Thesis: A sentence that states an argument or main point, which is developed in an essay or paper and supported with examples and evidence.

Resources for this term:
Government of the People
Government of the People

*EXEMPLAR MODULE* This argumentation module asks 9th and 10th grade students in a humanities class to read two famous speeches regarding the rights and responsibilities of citizens in a democracy. Students are challenged to closely analyze these speeches in terms of language structure and democratic ideals by answering Template Task 4. The instructional sequence in this module includes independent and supported reading, conceptual dialogue, writing a comparative analysis essay, and Paideia Seminar discussion. Ultimately, students practice a series of interrelated literacy skills while gaining a deeper understanding of the historical rhetoric of two iconic leaders. The classroom assessment builds on the comparative analysis writing practice and challenges students to expand their thinking about rhetoric in contemporary American democracy.

U.S. Intervention in Foreign Wars
U.S. Intervention in Foreign Wars

As the United States expanded and developed into a global power in the early 1900s, its leaders became concerned with the affairs of other nations. As result, the U.S. took on a wider range of responsibilities in the world and became involved in foreign wars. This argumentation module asks 7th grade social studies students to answer Template Task 2 and write a letter to the President of the United States, arguing whether or not the U.S. should become involved in foreign wars.

Letter to Congress
Letter to Congress

In this English and U.S. history module, 11th grade students research fundamental elements of the Constitution, landmark Supreme Court cases, and a modern congressional issue. Using Template Task 1, students participate in the democratic process by writing letters to a member of Congress arguing their positions on a constitutional issue of their choosing.

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.

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.

Stranger in the Village: Informational
Stranger in the Village: Informational

This 12th grade English Language Arts module uses Template Task 21, along with text, film, and photography resources, to address the theme "stranger in the village." Texts aligned with this theme include characters or subjects that are isolated or different from others in their respective societies. Students will analyze how writers and artists organize or construct text to convey meaning and to relay this specific message.

U.S. Policy of Isolationism vs. Aggression in the 1930s
U.S. Policy of Isolationism vs. Aggression in the 1930s

In this high school social studies argumentation module, students answer Template Task 7. This module fits within a larger unit covering U.S. foreign policy during the 1930s, in which students develop an understanding of the actions of world leaders of the period. After conducting research, students write an essay that identifies a problem with U.S. policy during this time period and argues for a solution.

Alexander the Great: Was He or Wasn’t He a Great Military Leader?
Alexander the Great: Was He or Wasn’t He a Great Military Leader?

*EXEMPLAR MODULE* Throughout history, military leaders have led conquests in an effort to increase their own or their country’s power. Some of the most exceptional of these leaders have been assigned the label “great” and continue to be featured in lessons on both history and military strategy. Students read a variety of informational and persuasive texts to analyze Alexander the Great’s success in battle and the influence that his success had on countless military commanders who followed, arguing the degree of greatness of this young Macedonian king by answering Template Task 2.

Why Canadians Live Where They Live: The Impact of Geography on Population Density in Canada.
Why Canadians Live Where They Live: The Impact of Geography on Population Density in Canada.

Sixth grade social studies students learning about world cultures and geography explore the impact of geographic characteristics on the population density of a post-industrialized nation (Canada). Students are asked to determine which factor — climate, location, or the distribution of natural resources — has the biggest impact on population density by addressing Template Task 6.

Existentialism and Kafka
Existentialism and Kafka

*EXEMPLAR MODULE* In this English literacy module, sophomore students conduct research on the existentialist movement in literature. Students read Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis and determine if Kafka’s work reflects existential ideas. After researching essays and articles on existentialism, students write an essay answering Template Task 11 that defines existentialism and explains its impact on Kafka’s work.

Should helmets be required?
Should helmets be required?

Some states do not require children over a certain age to wear helmets or protective gear while riding a bike. However, there is a potential risk of injury for riders. In this science module, 6th grade students read texts on Newton's Laws of Motion, bodily injury, and current state laws on helmet requirements. Using Template Task 2, students write a letter arguing whether or not helmets should be required for adolescents during recreational activities.

A Reading of the Gettysburg Address
A Reading of the Gettysburg Address

In this argumentation module, 9th and 10th grade students perform a close reading of the Gettysburg Address, participate in a Paideia Seminar on the text, and write an essay in which they evaluate Lincoln’s definition of democracy based on the speech using Template Task 6. This unit merges American history content with Common Core literacy skills.

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