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ELA G8:M4:U1

Analyzing Author’s Purpose and Evaluating Claims in The Omnivore’s Dilemma

Each unit is made up of a sequence of between 5-20 lessons. The “unit at a glance” chart in the curriculum map breaks down each unit into its lessons, to show how the curriculum is organized in terms of standards address, supporting targets, ongoing assessment, and protocols. It also indicates which lessons include the mid-unit and end-of-unit assessments.

Lesson 1Building Background Knowledge: What IS the Omnivore’s Dilemma Anyway?

Long Term Targets Supporting Targets Ongoing Assessments Protocols
  • I can cite text-based evidence that provides the strongest support for my analysis of literary text. (RI.8.1)
  • I can determine a theme or the central ideas of an informational text. (RI.8.2)
  • I can read grade-level literary texts proficiently and independently. (RI.8.10)
  • I can find the gist of pages 1–4 of The Omnivore’s Dilemma.
  • I can use context clues to determine the meaning of “omnivore’s dilemma.”
  • I can participate in discussions about the text with a partner, small group, and the whole class.
  • Gist annotated on sticky notes
  • Answers to text-dependent questions
  • Exit ticket
  • Teammates Consult
  • Gallery Walk

Lesson 2Reading for Gist and Answering Text-Dependent Questions: Industrial Food Chain

Long Term Targets Supporting Targets Ongoing Assessments Protocols
  • I can cite text-based evidence that provides the strongest support for my analysis of literary text. (RI.8.1)
  • I can determine a theme or the central ideas of an informational text. (RI.8.2)
  • I can determine the meaning of words and phrases in text (figurative, connotative, and technical meanings). (RI.8.4)
  • I can use a variety of strategies to determine the meaning of unknown words or phrases. (L.8.4)
  • I can use common, grade-appropriate Greek or Latin affixes and roots as clues to the meaning of a word (e.g., precede, recede, secede).
  • I can consult general and specialized reference materials (e.g., dictionaries, glossaries, thesauruses), both print and digital, to find the pronunciation of a word or determine or clarify its precise meaning or its part of speech.
  •  I can verify the preliminary determination of the meaning of a word or phrase (e.g., by checking the inferred meaning in context or in a dictionary).
  • I can find the gist of pages 22–25 of The Omnivore’s Dilemma.
  • I can read closely to answer questions about pages 22–25 of The Omnivore’s Dilemma.
  • Gist annotated on sticky notes
  • New vocabulary on word-catcher
  • Answers to text-dependent questions
  • Teammates Consult

Lesson 3Analyzing Author’s Purpose: Industrial Food Chain

Long Term Targets Supporting Targets Ongoing Assessments Protocols
  • I can determine an author’s point of view or purpose in informational text. (RI.8.6)
  • I can analyze how the author acknowledges and responds to conflicting evidence or viewpoints. (RI.8.6)
  • I can identify the argument and specific claims in a text. (RI.8.8)
  • I can describe Michael Pollan’s purpose on page 25 of The Omnivore’s Dilemma.
  • I can identify the conflicting evidence and viewpoints Michael Pollan has used on page 25 and explain how he responds to them.
  • Food Chain graphic organizer
  • Author’s Purpose graphic organizer
  • Teammates Consult

Lesson 4Reading for Gist, Answering Text-Dependent Questions, and Determining Author’s Purpose: Industrial Food Chain

Long Term Targets Supporting Targets Ongoing Assessments Protocols
  • I can determine a theme or the central ideas of an informational text. (RI.8.2)
  • I can determine the meaning of words and phrases in text (figurative, connotative, and technical meanings). (RI.8.4)
  • I can determine an author’s point of view or purpose in informational text. (RI.8.6)
  • I can analyze how the author acknowledges and responds to conflicting evidence or viewpoints. (RI.8.6)
  • I can use a variety of strategies to determine the meaning of unknown words or phrases. (L.8.4)
  • I can use common, grade-appropriate Greek or Latin affixes and roots as clues to the meaning of a word (e.g., precede, recede, secede).
  • I can consult general and specialized reference materials (e.g., dictionaries, glossaries, thesauruses), both print and digital, to find the pronunciation of a word or determine or clarify its precise meaning or its part of speech.
  • I can verify the preliminary determination of the meaning of a word or phrase (e.g., by checking the inferred meaning in context or in a dictionary). 
  • I can find the gist of pages 47–49 of The Omnivore’s Dilemma.
  • I can read closely to answer questions about pages 47–49 of The Omnivore’s Dilemma.
  • I can describe the purpose of Michael Pollan in the excerpt from The Omnivore’s Dilemma.
  • I can identify the conflicting evidence and viewpoints Michael Pollan has used and explain how he responds to them.
  • Gist annotated on sticky notes
  • New vocabulary on word-catcher
  • Answers to text-dependent questions
  • Author’s Purpose graphic organizer
  • Teammates Consult

Lesson 5Reading for Gist, Answering Text-Dependent Questions, and Determining Author’s Purpose: Industrial Organic Food Chain

Long Term Targets Supporting Targets Ongoing Assessments Protocols
  • I can determine a theme or the central ideas of an informational text. (RI.8.2)
  • I can determine the meaning of words and phrases in text (figurative, connotative, and technical meanings). (RI.8.4)
  • I can determine an author’s point of view or purpose in informational text. (RI.8.6)
  • I can analyze how the author acknowledges and responds to conflicting evidence or viewpoints. (RI.8.6)
  • I can identify the argument and specific claims in a text. (RI.8.8)
  • I can find the gist of pages 112–115 of The Omnivore’s Dilemma.
  • I can read closely to answer questions about pages 112–115 of The Omnivore’s Dilemma.
  • I can describe the purpose of Michael Pollan in the excerpt from The Omnivore’s Dilemma.
  • I can identify the conflicting evidence and viewpoints Michael Pollan has used and explain how he responds to them.
  • Gist annotated on sticky notes
  • New vocabulary on word-catcher
  • Answers to text-dependent questions
  • Author’s Purpose graphic organizer
  • Teammates Consult

Lesson 6Analyzing a Speaker’s Purpose and Motives of a Media Excerpt

Long Term Targets Supporting Targets Ongoing Assessments Protocols
  • I can analyze the purpose of information presented in different media and formats. (SL.8.2)
  • I can evaluate the motives behind a presentation. (SL.8.2)
  • I can describe the purpose of a speaker.
  • I can evaluate the motives of a media presentation.
  • Food Chain graphic organizer
  • Speaker’s Purpose graphic organizer
  • Teammates Consult

Lesson 7Mid-Unit Assessment: Analyzing Author’s Purpose in Speech and Text

Long Term Targets Supporting Targets Ongoing Assessments Protocols
  • I can determine an author’s point of view or purpose in informational text. (RI.8.6)
  • I can analyze how the author acknowledges and responds to conflicting evidence or viewpoints. (RI.8.6)
  • I can analyze the purpose of information presented in different media and formats. (SL.8.2)
  • I can evaluate the motives behind a presentation. (SL.8.2)
  • I can use a variety of strategies to determine the meaning of unknown words or phrases. (L.8.4)
  • I can use common, grade-appropriate Greek or Latin affixes and roots as clues to the meaning of a word (e.g., precede, recede, secede).
  • I can consult general and specialized reference materials (e.g., dictionaries, glossaries, thesauruses), both print and digital, to find the pronunciation of a word or determine or clarify its precise meaning or its part of speech.
  • I can verify the preliminary determination of the meaning of a word or phrase (e.g., by checking the inferred meaning in context or in a dictionary).
  • I can describe the purpose and motives of the speech by Birke Baehr and Michael Pollan on pages 73–75 of The Omnivore’s Dilemma.
  • I can identify the conflicting evidence and viewpoints in pages 73–75 of The Omnivore’s Dilemma and explain how Michael Pollan responds to them.
  • Mid-Unit 1 Assessment
  • None

Lesson 8Reading for Gist and Answering Text-Dependent Questions: Local Sustainable Food Chain

Long Term Targets Supporting Targets Ongoing Assessments Protocols
  • I can determine a theme or the central ideas of an informational text. (RI.8.2)
  • I can determine the meaning of words and phrases in text (figurative, connotative, and technical meanings). (RI.8.4)
  • I can find the gist of pages 161–166 of The Omnivore’s Dilemma.
  • I can read closely to answer questions about pages 161–166 of The Omnivore’s Dilemma.
  • Food Chain graphic organizer
  • Gist annotated on sticky notes
  • New vocabulary on word-catcher
  • Answers to text-dependent questions
  • Teammates Consult

Lesson 9Evaluating an Argument: The Polyface Local Sustainable Farm

Long Term Targets Supporting Targets Ongoing Assessments Protocols
  • I can determine a speaker’s argument and specific claims. (SL.8.3)
  • I can evaluate the reasoning and evidence presented for soundness and relevance. (SL.8.3)
  • I can identify when irrelevant evidence is introduced. (SL.8.3)
  • I can identify the argument and specific claims in a text. (RI.8.8)
  • I can evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text (assessing whether the reasoning is sound and the evidence is relevant and sufficient to support the claims). (RI.8.8)
  • I can identify when irrelevant evidence is used. (RI.8.8)
  • I can evaluate two arguments for the same claim to identify which is the strongest.
  • I can evaluate Michael Pollan’s argument on pages 161–166 of The Omnivore’s Dilemma for sound reasoning and sufficient relevant evidence to support the claim.
  • I can identify irrelevant evidence in a text.
  • Evaluating an Argument graphic organizer for pages 161–166
  • Teammates Consult
  • Think-Pair-Share

Lesson 10Reading for the Gist and Answering Text-Dependent Questions: Hunter-Gatherer Food Chain

Long Term Targets Supporting Targets Ongoing Assessments Protocols
  • I can determine a theme or the central ideas of an informational text. (RI.8.2)
  • I can determine the meaning of words and phrases in text (figurative, connotative, and technical meanings). (RI.8.4)
  • I can find the gist of pages 240–245 of The Omnivore’s Dilemma.
  • I can read closely to answer questions about pages 240–245 of The Omnivore’s Dilemma.
  • Food Chain graphic organizer
  • Gist annotated on sticky notes
  • New vocabulary on word-catcher
  • Answers to text-dependent questions
  • Teammates Consult

