Grade 8 ELA Module 4

Boy reading

In this module, students analyze arguments and the evidence used to support arguments to determine whether sufficient evidence has been used and whether the evidence is relevant in support of the claim an author or speaker is making. They then research to gather evidence to make their own spoken and written arguments. Students will read Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma (930L), a literary non-fiction text about where food comes from and about making decisions about what food to buy and eat. They build background knowledge about what happens to food before it gets to the consumer, and the different choices the consumer can make when buying food while analyzing Michael Pollan’s arguments and the evidence he uses to support his claims. In Unit 2, students engage in a robust research project in which they further investigate the consequences of each of the food chains and the stakeholders affected in those food chains. To help students grapple with this issue, they use a decision-making process called “Stakeholder Consequences Decision-Making” (see the end of this document for details). This process will help students understand the implications of various choices, and will scaffold their ability to determine, based on evidence and their own values, to take a position on which food chain they would choose if they were trying to feed everyone in the US. Students finish the module by writing a position paper explaining which of Michael Pollan’s food chain they would choose to feed the US and why, and creating a poster stating their position. This task addresses NYSP12 ELA Standards RI.8.1,W.8.1, W.8.1a, W.8.1b, W.8.1c, W.8.1d, W.8.1e and W.8.9.

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