In Unit 2, students continue exploring the problem of plastic pollution by focusing on what can be done to address the problem. They read three articles and revisit their anchor texts to understand what interventions can be taken at each stage of the plastic life cycle: beginning, middle, and end. Students also learn about new materials being invented to replace plastic at the beginning of the life cycle, what consumers can do to use less plastic at the middle of the life cycle, and efforts by governments and organizations to stop single-use plastic and invent ways of cleaning up plastic pollution at the end of the plastic life cycle. With the first two articles, students practice analyzing how authors develop their points of view as well as how different authors writing about the same topic shape their presentations of key information. Students also practice finding the meanings of words using relationships between words. For their mid-unit assessment, they read a new article and answer selected response questions to demonstrate their understanding of point of view and how authors present similar information differently as well as how word relationships can help them discover the meaning of unfamiliar words. As students analyze these articles, they also practice debating which part of the plastic life cycle is the best place to intervene to reduce plastic pollution. By the middle of the unit, students will take a stand about which part of the plastic life cycle would be most effective to target. They will have the opportunity to defend their position in a debate with their classmates. Although this debate will not be assessed, students' preparation and work in participating in the debate will continue to prepare them for their end of unit assessment and performance task in the following unit.
In the second half of the unit, students use the evidence and reasoning they've collected and organized from their reading to practice on-demand argument essay writing about which place in the plastic life cycle is the best place to target to reduce pollution. They work first in pairs to plan, draft, and revise argument essays before following the same routine for independent writing, while practicing revising sentences to avoid using dangling and misplaced modifiers as well as properly using coordinate adjectives. By the end of the unit, students will have strengthened their arguments about which part of the plastic life cycle they think would be the most effective place to intervene. In Unit 3, students will continue to develop this idea through experiential research and storytelling as they plan and execute a documentary about their attempts to solve the problem of plastic pollution for their performance tasks.
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.