Lesson 11Evaluating an Argument: The Joy of Hunting

Long Term Targets Supporting Targets Ongoing Assessments Protocols
  • I can determine a speaker’s argument and specific claims. (SL.8.3)
  • I can evaluate the reasoning and evidence presented for soundness and relevance. (SL.8.3)
  • I can identify when irrelevant evidence is introduced. (SL.8.3)
  • I can identify the argument and specific claims in a text. (RI.8.8)
  • I can evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text (assessing whether the reasoning is sound and the evidence is relevant and sufficient to support the claims). (RI.8.8)
  • I can identify when irrelevant evidence is used. (RI.8.8)
  • I can evaluate a spoken argument for sound reasoning, and sufficient relevant evidence to support the claim.
  • I can evaluate Michael Pollan’s argument on pages 240–245 of The Omnivore’s Dilemma for sound reasoning and sufficient relevant evidence to support the claim.
  • I can identify irrelevant evidence in a text.
  • Food Chain graphic organizer
  • Evaluating an Argument graphic organizer for pages 240–245
  • Teammates Consult

Lesson 12Making a Claim and Advocating Persuasively: Preparing for the Practice Fishbowl

Long Term Targets Supporting Targets Ongoing Assessments Protocols
  • I can use my experiences and my knowledge of language and logic, as well as culture, to think analytically, address problems creatively, and advocate persuasively. (SL.8.2a)
  • I can use my experiences and my knowledge of language and logic, as well as culture, to think analytically, address problems creatively, and advocate persuasively. (RI.8.9a)
  • I can develop a claim about which food chain I would choose to feed my family—local sustainable or hunter-gatherer—and support it with evidence.
  • I can advocate persuasively about my claim.
  • Evaluating an Argument graphic organizer for excerpt of Give (Frozen) Peas a Chance—and Carrots Too
  • Students’ comments regarding how to develop a claim
  • Developing a Claim graphic organizer
  • None

Lesson 13Advocating Persuasively in a Fishbowl: Practice

Long Term Targets Supporting Targets Ongoing Assessments Protocols
  • I can use my experiences and my knowledge of language and logic, as well as culture, to think analytically, address problems creatively, and advocate persuasively. (SL.8.2a)
  • I can use my experiences and my knowledge of language and logic, as well as culture, to think analytically, address problems creatively, and advocate persuasively. (RI.8.9a)
  • I can advocate persuasively for either local sustainable or hunter-gatherer to feed my family.
  • Developing a Claim graphic organizer
  • Advocating Persuasively Checklist
  • Peer Critique
  • Fishbowl

Lesson 14End of Unit Assessment Parts 1 and 2: Evaluating Arguments and Claims

Long Term Targets Supporting Targets Ongoing Assessments Protocols
  • I can determine a speaker’s argument and specific claims. (SL.8.3)
  • I can evaluate the reasoning and evidence presented for soundness and relevance. (SL.8.3)
  • I can identify when irrelevant evidence is introduced. (SL.8.3)
  • I can identify the argument and specific claims in a text. (RI.8.8)
  • I can evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text (assessing whether the reasoning is sound and the evidence is relevant and sufficient to support the claims). (RI.8.8)
  • I can identify when irrelevant evidence is used. (RI.8.8)
  • I can use my experiences and my knowledge of language and logic, as well as culture, to think analytically, address problems creatively, and advocate persuasively. (RI.8.9a)
  • I can determine the speaker’s argument and claims and evaluate the reasoning and evidence she has used to support her claim in the interview clip.
  • I can identify irrelevant evidence that the speaker has used in the interview clip.
  • I can evaluate Michael Pollan’s argument on pages 73–75 of The Omnivore’s Dilemma for sound reasoning and sufficient, relevant evidence to support the claim.
  • I can identify irrelevant evidence.
  • End of Unit 1 Assessment Part 1: Evaluating the Argument, Reasoning, and Evidence in a Speech
  • End of Unit 1 Assessment Part 2: Evaluating the Argument, Reasoning, and Evidence in an Excerpt of The Omnivore’s Dilemma
  • None

Lesson 15Assessment Part 3: Advocating Persuasively in a Fishbowl

Long Term Targets Supporting Targets Ongoing Assessments Protocols
  • I can use my experiences and my knowledge of language and logic, as well as culture, to think analytically, address problems creatively, and advocate persuasively. (SL.8.2a)
  • I can use my experiences and my knowledge of language and logic, as well as culture, to think analytically, address problems creatively, and advocate persuasively. (RI.8.9a)
  • I can advocate persuasively for one of the four meals Michael Pollan introduces in The Omnivore’s Dilemma.
  • End of Unit 1 Assessment, Part 3: Developing a Claim (from homework)
  • Advocating Persuasively Checklist Rubric
  • Fishbowl

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