Forming a Research-Based Claim: Introducing Stakeholders and Consequences | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA 2012 G7:M4A:U2:L13

Forming a Research-Based Claim: Introducing Stakeholders and Consequences

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Long Term Learning Targets

  • I can write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence. (W.7.1)
  • I can select evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research. (W.7.9)

Supporting Targets

  • I can identify stakeholders in the AAP recommendation on entertainment screen time.
  • I can create a Cascading Consequences chart based on effects of screen time on adolescents using my researcher's notebook.

Ongoing Assessment

  • Researcher's notebook, all sections



AgendaTeaching Notes

1. Opening

A. Revisiting Essay Prompt; Reviewing Learning Targets (10 minutes)

B. Revisiting AAP Recommendation and Introducing Stakeholders (8 minutes)

2. Work Time

A. Modeling Creating a Cascading Consequences Chart for Teens on Screens (10 minutes)

B. Creating a Cascading Consequences Chart for Teens on Screens (15 minutes)

3. Closing and Assessment

A. Preview Homework (2 minutes)

4. Homework

A. Complete the Cascading Consequences you began in class. Aim to have at least five cascading consequence chains

B. Continue independent reading (at least 20 minutes). 

  • Students begin a series of lessons that will help them prepare their research for both a Fishbowl discussion (in Lesson 16) and the eventual position paper/essay in Unit 3, in which they will answer this prompt: "Should the AAP raise the recommended daily entertainment screen time from two hours to four hours?" If you have not done so already, preview Unit 3 and the Final Performance Task (in Module overview documents), in order to be more oriented to this culminating task.
  • As noted in the module overview, this module focuses on just two of the steps in the Stakeholder Consequences Decision-Making (SCDM) process. In this lesson, students are introduced to stakeholders and the Cascading Consequences chart, which provides a way for them to create a visual "map" of the consequences of a particular choice or course of action. Students will add consequences to the chart as they continue to discuss the issue for the remainder of Unit 2. They will refer to this chart throughout the rest of the unit for several important reasons, including performing a risk-versus-benefit analysis. They will also use it as a reference for writing about their position on the issue.
  • In the typical decision-making process, students identify and compare stakeholders after they have completed a Cascading Consequences chart, but in this case, because students must spend a lot of time weighing potential risks and benefits for one stakeholder, the process has been reversed. Students will more successfully argue a position if they have had adequate time to directly weigh benefits and risks of screen time.
  • Students will create individual Cascading Consequences charts to organize the information they gathered in their research. You will guide them through this process in Work Times A and B. Before doing so, create one yourself to better understand the process. A sample is provided in the supplementary materials, but the discussions in your classroom may lead to a different result. To begin, create a list of the consequences suggested from the readings. There will be some overlap. Then pick the five strongest consequences and place them in the boxes close to the center on the chart.
  • Once the Cascading Consequences charts are completed, students will be able to clearly see all the consequences (positive, negative, and neutral) of entertainment screen time. This will help them to answer the overarching research question: "What are the potential benefits and risks of entertainment screen time, particularly to the development of teenagers?" Encourage students to return to their sources often to ground their thinking in their research and to seek any clarification they require. Returning to the text consistently is a "habit of mind" that should be emphasized.
  • The lessons on Cascading Consequences are among the most challenging of this unit. Feel free to modify and differentiate the lessons based on your professional judgment so that all students may reach the learning targets. If time permits, consider breaking the activities in Lessons 13 and 14 into three days of instruction.
  • The homework for this lesson is detailed and challenging. Consider making advanced preparations within the next lesson in case students need extra assistance with the homework upon coming to class, and/or using the Meeting Students' Needs column to differentiate the homework ahead of time.
  • In advance:

-   Review the "Learning to Make Decisions Systematically" article (see the Unit 2 and Module overviews), which provides a concise explanation and useful student work examples of the research process the unit employs.

-   Review the model Cascading Consequences charts in the supporting materials and the think-aloud portion of the lesson. Note especially that the think-aloud example provided here is one of specific consequences cascading from a specific situation; students may volunteer more wide-ranging examples from the effects of screen time on adolescents and may work with wide-ranging examples in their own Cascading Consequences charts.

-   Find an image of a waterfall to display to illustrate the meaning of "cascading" when unpacking the learning targets.

-   Find an image of a pioneer stakeholder to display in Opening B. Review: Fist to Five in Checking for Understanding techniques (see Appendix).

  • Post: Learning targets.


consequence; effect, result, or outcome; cascading


  • Entry Task: Getting an After-School Job (one per student)
  • Image of a waterfall (one to display)
  • Sample Cascading Consequences Chart: Getting an After-School Job (one per student)
  • Document camera
  • Position Paper Prompt anchor chart (from Lesson 1)
  • AAP Policy Statement: "Children, Adolescents, and the Media" (from Lesson 1)
  • Image of a pioneer stakeholder (one to display; see Teaching Notes)
  • "Is Google Making Us Stupid?" text and note-catcher (from Lesson 3)
  • Cascading Consequences chart for teens on screens (blank; one to display)
  • Model Cascading Consequences chart for teens on screens (for teacher reference)
  • Model Cascading Consequences Think-Aloud (for teacher reference)
  • Listing Consequences (one per student)
  • 8.5- by 14-inch (legal size) paper (one piece  per student)
  • Researcher's notebooks (begun in Lesson 4; one per student)
  • Brain Development anchor chart--student version (begun in Unit 1, Lesson 2)



OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Revisiting Essay Prompt; Reviewing Learning Targets (10 minutes)

  • Distribute the Entry Task: Getting an After-School Job and give students 2 minutes to complete it.
  • Invite students to explain to a partner:

*   "What did you decide, and why?"

  • Read the learning targets:

*   "I can identify stakeholders in the AAP recommendation on entertainment screen time."

*   "I can create a Cascading Consequences chart based on adolescents and screen time, using my researcher's notebook."

  • Circle the word consequences on the posted learning target. Invite students to review with a partner what a consequence is.
  • Reiterate that a consequence is an "effect, result, or outcome" of something that occurred earlier. Add new information about the definition by pointing out that often when we use the word consequence, it has a negative connotation. For example, parents might say to a child that the consequence of not cleaning his room is that he can't go to the movies with friends on Friday night. However, in some cases, the word consequence is neutral, without a negative or positive connotation. When we talk about cascading consequences, we are using consequence as a neutral word. Consider that some consequences are positive, for example.
  • Circle the word cascading on the posted learning target.
  • Display an image of a waterfall.
  • Explain that cascade is another word for waterfall and that cascading can describe anything that resembles a waterfall. Cascading also means that one thing follows the next, like a chain of events. In a waterfall, one water drop follows the next.
  • Distribute the Sample Cascading Consequences Chart: Getting an After-School Job.
  • Invite students to discuss with their partner:

*   "What do you notice about this Cascading Consequences chart?"

*   "What do you wonder?"

*   "How is it similar to or different from the entry task you just completed?"

  • Circulate and listen for partners to say: "Some of the consequences on the chart are positive and some are negative" and "It looks like a waterfall because everything is flowing from the center box."
  • Have students look at the chart a second time:

*   "Where are the consequences on this chart? How do they relate to one another?"

  • Circulate and listen for partners to say: "The consequences flow from the decision to get an after-school job, and then from each other. Consequences lead to other consequences."
  • Refocus whole class and point out the use of "will" and "may" in the sample chart. Explain that sometimes the consequence starts with a "will" because it is very likely to happen. For example, if one gets a job, one will earn money. But other consequences are less sure. For example, you may be able buy a computer, but that depends on how much you get paid and what else you spend your money on.
  • Explain that creating a Cascading Consequences chart is one piece of the research process that they have already begun with their neurologist's notebooks and the Internet research in their researcher's notebooks. Refer to the posted Position Paper Prompt anchor chart:

*   "After examining both the potential benefits and risks of entertainment screen time, particularly to the neurological development of teenagers, make a recommendation. Should the AAP raise the recommended daily entertainment screen time from two hours to four hours?"

  • Have students turn to their partners and discuss for 1 minute what they notice and wonder about this prompt.
  • Explain that they are going to learn to use a structured decision-making process so that each student decides how to best answer this question based on the evidence from their reading and on further research, rather than basing the decision on emotions or gut feelings.
  • Explain that students will create a Cascading Consequences chart that lists all of the consequences--both positive and negative--of adolescents and screen time. Note that they won't decide on an answer for that question until the end of this unit. It's important that they keep an open mind and understand all the reasons and evidence before they make a decision.
  • When possible, have students who need physical activity take on the active roles of managing and writing on charts or handing out materials.
  • For all vocabulary, consider drawing or posting small pictures next to each word on anchor charts to activate as many sensory means of comprehension as possible. The waterfall displayed here, for example, could then be transferred in miniature to the Academic Vocabulary anchor chart. Consider having your artistically talented or motivated students take on this responsibility.
  • Consider writing these questions on the board for struggling learners who benefit from visuals to reinforce discussion.
  • Inviting students to first talk to a peer before answering in front of the class is a low-stress way for them to process the information.


B. Revisiting AAP Recommendation and Introducing Stakeholders (8 minutes)

  • Ask students to retrieve their copies of the AAP Policy Statement: "Children, Adolescents, and the Media." Display the image of apioneer stakeholder.
  • Inform the class that before they begin thinking of the consequences of screen time, they are going to think about who is affected by adolescents being on a screen. The person who is affected by a decision is a stakeholder.
  • Refer to the displayed picture. Inform the class that the word stakeholder comes from many places, but the one they might remember best is related to American history. An American pioneer claiming land in the West would mark the boundary of his property with wooden stakes. It was his way of saying, "This land is mine, so what happens on this piece of land is very important to me." Similarly, a stakeholder today is a person or group of people who are deeply affected by certain decisions.
  • Ask:
  • "We know that teenagers are affected by the amount of time they spend on screens, but who else is a stakeholder in that decision?" Prompt students to look back at the AAP policy statement for some ideas. Listen for them to identify parents, physicians, school officials, the entertainment industry, manufacturers of products, the government, and community members. Ask students to explain why decisions made about screen time affect each of those groups.
  • List stakeholders on the board. Include "teenager."
  • Ask students to turn and talk:

*   "Which of these stakeholders have we read about in class?"

  • Cold call students and circle the stakeholders on the board. Listen for them to identify teenagers, parents, and physicians.

*   Explain that they will make a Cascading Consequences chart for the stakeholder most directly affected by the entertainment screen time: teenagers.

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Modeling Creating a Cascading Consequences Chart for Teens and Screens (10 minutes)

  • Invite students to retrieve their texts and note-catcher for "Is Google Making Us Stupid?" As they do so, display the Cascading Consequences chart for teens on screens with the document camera.
  • Ask students to skim the article and their note-catchers to look for consequences of screen time.
  • Ask for a volunteer to name three consequences he or she sees based on the contents of this article. Write these three consequences on the side of the Cascading Consequences chart, but do not chart them yet. Listen for consequences such as: "Our thinking becomes more shallow because we are bombarded with information," "We can't concentrate," "We learn more and think more creatively," and "We think faster."
  • Begin to think aloud about how to turn this list of consequences into a Cascading Consequences chart, referring to the Model Cascading Consequences chart for teens on screens (for teacher reference) as needed. Use the Model Cascading Consequences Think-Aloud to guide you.
  • "Ask students to work with a partner to verbally place the last consequence from the list on the chart. Encourage them to talk about why they are placing each consequence in a particular place on the chart.
  • After about 3 minutes, cold call students to share out where they placed the last consequence and why.
  • Point out that there is not just one way to create a Cascading Consequences chart from notes. People may disagree as to the exact location of a consequence and whether it is a direct or an indirect "cascading consequence."
  • Consider using the "Learning to Make Decisions Systematically" article and its contents (see Teaching Notes) as further exemplars of the process for students, either as further scaffolding or as extension material for academically talented students.
  • Consider selecting students ahead of time for cold calls. Those who need practice in oral response or extended processing time can be told the prompt before class begins to prepare for their participation. This also allows for a public experience of academic success for students who may struggle with on-demand questioning, or for struggling students in general.
  • Think about modifying the materials to meet students' physical and mental needs. Whole sheets of chart paper could be used instead of the recommended 8.5- by 14-inch versions of the Cascading Consequences charts; charts could be partially or even wholly filled in; vocabulary words could be defined

