In Unit 2, students selected and began conducting research about their focus figures: other important individuals in space science whose contributions have gone unrecognized. In Unit 3, they continue this research and prepare to write argument essays. First, they revisit the Painted Essay® to develop a deeper understanding of argument essay structure. As in previous modules, students deconstruct a model argument essay (about Dorothy Vaughan) and then complete a collaborative essay (about Mary Jackson or Katherine Johnson) that addresses a similar prompt. In each lesson, students examine aspects of the argument essay model and practice using it in their own writing. Using textual evidence about their focus figure (W.6.9), students generate sound argument essays (W.6.1, W.6.10) to answer the prompt: Why are my focus figure’s accomplishments remarkable?
After writing their independent essays for the mid-unit assessment, students move toward the culmination of the module: the development of a class picture book that highlights the key achievements of students’ chosen focus figures. In triads with their “crewmates,” students use narrative nonfiction writing techniques to produce three pages about their focus figures, complete with creative illustrations. Students then develop and deliver presentations, which serve as Part I of the End of Unit 3 Assessment. Students present their claims about why their focus figure’s accomplishments are remarkable, demonstrating appropriate presentation skills (SL.6.4) and a command of formal language (SL.6.6) and using their picture book illustrations as visual support (SL.6.5). As students listen to one another’s presentations, they practice delineating the arguments put forth by their classmates (SL.6.3). Part II of the assessment centers around a culminating discussion, during which students summarize and reflect upon key learning across the module (SL.6.1).
Please note: For the 6-8 Language Arts Curriculum, there are Teaching Notes for each unit that contain helpful information for supporting English language learners. These overview notes complement the more specific English language learner supports and differentiated materials within each lesson. You will find the Teaching Notes in the Unit download below.