From December, 2014

Silence that Transforms Us

“When he heard music, he no longer listened to the notes, but the silences between.  When he read a book, he gave himself over to the commas and semicolons, to the space after the period before the capital letter of the next sentence.  He discovered the places in the room where silence gathered; the folds of curtain drapes, the deep bowls of family silver.  When people spoke to him, he heard less and less of what they said and and more and more of what they were not.”

– Nicole Krauss, The History of Love 

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Argumentative Essay: Issues in Contemporary Society

In unit two, embedded assessment two for grade ten, students are asked to do the following:

Develop an argument about an issue that resonates across cultures 

Some ten teachers have decided to focus the argumentative essay as follows:

Prompt/Topic: What Issue that Extends Across Cultures is Most Important to Resolve in Our World Today and Why?

Optional Addition: What Do You Believe Needs to Be Done To Resolve This Issue?

The handout, Texts linked to Cultural Issues in Springboard Unit 2,  outlines how all of the resources in the Springboard text can be linked to the following specific cultural issues students might choose to write about:

  • Education for All
  • Racial Discrimination
  • Political/Personal Freedom and/or Freedom of Speech
  • Class Structure/Class Tension
  • Gender Discrimination/Gender Stereotypes
  • Use of Capital Punishment (Crime and Punishment)
  • Effective Change and the Use of Violence and/or Non-Violence
  • Protect the Rights of Children
  • End World Hunger/Hunger in the US

Kristina Claytor and Allie Sberna also wanted additional non-fiction research for students to be able to access as they write essays.  Here are some links to articles that can be used for the following topics:

  • Racial Stereotyping
  • Gender Stereotyping
  • Capital Punishment

Racial Stereotypes/Gender Stereotypes (Both)

Racial Stereotypes

Gender Stereotypes

Capital Punishment  

These resources are also available as a handout version with links: