Reflection: Lesson Planning Identifying Your Cause and Effect Research Interest through “Factoids” and Presenting a Research Proposal - Section 2: Guided Practice: Browsing for Controversy


Over the many years that I have taught high school, I have always struggled with the idea of the "controversy" research project.  These types of assignments seem ubiquitous all throughout high school English departments everywhere.  In fact, in every one of the five schools I have taught in, the curriculum had a "controversy" project of some sort  -- you know the assignment about an "issue" and the students choose, like, abortion, gun control, animal testing, or legalizing marijuana.  

Students frequently tread the same ground over and over and over.  The "controversies" come to seem like they are merely "packaged."  Also, I find it inherently artificial to give students a list -- even one as rich as the one found at the Yahoo Directory -- and ask them "to pick" something as if they are picking out a pair of shoes or a soft drink.

That being said, I have shared these reservations with students in the past, and a few have responded by telling me that they enjoyed learning about a controversial topic that they never would have happened upon otherwise.

I think, finally though, the concept of studying a "controversy" is an easy one to communicate -- this ISSSUE has these CAUSES and we might provide these SOLUTIONS.  The sequence of thought (maybe the scaffolding?) is clear and accessible. 

  reflection re: the merits (or not) of a "list" of "controversies"
  Lesson Planning: reflection re: the merits (or not) of a "list" of "controversies"
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Identifying Your Cause and Effect Research Interest through “Factoids” and Presenting a Research Proposal

Unit 6: Writing a Cause & Effect (Researched Essay)
Lesson 1 of 5

Objective: SWBAT consider a variety of possible topics for cause and effect research, as well as develop a tentative "research question."

Big Idea: ... startling facts or "factiods" compel us to want to know more! ...

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