Mars One Close Read - Opinion Writing

9 teachers like this lesson
Print Lesson


SWBAT form an opinion about whether the Mars One Project should continue or whether they think the project is a bad idea. The students will back up their answers with facts they have read about during this unit.

Big Idea

Should we send people on a one way trip to Mars to colonize the planet? Students will get to decide as they from an opinion and write about the Mars One Project.


I Know You Have a Strong Opinion

10 minutes

For this unit we have been focusing on a an article entitle "Reality Series From Lionsgate TV & Roy Bank To Chronicle Mission To Colonize Mars" by Nellie Andreeva.  This article addresses the proposed project of colonizing Mars. From the very beginning of this close read unit, my students have shown that they deep opinions on this topic. None of the students have been at a loss for words during discussions.  Most most students feel passionately against the project. There are a few students however, for strong proponents of the project. There really are no in between feelings about the Mars One project.

To begin this lesson, I will ask the students to channel this passionate feelings either for or get against this project. I will let them share a few of those feelings as we begin a lesson.  As they they share with the class how they feel about the project, glass them to back up those feelings with things we learned about from the project.  I will ask them why they feel the way they feel.

Andreeva, N. (March 12, 2014). Reality Series From Lionsgate TV & Roy Bank To Chronicle Mission To Colonize Mars. Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 24, 2014.

A Work in Progress

20 minutes

In this lesson will be writing an opinion paper on the Mars one project. The students will decide whether they are for or against the project and support their reasoning with evidence from the texts we have read during this unit as well as the video we watched.  Our school has focused on the Four Square method of writing and this project is no exception. Will be using the Four Square method to compose an opinion piece of the Mars one project.

To begin I will have the students fold a blank piece of paper into a foursquare graphic organizer. I have included in the resources of video on how this is done. Then center square is where the students will take notes on an introduction this is where the students will state their opinion. The two squares on top and foursquare on the bottom will contain their reasoning with evidence from the text to support their reasoning. The final square will contain the conclusion where they will restate their opinion and summarize their reasoning.  I will talk through these expectations with the students.  This graphic organizer is the note taking, outline stage of writing.  Next, they will turn that outline into a 5 paragraph essay.

Creating an Opinion Paper

30 minutes

Writing about a topic we've learned about is a great way for students to synthesize about what they have read, studied, and contemplated during the unit.  Before the students begin to compose their five paragraph essays, I will review with them some of things I'm looking for when I read their essays.  I am looking for five complete paragraphs, smooth transitions from paragraph to paragraph, great choice in words, opinions backed by evidence from the text, and legible handwriting.  After going over some of things to remember while writing, I will then give the students the remaining time to compose their five paragraph essays.