Discipline: Science

Grade Level: 6th

Course: Science

©Literacy Design Collaborative. September 2011

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Should helmets be required?
  • Background to Share With Students
    • Many of you and your friends participate in recreational activities such as skateboarding or bike riding; but do you always wear helmets? The laws of Pennsylvania do not require children over the age of 12 to wear helmets or protective gear while riding a bike, and many children are injured because of accidents or falls while riding. During this module, you will read texts on Newton's Laws of Motion, bodily injury, and current state laws on helmet requirements and write a letter arguing whether or not helmets should be required for adolescents during recreational activities.

  • Task/Text
    • Teaching Task


      Should adolescents be required to wear helmets during recreational activities such as bike riding and skateboarding?

      After reading informational texts on the Laws of Motion, bodily injury, and current state laws on helmet requirements, write a letter to your state representative that addresses the question and supports your position with evidence from the text.

      L2: Be sure to acknowledge competing views.

      L3: Give examples from everyday life to illustrate and clarify your position.

      Reading Texts
      See Materials List.
      Extension (Optional)

      Research head injuries for motorcyclists wearing helmets as compared to those without a helmet.

  • Content Standards
    • Standards Source: Number: Content Standards:

      Pennsylvania Standards Aligned System


      Use evidence from investigations to clearly communicate and support conclusions.


      Develop descriptions, explanations, predictions, and models using evidence.


      Describe forces acting on objects.


      Draw inferences and conclusions based on a variety of information sources, citing evidence from multiple texts to support answers.

  • Reading Standards for Argumentation
    • "Built-In" Reading Standards "When Appropriate" Reading Standards (applicable in black)
      • 1- Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
      • 2- Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.
      • 4- Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.
      • 10- Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.
      • 3- Analyze how and why individuals, events, and ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.
      • 5- Analyze the structure of texts, including how specific sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text (e.g., section, chapter, scene, or stanza) relate to each other and the whole.
      • 6- Assess how point of view or purpose shapes the content and style of a text.
      • 7- Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse formats and media, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.
      • 8- Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, including the validity of the reasoning as well as the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence.
      • 9- Analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches the authors take.
  • Writing Standards for Argumentation
    • "Built-In" Writing Standards "When Appropriate" Writing Standards (applicable in black)
      • 1- Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
      • 4- Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
      • 5- Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.
      • 9- Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
      • 10- Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of tasks, purposes, and audience.
      • 2- Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.
      • 3- Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well- structured event sequences.
      • 6- Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.
      • 7- Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.
      • 8- Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, assess the credibility and accuracy of each source, and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism.
  • Scoring Rubric
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