LOGO - PULSE



Current Events
By Catharine Niuzzo Honaman


Time: 2 – 3 classes
Preparation Time: 1 hour to read the lesson and supporting materials
Materials:

1) http://www.worldpress.org/Africa/737.cfm
“ Africa Bites the Bullet on Genetically Modified Food Aid” by Meron Tesfa Michael that was published on September 26, 2002 on the World Press Review Online

2) "Zambian Leader Defends Ban on Genetically Altered Foods” by Henri E. Cauvin published online by The New York Times on September 4, 2002

3) http://flakmag.com/opinion/famine.html “Thwarting Famine” by Jason Lott published online by Flak Magazine


Abstract
Throughout the semester students will collect current events articles that tie to the main themes in the major project and to their assigned country. During this lesson students practice their skills at critically analyzing specific articles and presenting impromptu speech to their classmates.



Objectives
Students will be able to:

1) Students will select articles and editorials that contain information and issues directly related to this youth voices project.

2) Students will demonstrate their comprehension of the article read in this lesson through accurate oral and written answers to questions posed.

3) Students will demonstrate their comprehension of one additional article, which is on their country for the youth voices project through a brief, accurate oral presentation.

4) Students will make connections between the information in newspaper, magazine, Internet articles to what is being studied in science and social studies classes in a written format.

5) Students will identify words and phrases, which affect a reader’s opinion of the article’s topic and the information presented.

National Language Arts Education Standard:
Standard #1
Students read a wide range of print and non-print text to build an understanding of texts, of themselves, and of the cultures of the United States and the world, to acquire new information, to respond to the needs and demands of society and the workplace, and for personal fulfillment. Among these texts are fiction and nonfiction, classic and contemporary works.

Standard #3
Students apply a wide variety of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate texts. They draw on their prior experience, their interactions with others readers and writers, their knowledge of word meanings and of other texts, their identification strategies, and their understanding of textual features (e.g., sound-letter correspondence, sentence structure, context, graphics).

Arizona State Standards:
READING
Strand 1
Concept 4: Vocabulary
PO3: Determine how the meaning of the text is affected by the writer’s
word choice
Concept 5: Fluency
PO1: Read from a variety of genres with accuracy, automaticity, and
prosody
Concept 6: Comprehension Strategies
PO1: Predict
PO2: Generate clarifying questions
PO3: Connect information and events

WRITING
Strand 2: Writing Components
Concept 1: Ideas and Content
PO 1. Maintain a clear, narrow focus to support a topic.
PO 2. Write with an identifiable purpose and for a specific audience.
PO 3. Provide sufficient, relevant, and carefully selected details for support.
PO 4. Demonstrate a thorough, balanced explanation of the topic.

LISTENING and SPEAKING
LS-P2 Deliver an impromptu speech that is organized, addresses a particular subject,
and is tailored to the audience

Teacher Background
You need to know where Zambia is located and some background information about this country. You should also know what the term genetically modified foods means.


Related and Resource Websites

http://www.worldpress.org/Africa/737.cfm
“ Africa Bites the Bullet on Genetically Modified Food Aid” by Meron Tesfa Michael published online by the World Press Review Online on September 26, 2002

“ Zambian Leader Defends Ban on Genetically Altered Foods” by Henri E. Cauvin published online by The New York Times on September 4, 2002

http://flakmag.com/opinion/famine.html
“ Thwarting Famine” by Jason Lott published online by Flak Magazine on December 4, 2002

 

 

Activity

1. Introduce this lesson with the idea that we do not live in isolation. Political decisions made in one part of the world have a ripple effect over the planet just as scientific advancements in one country can impact the entire Earth. The materials which the students have been studying in science and social studies so far this year and will continue to examine this quarter are not only inter-connected, but are often in the news NOW. These topics/issues are being hotly contested, affecting public policy, GNP’s, and sometimes threatening trade wars. Let the students know that they will be looking for newspaper, magazine, and Internet articles dealing with the topics studied in the youth voices unit to see what is being presented to the public and what is being discussed in the public forum.

