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Global Ed Lessons

Watch the Drop of Life: The Story of Water (Mini-Documentary) and then complete the Water: The Drop of Life Video Viewing Task 


Published on Jan 17, 2011

The world is waking up to the water and sanitation crisis. Water is essential for life. No living being on planet Earth can survive without it. It is a prerequisite for human health and well-being as well as for the preservation of the environment.

Writing a Problem Based Argument / Persuasive Argument


Persuasive Argumentation Teaching Activity Students need help understanding how to support their arguments by making the connections between a Claim, the Evidence supporting it, and the Reasoning connecting the two. This brainstorm activity and the accompanying exercises will help students prepare for developing sound persuasive arguments during the Global Ed II project. This activity may well extend over 1-3 class periods. 


Section 1: Claim, Evidence, and Reasoning (CER) 


A.  Introduce the concept of Claim, Evidence, and Reasoning through a think-a-loud, class brainstorm about how we might change people’s minds, and how they might change our minds. Some sample questions to ask are: 

  1. Can you change someone's mind? 
  2. Should you? 
  3. How do change someone's mind? 
  4. How do other people change your mind? 
  5. What are some things people do to change your mind that work? 
  6. What are some things people do to change your mind that you don't like or don't work? 
  7. What do you think of when you hear the word "claim"?  (It’s important with these last three questions to not prompt correct responses, but to let students arrive at their own definitions. Teaching the correct uses of the terms comes later.) 
  8. What do you think of when you hear the word "evidence"? 
  9. What do you think of when you hear the word "reasoning"? 

B.  Write on the board or present the definitions of each term, and discuss how the definitions differ from the brainstorm: 
  1. Claim: noun – to assert in the face of possible contradiction 
  2. Evidence: noun – something that furnishes proof 
  3. Reasoning: noun – a statement offered in explanation or justification, connecting the proof to the claim 

C.  In class discussion, use these simple examples or the example and non-example Opening Statements (or your own) to show how the chain of reason works: 

1.   Example: Scientific reasoning 

      a)  Claim: The sun is hot. 

      b)  Evidence: My skin feels warm. 

      c)  Reasoning: My skin became warmer when the sun came up. 

2.  Example: Social reasoning 

      a)  Claim: My mom is mad. 

      b)  Evidence: She is frowning. 

      c)  Reasoning: She was frowning yesterday when she said, “I am mad.” 

3.   Example: Political reasoning 

      a)  Claim: Japan should join our international organization. 

      b)  Evidence: Japan needs to increase their food supply. 

      c)  Reasoning: Countries in our organization will send food to other countries. 


D.  Think Aloud / Modeling: Tell students they must come up with a C-E-R chain they might use in their own lives. They do not have to use examples that are true or real evidence. Model this in a think-a-loud, walking them through the connections between the three elements. Use this example or your own: 

     a)  Claim – My favorite band is the best band. 

     b)  Evidence – They have 5 #1 songs. 

     c)  Reasoning – No other bands have as many number one songs. 


E.  Guided Practice: Students must write out their own C-E-R chain. If needed, post these guiding descriptions: 

     a)  Your Claim – something you think is true 

     b)  Your Evidence – What made you think it was true 

     c)  Your Reasoning – What about the evidence convinced you? 


F.  Meet-Pair-Share: Discuss in groups or as a class. 

     a)  What was the most difficult part of this exercise? Why? 

     b) Would this be a useful thing to know how to do? Why or why not? 

     c) Why might this be a better way to present an argument? [This question leads into the next] 

     d) What happens if you try to present an argument without using this technique? 


G.  Independent Practice: Repeat this exercise for homework. If students are familiar with internet research, this can be extended to require a real claim that is validated with research. 


