the Page is based on state and national standards. These standards are covered in this unit.
  • Analyze the purpose of the author or creator by examining any bias, apparent or hidden messages, emotional factors, and/or propaganda techniques and exploring and evaluating the underlying assumptions of the author/creator. (Language Arts)
  • Ask open-ended research questions and develop a plan for answering them by generating a research plan to gather relevant information about the major research question. (Language Arts)
  • Brainstorm, consult with others, decide upon a topic, and formulate open-ended questions to address the major research topic. (Language Arts)
  • Clarify research questions and evaluate and synthesize collected information. (Language Arts)
  • Explore and analyze argumentative works that are read, heard and/or viewed by summarizing the author's purpose and stance, examining the importance and impact of establishing a position or point of view, and drawing inferences. (Language Arts)
  • Explore and analyze argumentative works that are read, heard, and/or viewed by recognizing bias, emotional factors, and/or semantic slanting, as well as examining the effectiveness of style, tone, and use of language. (Language Arts)
  • Generate a research plan for gathering relevant information about the major research question. (Language Arts)
  • Include evidence compiled through the formal research process (e.g., use of a card catalog, Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature, a computer catalog, magazines, newspapers, and dictionaries). (Language Arts)
  • Organize and present ideas and information according to the purpose of the research and their audience. (Language Arts)
  • Pose relevant and tightly drawn questions about the topic. (Language Arts)
  • Pose relevant questions with a scope narrow enough to be thoroughly covered. (Language Arts)
  • Refine the major research question, if necessary, guided by the answers to a secondary set of questions. (Language Arts)
  • Support the main idea or ideas of a paper with facts, details, examples, and explanations from multiple authoritative sources (e.g., speakers, periodicals, online information searches). (Language Arts)
  • Synthesize research into a written or an oral presentation that compiles important information from multiple sources, develops a topic sentence, summarizes findings, and uses evidence to support conclusions, presents the findings in a consistent format, and uses quotations to support ideas and an appropriate form of documentation to acknowledge sources (e.g., bibliography, works cited). (Language Arts)
  • Write expository compositions (e.g., description, explanation, comparison and contrast, problem and solution) that state the thesis or purpose, explain the situation, follow an organizational pattern appropriate to the type of composition, and offer persuasive evidence to validate arguments and conclusions as needed. (Language Arts)
  • Write persuasive compositions that state a clear position or perspective in support of a proposition or proposal, describe the points in support of the proposition, employing well-articulated evidence, and anticipate/address reader's concerns and counterarguments. (Language Arts)
  • Write research reports that pose relevant questions with a scope narrow enough to be thoroughly covered and support the main idea (or ideas) with facts, details, examples, and explanations from multiple authoritative sources (e.g., speakers, periodicals, online information searches). (Language Arts)
  • Make informed judgments about bias, propaganda, and media techniques. (Social Studies)
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