2. Read, with your students, the attached article, “Africa Bites the Bullet on Genetically Modified Food Aid” by Meron Tesfa Michael that was published on September 26, 2002 on the World Press Review Online website. It is about genetically modified (GM) foods being offered to Africa to avert a famine (You may substitute any equally relevant article of your choosing and this lesson’s activities will still work.) Then break the students into groups of three and ask them to:

i) Write a brief (3-5 sentences) summary of the article;
ii) Pick out ten things that they learned about the situation reported on in the article;
iii) Briefly state the two opposing positions, and who holds these positions, as reported on in the article.

Let the students know that they will be responsible this quarter for finding one article such as this one, orally presenting the above information to the class, and handing in to you a written version of the oral presentation. The article must deal with a country being studied in social studies and/or a topic being discussed in science. The purpose of sharing the article with the class is to make connections between what is being learned in the classroom in the youth voices unit with what is currently happening in the world. What students are studying at school is a tool to help them understand the complex situations that exist in our world today.

3. As a class go over the answers to questions #1, #2, and #3. Point out that this is the type of high quality article each student is expected to present because it:

i) concerns a country being examined in the overall unit;
ii) deals with a topic being studied in science;
iii) contains a significant amount of information that reports about the topic in depth.

A suggestion is to offer bonus points to those students who bring in a second and/or third article for other students, who have difficulty with this assignment, to use.

4. Talk to the students about how different the viewpoints between the proponents and opponents of GM foods are. Then ask the students to work in their previous groups of three again to complete the following activities, once again using “Africa Bites the Bullet on Genetically Modified Food Aid” by Meron Tesfa Michael that was published on September 26, 2002 on the World Press Review Online website.

1) Looking at the third to last paragraph in the article (“Africa Bites the Bullet on Genetically Modified Food Aid”), write down words and phrases that show Jason Lott’s support of GM foods and ones that criticize those who oppose these crops.

2) Jason Lott uses purposefully negative language and imagery to put those who oppose GM foods in a bad light. Using information in the article, what might Charles Chabala say in response to Lott’s remarks? (Use the quoted remarks of Charles Chabala in paragraph 15 as a starting point.) Charles Chabala raises serious concerns about the safety of GM foods and does so from the standpoint of someone who is African. What logical arguments could he make? What words and phrases could he use to highlight the negative aspects of GM foods/crops?

Once again go over the answers of each group as a class.

Closure

When you compare and contrast opposing viewpoints on an issue, it is not just what facts and statistics a person uses to create his or her argument, but how things are stated that often make lasting impressions and influence how people see a situation. People can often discredit their opponents by portraying them as ignorant, short-sighted, or racist and by presenting only those facts that, of course, support one side of the controversy.

If your class is fired up by this debate you can look at the full article written by Jason Lotte entitle “Thwarting Famine” published online at http://flakmag.com/opinion/famine.html

An opposing viewpoint, which is presented in greater detail, can be found in the article “Zambian Leader Defends Ban on Genetically Altered Foods” by Henri E. Cauvin, published online at nytimes.com on September 4, 2002.

Homework
None

Embedded Assessment
Student learning in this lesson can be evaluated by the quality of work done in summarizing the main ideas in the article, “Africa Bites the Bullet on Genetically Modified Food Aid” by Meron Tesfa Michael that was published on September 26, 2002 on the World Press Review Online website, and by identifying the logic used in the arguments for and against accepting GM food aid.

 



PULSE is a project of the Community Outreach and Education Program of the Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center and is funded by:


an
NIH/NCRR award #16260-01A1
The Community Outreach and Education Program is part of the Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center: an NIEHS Award

LOGO - SWEHSC
LOGO - NIEHS Center LOGO - NIEHS

Supported by NIEHS grant # ES06694


1996-2007, The University of Arizona
Last update: November 10, 2009
  Page Content: Rachel Hughes
Web Master: Travis Biazo