Article #2 “Which Farmer Does It Better?” Debate: Organic vs Conventional Food

Article #2 “Which Farmer Does It Better?”   Debate: Organic vs Conventional Food
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Close Reading Article #2 “Which Farmer Does It Better?”
Argumentative Debate Topic: Organic vs Conventional Food Common Core Unit

Argumentative Debate Topic:
Organic vs Conventional Food Common Core Unit

At one time you could only find organic food in health food stores, now it is a regular choice in most supermarkets. This has created a dilemma in the produce isle. Every student knows there are organic food choices. They may have their own opinions, but what about the facts. I have found students really like talking and writing about food, so this relevant topic makes a terrific augmentative essay.

In this second “Science Works” article on the debate between organic and conventional food, students will further explore food production from another informative high interest reading article. This second article focuses more on the history of organic and conventional farming, answering the question, “How did we get here? “. This article gives the student a good background of facts on how the United States got to the present state of the industrial food business.

A Venn diagram thinking tool is included to help students further compare and contrast the topic. This will generate more discussion and asks students to create a visual representation outlining the similarities and differences they have identified. This diagram translates nicely to a tool for writing their argumentative paper and can even be used as a more formative assessment.

Also included in this lesson is a quick and easy,“Ticket to leave” or (exit ticket). This can serve as an ideal way to end the class and synthesis the day's content. The exit ticket provides a check for understanding for the teacher with information about how the class is progressing and requires students to apply what they learned in a no risk, rather quick summarizer.


1. Article #2, “Which farmer Does It Better?”

2. Venn Diagram thinking tool worksheet.

3. Exit Ticket

4. Actual student samples to use as key (answers will vary)

Lesson Plan:

1. I start this lesson with another, “You-Tube Media Adventure” further exploring some of the pros and cons of this issue. Again try to pick some extreme views and opinions, then temper it with more conservative informative slants. Try to get both sides equally represented. You will find countless quality You-tubes. Be careful to keep your bias out. You might want to clarify with You tubes some of the language in the articles like, “farm subsides”, or “cover crops”.

2. Students then “Cold Read” the article and discuss in a (10-2) what new information they learned.

3. Next comes the, “Warm Read” where students read the article again and complete the Venn Diagram worksheet. This can be done alone or with a partner as a quite collaborative time.

7. Close the lesson using the Exit ticket asking students to synthesize their learning as they get ready to leave.
Total Pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
1 hour
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