Explanation: A statement or message that describes something so that it is understandable to the reader or listener.

Resources for this term:
Plastics…to Use or Not to Use?
Plastics…to Use or Not to Use?

Students will construct an argumentation piece that defends their position on the widely debated topic of the use of plastic water bottles and storage containers for drinks and foods. The unit of study, within which this module happens to fall, is chemical bonding. Students have been discussing three types of chemical bonding: ionic, covalent, and metallic, and how this type of bonding affects the structure of matter. Students will construct a piece defending their position, as well as using their knowledge of chemical bonding and compounds to explain either the benefits or the harmful effects of using plastics to contain our everyday foods and drinks.

Extended Metaphors in Walt Whitman’s “O Captain! My Captain!”
Extended Metaphors in Walt Whitman’s “O Captain! My Captain!”

“O Captain! My Captain!” is one of Walt Whitman’s most famous poems. Whitman not only expresses his own grief over the loss of Abraham Lincoln, but also represents the somber feelings of many Americans during a time when they otherwise would have been celebrating the Union’s Civil War victory. Whitman uses a number of extended metaphors – most notably comparing Lincoln to the captain of a ship – to speak for the nation. Using Template Task 2, 8th grade students determine if Whitman was justified in his comparisons.

Comparing Economic Systems
Comparing Economic Systems

*EXEMPLAR MODULE* Every society operates with a mixed economic system, combining the influences of market and command models in order to form a functioning economy and government. Individual countries have unique combinations of the market and command influences depending on how countries prioritize different economic goals. Students will learn the characteristics of the market and command systems and evaluate the benefits and consequences of each system.

Biodiversity
Biodiversity

Earth is rich with an amazing variety of life. Is it important to preserve this biodiversity? This introductory writing assignment for a life science class focuses on introducing 7th grade students to the concept and importance of biodiversity. After reading articles on biodiversity, students write a report that defines “biodiversity” and explain its importance by following Template Task 11.

Energy Transfer
Energy Transfer

All parts of matter have kinetic energy. The kinetic energy of the particles can change speed, resulting in phase change. The three states of matter on Earth are solid, liquid, and gas. During this module, 8th grade science students read texts on states of matter, kinetic energy, and particles and write an informational essay using Template Task 11 that explains the motion of the particles through the states of matter.

Cryobiology
Cryobiology

*EXEMPLAR MODULE* This module is nested within a larger unit on states and properties of matter in a physical science class. Eighth grade students expound upon these topics by examining the field of cryobiology, which is the study of living things at very low temperatures. Students will examine the pros and cons of the techniques used, as this science relies on a number of controversial and cutting edge technologies, and formulate an argument based on scientific facts using Template Task 2.

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