Section 2: Academic vs. Propagandist Persuasion [this section will most probably be on a second or third day] 


1.  With an understanding of claim/evidence/reasoning, students can begin to understand the difference between clear, academic persuasion and unclear, propagandist persuasion. In class discussion, review the concepts. The following concepts may be useful:

a. Academic: 

    1. Uses the Claim / Evidence / Reasoning chain 

    2. Uses objective, not emotional language 

    3. Students may understand this as “speaking to adults” language 

b. Propaganda:

    1. Presents Claim without Evidence and/or Reasoning 

    2. Uses overly emotional language 

    3. Students may understand this as “speaking to your friends” language 


2. Modeling

a. Discuss a claim that you want to convince the students of: 

    1. You should do your homework. 

    2. You should join (insert extra-curricular activity) 

    3. Stay in school. 

b. Write (either before hand or during the class discussion) two short discussion-post style explanations of your claim (100 – 150 words). One should be academic and the other propagandist. See the Persuasive Techniques chart for examples and help writing in these styles. 

    1. Begin with the propagandist post. 

    2. Think aloud how the writing is conceived, including what the writer is hoping to achieve with the content, style, word choice. 

    3. Ask students how they react to the language of the post. Does it convince you of the claim? 

    4. Think-aloud through writing the academic post. 

    5. Discuss the comparison between the two. Which is more effective? If one is more effective, why might you want to use the other one instead? What are the drawbacks of each? c. Ask students to repeat the exercise using their own claim. 

                 a)  Which is easier to write? 

                 b)  Which do they think is most effective? 

                 c) How can they improve on the academic post? 

                 d) Ask students to exchange work, commenting on which post is more effective and how their classmates might improve the academic post. 


Section 3: Assertions, Questions, Proposals 


1. Review A/Q/P definitions from handout 

    a. What are the purposes of each? 

    b. Are there any types of posts that would not fall into these categories? 

    c. In which situations might you use each type of post? 


2. Model posts of each kind to follow up the claims of the above discussion. Students create posts of each kind to follow up their own claims from above exercise. Use the following guidelines for students’ posts to give them structure: 

   a. Assertion 

           1) Statement of the concept or opinion which is clear to someone not familiar with the topic 

           2) At least one statement connecting your assertion to the information discovered in your question 

           3) At least one piece of factual evidence to support your claim 

           4) 1 or more statements connecting the evidence to the claim (reasoning) 

   b. Question: Develop a question about something you'd like to know. Must contain the following elements 

          1) Statement of the question which is clear to someone not familiar with the topic 

          2) Why the question is important 

          3) Suggestions for possible action depending on the answer 

   c. Proposal 

          1) Statement of the proposed action which is clear to someone not familiar with the topic 

          2) At least one statement connecting the proposal to your assertion 3. Anticipation of at least two possible outcomes 

          3) Students can then exchange work to answer whether they feel the posts actually match the type of post indicated. 

          4) Discuss the challenges in trying to focus the post to a particular type. 

          5) For a possible homework assignment, students may come up with 1 issue/topic from their personal lives and 1 global issue. Then, they can write a post under each type on the two topics. 

Building Your Opening Statement with the “Hamburger” Strategy

It might be helpful to think of your opening statement as a hamburger. Many things go inside it, but only with all of the ingredients stacked together is it a hamburger. The same goes for opening statements. Each statement needs certain parts to make clear what your country’s position is, what you want to accomplish, and what evidence you have to support your claims.

“Ingredients” of the hamburger:

  • Top Bun (General Salutation) – The salutation is a greeting that identifies the intended readers of the message and uses appropriate diplomatic language.
  • Contents. Presents the country’s background on the topic including the following components:
    • Tomato (A statement of the problem facing country) – The statement of the problem facing the country outlines the issues that this country in particular faces and conveys why these issues are a problem.
    • Lettuce (What the country has done). This section specifies how the country has attempted to help lessen or solve the problem either nationally or internationally already.
    • Burger (Signaling of policy intent). Outline exactly what the country intends to work on with the international community to help lessen, solve, or adaptto the problem both domestically and across national boundaries.
  • Bottom Bun (Building allies) – This section attempts to convey why other nations should also be concerned and join you in your plans for how to resolve the problem. It should also indicate how other countries actions and policies regarding this problem are affecting your country and its stance.

