Write an Argument: Healthy Food Choices | EL Education Curriculum

You are here:

In the first half of Unit 3, students analyze language and connotations in The Omnivore's Dilemma in order to understand what Michael Pollan intends his readers to understand. In the second half of Unit 3, students consider the many food choices they have researched and formulate an argument about a choice their community can make to eat healthily and sustainably. Students plan and draft argument essays to defend their claim.

For their performance task, students create an infographic to visually depict their argument and prepare prompt cards to present their argument to an audience of classmates, teachers, and community members.

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. 

CCS Standards

The Four Ts

  • Topic: Food Choices
  • Task:
    • Analyze language in The Omnivore's Dilemma.
    • Write an argument essay to defend a claim about how communities can make healthy food choices.
    • Present your argument to an audience using an infographic and prompt cards.
  • Targets: W.8.1, W.8.4, W.8.6, W.8.9, W.8.10, L.8.1, L.8.2, L.8.4a, L.8.4b, L.8.5b, L.8.5c, L.8.6
  • Texts: The Omnivore's Dilemma (Young Readers Edition) by Michael Pollan


Each unit in the 6-8 Language Arts Curriculum has two standards-based assessments built in, one mid-unit assessment and one end of unit assessment. The module concludes with a performance task at the end of Unit 3 to synthesize students' understanding of what they accomplished through supported, standards-based writing.

Habits of Character/Social-Emotional Learning Focus

Central to the EL Education curriculum is a focus on "habits of character" and social-emotional learning. Students work to become effective learners, developing mindsets and skills for success in college, career, and life (e.g., initiative, responsibility, perseverance, collaboration); work to become ethical people, treating others well and standing up for what is right (e.g., empathy, integrity, respect, compassion); and work to contribute to a better world, putting their learning to use to improve communities (e.g., citizenship, service).

In this unit, students focus on working to become effective learners as they show perseverance to learn and practice new argument writing skills. They also focus on working to contribute to a better world as they make arguments for healthy food choices that could benefit their community members.


Each unit is made up of a sequence of between 10-18 lessons. The Unit-at-a-Glance charts, available on the grade-level landing pages, break down each unit's lessons, showing CCS standards, agenda breakdown, daily learning targets, and ongoing assessments. The charts also indicate which lessons include mid- and end of unit assessments and the performance task.

Texts and Resources to Buy

Texts and resources that need to be procured. Please download the Required Trade Books and Resources Procurement List for procurement guidance.

Text or Resource Quantity ISBNs
The Omnivore's Dilemma (Young Readers Edition)
by Michael Pollan
one per student
ISBN: 9781101993835

Preparation and Materials

The following materials are introduced in this unit and referenced throughout both the module and the school year:

  • Argument Writing checklist
  • Characteristics of Argument Writing anchor chart
  • Track Progress: Argument Writing

Get updates about our new K-5 curriculum as new materials and tools debut.

Sign Up