Unit Overview & Lesson Outline
This project requires access to current, authoritative sources on modern-day issues and situations; therefore, technology is the optimal channel for conducting the necessary research to enhance the breadth of the student’s understanding of the chosen issue.
Middle school students often struggle with extracting relevant information from expository text and with transferring their research into a clear, well-organized piece of writing. They frequently flounder when identifying appropriate, authentic, and reliable sources to gather, sort, and refine their research. Additionally, middle level students strive to complete their research as quickly as possible, often resulting in skimming over or skipping critical steps in the research process. Therefore, the research module will give students a focused opportunity to work through the research process using authentic and current information/sites.

Analysis & Comparison of Speeches
1. Read two persuasive speeches. Analyze the speeches for language use, tone, and point of view in the provided t-chart. (e.g., an excerpt from MLK, Jr. “I Have a Dream”, Abraham Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address”)

2. Optional activities include: Comparing tone in both Lincoln's and King's speeches, BCR: explain how tone of each speech provides clues about speaker's viewpoint, Writing Activity: identifying and practicing the use of parallel structure.

Research Module

The research module will take approximately 6-7 block class periods in the media center, computer or mobile lab. The research will result in students choosing to write a persuasive essay/persuasive speech. Students will be required to complete a Learning Log throughout the research module. Teachers may want to use the Exit Slips as an additional formative assessment.

QUESTIONING - Day 1: Present the task, a list of topics, select a topic and generate questions.

PLANNING - Day 2: Identify what information is needed about the topic, identify sources of information. Lessons on authority, currency, and relevance of sources/internet sites should be conducted by the media specialist. Also, students will practice evaluating a site for their topic

GATHERING - Day 3: Introduce the Research T-chart. Students will research their topics & begin to record their information.

GATHERING - Day 4, 5, & 6: Students will research their topics.

Writing the Persuasive Essay

SORTING, SYNTHESIZING & EVALUATING - Day 1: Organize notes into persuasive essay organizer.

Day 2: Writing effective leads mini-lesson, (possible homework option: writing rough draft of essay or write rough draft in next class period),

Day 3: Writing effective closings mini-lesson, begin to type rough draft of essay.

PRODUCING - Day 4: Revising mini-lesson – using strong, precise language. May need to finish typing rough drafts and print to have a draft to revise. (homework option – finish revising & edit draft)

Hyperstudio Project

PRODUCING - Day 1: (Access to computers is necessary for a portion of this class.) Using The Language of Literature book, review the example of a multimedia presentation and visuals that could be incorporated into their presentations. Each student should create a hyperstudio show with a minimum of 5 cards in the stack. Students can include additional types of media that would be appropriate for their topic, such as audio clips, video clips, or realia. Show a sample HyperStudio show. Students plan their HyperStudio stack using the planning sheet, detailing what information will be on each of their cards.

Day 2: Refer back to the multimedia presentation in The Language of Literature. Point out how the student indicated where to refer to the audio-visuals throughout the speech. Each student should have a rough draft of their essay and a planning page for the stack. Using the planning sheet, students should identify when each card will be shown in their presentation. In the Media Center, Computer Lab or in classroom with laptops, review basics of Hyperstudio and allow students to begin building their stacks.

Day 3 & 4: Work on stacks

Day 5: Students will word process their persuasive speeches, including the notes on when/where to include each card/visual aid.