DON’T FORGET

Always present your ideas in logical, academically valid ways by using claim-evidence-reasoning chains!

Problem of Water Introduction Lesson:
The Future of Water Documentary:  This documentary will look at the deeply intertwined history of humanity and fresh water reveals looming challenges that could upend power structures around the world.  See Resources below for further exploration.  

Discussion Questions:  
NOTE:  Take good notes and answer the questions to the best of your ability.  The terms and concepts introduced are important to understand.  
  • What is a developing or third world country?
  • What are the basic human rights?  NOTE: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  • Is fresh and clean water a human right?
  • Is fresh water the new oil?
  • What is desalinization?  Is it cost effective?  What are the pros and cons of desalinization?
  • What is your your personal responsibility regarding the "Problem of Water"?
Keep a Water Log/Tally Assignment:
Document how many times you use water for an entire week.  You can use this simple log/tally sheet below to get an idea

Discussion Questions:
  • Do some simple calculations to estimate how many gallons of water you use per week?
  • Which of these could you do without if you lived in a developing or third world country and water was scarce?
  • In what ways can you decrease or conserve the amount of water you use?
  • Complete a Water Footprint or  Home Water Audit 
My Use of Water Log/Tally
Sun
Mon
 Tues
 Weds
 Thurs
 Fri
 Sat
Drinking water (cups/glasses including water fountain)
 
.
-
 
 
 
 
Cooking (cups used to cook)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Bathing (time)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Brushing your teeth (times) 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Washing the dishes (times)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Washing your clothes (average loads)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Flushing the toilet (estimate how many times)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Sources of Water Geography Lesson


Test your knowledge here:  

Seterra Interactive Maps:  World - Oceans, Seas, Lakes, and Rivers


Problem Based Learning (PBL) Chicago Module:



Officials Warn Of Great Lakes Water Shortage
CBS Chicago reports "A federal analysis this week warned that the Great Lakes region could experience water shortages in some locations in coming years because of climate shifts or surging demand."
First, students will look at the impact of clean water and water accessibility for residents of Chicago.  Four groups will be created with vastly different opinions, for example:  

Group #1 - Mayor & City Council
Group #2 - Arrow Gas Co. approved to move to Chicago 
Group #3 - Normal Chicago residents
Group #4 - Surrounding states that share Lake Michigan's water (Indiana, Michigan, & Wisconsin)

Students will then host a simulation town hall meeting from the perspective and research of their group.  

The issue to discuss could be that the city’s water supply is running low, has been contaminated, neighboring states are upset at Chicago's amount of consumption, and/or they need to consider a cost-effective way to improve the quality of tap water used by the city. The idea would be for the students to begin the difficult process of problem solving with people who have different roles within a community. This will hopefully help them understand the gravity of PBL and start their path on to becoming a global citizen.  Students will have to complete a graphic organizer to document research related to their role and the perspective of the stakeholder (for example, the mayor may want to raise taxes to cover the cost of a filtration system). They would put together a few talking points to raise in the town hall meeting, including a possible solution.


The students would then choose a spokesperson to represent their role and participate in a town hall meeting to share their research and concerns. They would be able to consult with the other members of their group to try to reach a solution. Regardless of whether or not a solution has been decided, the students will end with a reflection on what they learned about water safety and the difficulties of problem solving with people who have different views/interests.


My role as the facilitator is to help the students make sense of their research in terms of the effects of water quality and to help them consider issues that may impact a specific stakeholder. My role in the meeting would be to make sure each group was able to communicate their ideas and concerns. Ultimately I would be looking to see if they were able to understand why water quality matters and how different groups of people have different needs and perspectives.

Global Ed Resources

Global Ed 2 Scenario:


Additional Resources: