Group two’s 12th Grade English Class “NYC Soda Ban” Lesson Plan
Discuss our examples of other bans (helmet law, smoking ban, etc). Students will use a “think-pair-share” activity to discuss the elements that these articles have. They will answer prompts like:
  • o What techniques do you see in these articles?
  • o Which techniques were effective, and why?
  • o What aspects do the writers include in their arguments?
  • o How do the writers support their arguments?
  • o How do they establish their ethos?
  • o What kind of issue is this? Political?
  • o How do these issues affect society?
  • o What emotions does this issue evoke? Are they as effective as fact-based opinions?

Discuss how opinion based arguments must have evidence in order to support said opinion.

Will use POPPLET to create a concept map as the discussion evolves.

Homework: read the NYT Soda Ban article and decide what stance they would like to take. We will ask students to provide three constructive reasons why they would want to take that viewpoint.

Research Day
Students will perform research. Giving a day for research will ensure that each student can support their stance on the topic and their reasons why.
Resources students can use for the letter:
Gale opposing viewpoints database
CNN Student News
MSNBC, CNN, NYT for possible video resources

Writing Day
Students will be given time in class to write their letters using the resources they found on day two. The letters will take a pro/against stance on the NYC soda ban. Using three reasons why they choose that stance, students will be asked to incorporate accredited resources per reason in their letter.
Writing in class will allow the students to address any citation or writing issues with the teacher.

Peer Reviews
Students will provide a draft of their letter to the editor that will take a pro/against stance on the NYC soda ban. The letter will include the aspects discussed above. The ultimate goal is that the letters will be published in an online forum. Students will have the option to publish their letter anonymously or with their name attached.
We will assign students in groups of three; each student will have one of the various roles necessary to publish this type of material. The roles will be:
  • o Editor – Make sure the letter is grammatically sound
  • o Fact checker – verify the sources cited in the letter. For this role, students will provide a print copy of their resources.
  • o Element verifier – Ensures that each letter contains the elements discussed in the beginning activity
in order to evaluate each other’s editorial letters. Students will alternate roles in a group activity so each student’s letter will be peer reviewed.
The teacher will provide students with a checklist and a form for each student to write one thing the writer did well, and one thing the writer needs to improve in their letter.
After the groups of three are finished peer reviewing, they will combine into a group of six. The larger groups will focus on editing and verifying that each letter contains the necessary elements for an argumentative editorial letter.

Homework: Provide their finalized version of the letter.

  • Has the student provided the peer reviewed rough drafts from the group activities?
  • Has the student provided the checklists from the group activities of day four?
  • In the Final Draft:
    • ­­­Has the student provided a position statement in the letter?
    • Has the student provided three reasons to support their stance?
    • Has the student provided three accredited resources cited in letter?
    • Has the student provided a concession statement?
    • Did the student provide a bibliography cited in MLA?

Links to op ed examples

Notes from our discussion with librarian:
  • 12th graders – seniors - English (AP) class
  • assignment to turn in a letter to the editor to NYT about the soda ban
  • objectives: students will learn to think critically about the media and to form their own opinion.(Core standard #?) Students will develop writing skills by brainstorming ideas with others, by creating concise opinion points, and by formulating a finished product. (GLCE #?) etc
  • deep structure – interact with other articles/op-eds/letters to the editor, on other topics but similar surface structure since all opinion pieces
  • objectives should be explicit and relate to the core common standards or GLCE (cite them in lesson plan)
  • assess the process and progress of the project (ex. credit given for thesis statement)
  • places where the students can research – media center, libraries
  • database: opposing viewpoints – through the Michigan library (Gale) or
  • co-teach the lesson on how to navigate through the site – time during class to go to the library to have access to a computer – to search for any articles on soda (consumption) in general
  • part of the co-teaching lesson could be to compare credible articles vs just using google
  • if you can’t find a “good” classroom or relevant opinion piece -- write your own! That way you can manipulate the information and make it relevant to the class assignment
  • make sure to match your project assessments to your project objectives

tip from librarian:
follow these blogs/websites:
free technology for teachers
opposing viewpoints in context

Interactive Taxonomy link: