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Health Friendly Energy Production - Language Arts Lessons

First learning cycle: Weeks 1 and 2 – Writing Legal Briefs
Big Idea
Persuasive writing has numerous applications in the professional world, the area of law being one. Environmental health issues often come to the public’s attention when there are documented problems. First the environmental health issues need to be understood on a scientific level. Then solutions must be implemented. If the parties involved cannot move towards a mutually agreeable solution then the courts become involved. When this happens the brief, a persuasive written document, is a key component in proving that one course of action is in the best interest for all parties involved.
Essential Question
How does one write an effective legal brief for an appeals case?
Learning Cycle
Lesson Title & Description
Objective
Students will:
Class period & week
Engage

When is it appropriate for a court case to be appealed?
Students will list the parts of a court case. Then they will read the summary of an actual court case, seeing how the arguments were made for each side, what the judgment was, the grounds on which the case was appealed, and the Supreme Court judgment.

1. Synthesize information from multiple sources to solve a problem

2. Demonstrate an understanding of why court cases are appealed to a higher court

Classes 1 & 2
Week 1

Explore

What are legal briefs, what are their component parts, and how would they be used in the appeal process?
Students will read examples of actual legal briefs, dissecting them to see what their component parts are.

1. Identify the central argument and component parts of a legal brief that would be used in an appeals case

2. Demonstrate an understanding of the specialized purpose of a legal brief
Classes 3 & 4
Week 1
Explain

Doing research for a legal brief
Students will begin by reading the stipulated facts of the mock trial case of Ricki Jones v. Metro City and the applicable law for the case.

1. Synthesize information from multiple sources to draw a conclusion about an environmental health issue

2. Research the legal, scientific, and specific environmental health information necessary to write a legal brief for an appeals court

Class 5
Week 1

Classes 1 & 2
Week 2

Apply

Writing a legal brief
Students will get together in their groups to use the information that they found in the previous lesson to write an appeals brief for their side of the trial in Ricki Jones v. Metro City.

1. Write a persuasive document that contains the key components of a legal brief for an appeals court
Classes 3, 4 &5
Week 2

Internet resources
http://www.ll.georgetown.edu/lib/guides/legal_writing.html (Extensive list of library resources that concern legal forms of writing)
http://faculty.ncwc.edu/toconnor/410/legalbrief.htm (Internet Legal Research: Explains how to write a legal brief)
http://www.law.cornell.edu/topics/legal_writing.html (legal writing: an overview A short explanation of the different forms of legal writing)
http://www.lexisnexis.com/associates/career/careerpd091101d.asp (Writing A Brief The George Orwell Way
Six tips that produce better legal writing)

I have altered Orwell's rule here just a bit. But as altered, it is ideal advice for brief writers. Write and a level that is easy to understand. Ask yourself: Could your client understand the brief? I hope so. Judges think so, too. A Wisconsin supreme court justice once said: "A lawyer should write the brief at a level a 12th grader could understand."

Lesson Cycle #2 – Analyzing Science Fiction Short Stories

Big Idea
Every genre of literature has evolved to give voice to a realm of the human experience. Ever since the Industrial Revolution mankind’s vision of reality has included a projection forward to a time not yet lived, imbued with limitless possibilities, often grounded in the marvels of scientific inventions not yet feasible. In science fiction the author’s use of imagery, word choice, and theme create an alternative world just as much as his or her accurate description of implemented scientific theories and fantastic inventions.
Essential Question
What constitutes a science fiction short story and is it a suitable vehicle for exploring the possible consequences of actual current activities that impact environmental health issues?
Learning Cycle
Lesson Title & Description
Objective
Students will:
Class period & week
Engage

Beyond the Realms of Conventional Fiction
Students will read the short story “All Summer in a Day” by the famous science fiction author Ray Bradbury.

1. Read a short story with understanding

2. Analyze a short story using literary elements as an organizational device

3. Make connections between science fiction and other genres of literature

4. Identify the approach to writing and individual concerns various authors have

2 days

Explore

Exploring Science Fiction
Students will read one or more science fiction short stories or an entire novel if they are so motivated.

1. Read a short story with understanding

2. Analyze a short story using literary elements as an organizational device

2 days

Explain

Identifying Science Fiction
Students will discuss the works of science fiction that they read in the Explore Lesson, highlighting the aspects that made each a part of the genre of science fiction.

1. Synthesize information from multiple sources to create a definition of science fiction

2. Apply the criteria created to a short story

1 days
Apply

A Formal Analysis of Science Fiction
Students will use the observations that they made on how the short story they read qualifies as science fiction and any notes that they took in the Explain Lesson class discussion to write a five paragraph expository theme.

1. Write a five paragraph expository theme

2. Apply the literary elements of science fiction writing to a particular story

3. Write using the conventions of English properly
2 days

 

 

 

 


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

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Last update: November 10, 2009
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