B. Creating a Cascading Consequences Chart for Teens on Screens (15 minutes)

  • Distribute Listing Consequences and one 8.5- by 14-inch (legal size) pieces of paper to each student.
  • Remind them of the steps you took to build the Cascading Consequences chart.
  • Direct students' attention to the Listing Consequences worksheet. Ask them to retrieve their researcher's notebooks and/or the Brain Development anchor chart--student version to create a list of the consequences for screen time. Remind them that they should list both positive and negative consequences. They should try to list at least two consequences for each of the sources they have read in Unit 2. They should have a list of 10 consequences. They will likely use only half of them on the Cascading Consequences chart, but during this brainstorming stage it is important to generate a workable list.
  • After 7 minutes, refocus whole class. Tell them if they didn't finish, that's all right. They will complete this exercise for homework.
  • Ask students to draw and label the center box on the legal paper. They should write: "If teens are on screens ..."
  • Ask for a volunteer to offer two strong consequences from the reading. Direct the students to add the consequences to the chart, deciding what is a direct consequence and what is not. Encourage them to try to "cascade" the consequence until it reaches a consequence for adolescent brain development.
  • After a moment, ask students to share out.
  • Invite students to work with their partner to add more consequences to the chart.
  • As pairs work, circulate to observe and assist. Ask:

*   "Why did you place this consequence where you did?"

*   "How do you know this is a consequence of that?"

  • After 3 minutes, invite one partnership to explain what they added to their Cascading Consequences chart. Make these additions to the displayed chart as they speak. During the explanation, cold call other students to answer these questions:

*   "Did you identify the same consequence as the presenting partnership? Why or why not?"

*   "Would you make any changes to this? What would you change? Why?"

  • Should the partnership volunteer an answer that is illogical or wrong, thank the students for their hard work and record the answer as presented. Use the follow-up questions above to have peers guide the partnership to the correct answer, and make the necessary changes on the displayed chart.
  • After discussing the presenting partnership's additions to the chart, ask students to work with their own partner to revise their own charts.
  • Cold call two or three students to explain how they revised their chart and why.
  • After stretches of intensive reading and writing during which physical movement is not built into the instruction, consider having students stand up for a quick "brain break" or a physical stretch at natural breaks in the work time (between Work Times A and B, for example). Research indicates that these breaks are important for neurological growth, especially for boys. Their cognitive processing requires more "rest times" away from the subject matter before re-engaging in learning.
  • Be sure to note, both here and in Work Time C, those students who struggle with creating the charts. Target them for individual, immediate, and/or increased assistance in the next lesson as they create their second chart.


Closing & Assessments


A. Preview Homework (2 minutes)

  • Review the second learning target:

*   "I can create a Cascading Consequences chart based on effects of screen time on adolescents using my researcher's notebook."

  • Using the Fist to Five Checking for Understanding technique. Ask students to assess themselves on the target.
  • Let them know that their homework is to continue to add to their Cascading Consequences chart. Remind them to use their notes to help them.


HomeworkMeeting Students' Needs
  • Complete the Cascading Consequences chart. Aim to have at least five cascading consequence chains.
  • Continue independent reading (at least 20 minutes).


  • Depending on the effort and abilities of your students, consider differentiating this homework depending on their demonstrated level of need. Students who complete the chart in class may be given the "Learning to Make Decisions Systematically" article for further reading, for example (see Teaching Notes). Other students may be sent home with a specified manageable amount of "cascades" of consequences to develop on their chart; given a "starter" for a cascade; or, as a mental challenge, given a concluding consequence with blank boxes and asked to "backward-design" the cascade.

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