Achieve excellence in the new common core standards by increasing your students' ability to read, research, cite sources, and write efficiently with references using reflective (or argument) writing assignments. In addition to that, help your student's become critical thinkers by having students not only analyze a topic, but also what different authors are saying about it, and how this affects their understanding and learning. The reflective writing assignment can very easily be modified into an argument writing assignment (or even a classroom debate) by choosing a topic with more than one side and asking students to pick as side and use the evidence they gather to not only explain the topic and their learning, but to also support their view. And the best part is, with good student instructions and expectations, a thorough rubric, and my student score cards, grading is fast and easy!
This bundle comes with a sample activity that allows students to investigate and argue the use of DNA for identification purposes. Topics include DNA testing for forensics, family connections, and disease identification, with a over-arching question of, "is the use of DNA for identification purposes helping society advance by solving cold cases, reuniting families, and helping people get faster more accurate diagnoses? Or are we becoming over reliant on DNA testing and allowing it to lead to faulty convictions, invasion of privacy and people dealing with information they are not mentally ready for?".
This is a fairly advanced version of the reflective or argument writing assignment in which students will actually turn their research and an assigned point of view into a debate! While I have this activity set up as a debate, it could easily be modified into an argument writing assignment, or students could do the debate, and they write a reflection or argument paper.
This package is also available in a bundle on TPT including sample activities covering organic chemistry ("biomolecules"), evolution (hominid), and biotechnology (GMO use in food), or each of those is available as a separate package as well.
This is designed for 9-12th grade science students.
Included: Teacher notes and general instructions for teaching and using reflective writing assignments, academic honesty power point, student instructions for writing a reflective or argument paper, 2 different Claim-Evidence-Reasoning-Rebuttal worksheets modified for these types of assignments, a rubric for grading reflective or argument papers, student score cards for easy grading of reflective or argument papers, teacher notes and instructions for the "DNA for Identification" activity and debate, student instructions for the "DNA for Identification" activity and debate, a Claim-Evidence-Reasoning-Rebuttal worksheet altered to meet the needs of the "DNA for Identification" activity and debate, a student note-page for use during the "Socratic Seminar" of the "DNA for Identification activity and debate, a student note-page for use before and during the debate portion of the "DNA for Identification" activity and debate, and an outline for the timing of the debate.