Discipline: Science and English
Grade Level: 11th Grade
Course: Integrated chemistry and English
©Literacy Design Collaborative. September 2011
*EXEMPLAR MODULE* In this Project Based Learning (PBL) unit, students are asked to answer the question: Is nuclear energy sustainable? First, students are introduced to their task through an entry event in which they are given a brief introduction to the nuclear energy controversy and are told they will be writing an op-ed piece arguing for or against nuclear power based on their knowledge of the atom, nuclear chemistry, and nuclear power. They are also tasked with creating a public service announcement to persuade others of their views. After identifying what they know and want to learn about nuclear chemistry and nuclear power, they research the topics, complete labs and activities about atomic structure, read a number of different opinion pieces, and hear a presentation from an activist. They work collaboratively in groups for much of the process. Then they write the op-ed individually and complete the public service announcements in groups. The project concludes with presentations of their editorials and public service announcements to the class and community activists.
Is nuclear energy sustainable? After reading articles and your chemistry textbook, write an op-ed piece that addresses the question and support your position with evidence from the texts. Be sure to acknowledge competing views. Give examples from past and current events or issues to illustrate and clarify your position.
Task 2: Argumentation/Analysis, L1, 2, 3
[Insert question] After reading ________ (literature or informational texts), write a/an ________ (essay or substitute) that addresses the question and support your position with evidence from the text(s). L2 Be sure to acknowledge competing views. L3 Give examples from past or current events or issues to illustrate and clarify your position.
Authors: Diana Weldon, chemistry teacher at Tech Valley High School, Rensselaer, NY, Jennifer Hower, English teacher at Tech Valley High School, Rensselaer, NY, with assistance from Alix Horton, literacy coach at New Tech Network, Napa, CA
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