This unit looks at different ways of arguing a case. Using environmental issues as the focus, students explore the ways in which different texts present information and argument. The texts include information books, poetry, political cartoons, articles and leaflets. These aim to provide students with information on which to base their own opinions and ideas as well as models for the varying forms that arguing a case can take, other than the traditional argument essay. Reading strategies for extracting information and tracing argument are offered in the tasks together with ways of helping to organise thought, see the complexity of an issue and finally, to argue the case for themselves.
In Stage One, students are introduced to the subjects of environmental issues and making a point by looking at several political cartoons. Then, using statements with which they must agree or disagree, students practise adopting and defending a stance on environmental issues.
In Stage Two, students read an extract from a text book on air pollution and prepare the information for a quiz game.
In Stage Three, students work on an editorial about traffic from a science journal, looking at language, organisation and the development of an argument.
In Stage Four, two different texts are focused on both dealing with car pollution. A range of reading strategies are provided.
In Stage Five, tasks focus on looking at the intention and audience of information and argument texts.
In Stage Six, students edit a letter to an MP about road traffic for publication in a local newspaper.
In Stage Seven, students argue the case themselves, making a choice from various argument forms where both the audience and purpose are clearly defined. These include letters, scripts for speeches and radio items, video box comment, radio phone-ins, scripted scenes and leaflets.