Globalized Unit: Bestselling Science Non-Fiction

Instructor: Daphne Foreman      Course/Grade: English 10H                                  Unit Title: Writing Public Health Materials (after reading bestselling science)       Length: 4 Weeks                                                                                                           Global Competencies Highlighted: Investigate a Global Problem and Communicate Results

Stage 1 Desired Results
Established Goals from the Common Core Standards:G1: Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.G2: Write informative/explanatory text to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content. (W.9-10.2)G3: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (W.9-10.4)G4: Use technology, including the internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products, taking advantage of technology’s capacity to link to other information and to display information flexibly and dynamically. (W.9-10.6)


Global Competencies:


GC1: Develop a sense of curiosity and responsibility about an issue of global concern.


GC2: Use disciplinary (language arts) and interdisciplinary knowledge/skills (social studies, science, marketing, psychology) to investigate and form new knowledge about a subject.


GC3: Consider and understand multiple perspectives.

GC4: Develop solutions and communicate these ideas effectively and sensitively to diverse audiences.
















Students will be able to independently use their learning to…                                T1: Recognize and respect their roles as advocates for healthy, humane solutions to health and environmental problems of the world.T2: Produce multi-media materials (not just consume them) for the public welfare.
UNDERSTANDINGSStudents will understand that…U1: Health and Science writers employ writing strategies to educate their readers about scientific and health data, principles, and trends collected by other researchers.U2: Health writers must consider the perspectives of their target audiences when they write and choose the medium of communication. 







ESSENTIAL QUESTIONSE1: What strategies do authors of bestselling books use to bring science information to non-experts?E2: What are the goals and expectations of public health writing?E3: What are the features of an excellent public health campaign?E4: What do at-risk populations need to know about my book’s health issue?

E5: What different perspectives might affect at-risk population behavior or understanding of the health message?


Students will know…                                          K1: Public Service Announcements are brief, free, carefully formulated pieces of writing that must compete with other material for media space.K2: Public Health Campaigns involve analysis of target audiences and purposeful use of multi-media. 





Students will be skilled at…             S1: Formulating Research Questions, based on their knowledge, after reading a bestselling science, health, or nature book, to cS2: Conduct Investigations to understand the impact of a global health or environmental concern on affected populations.S3: Creating a proposal and at least four component artifacts of a public health campaign. 
Stage 2 – Evidence
Evaluative Criteria Assessment Evidence
EC1: Research questions will be assessed for focus and relevance–before and after research.EC2: The proposal will be used for formative assessment to guide students’ writing. The proposal must include a statement of topic, purpose, audience, and media. 


EC3:Notes and Annotated Bibliography will be graded for correspondence to guiding questions and required information (definition, cause, spread, symptoms, effects, prevention, etc.) and completeness of bibliographic and annotative information.

EC4: The slogan and icon will be graded for clarity, relevance to topic, and sensory impact.

EC5: Public Health Messages will be graded for accuracy of information, appropriateness of expression for purpose and audience, completeness, good use of design principles (if relevant) and visual/audio reinforcement.







TRANSFER TASK(S):AE 1: Guiding Research Questions.   During and after reading their bestseller, students will write two to three research questions to help them find needed information about the incidence of the health concern, the causes, the cultural factors, the symptoms, spread, prevention, or treatment.AE 2: Health Campaign Proposal In groups of two or three, students will craft a proposal to help guide their research and writing. It must include a statement of topic, purpose, audience, and media. 

AE3: Note Sheets and Annotated Bibliography. During and after reading, students will collect, summarize, paraphrase and quote material about the health concern. As they conduct research, they will add to the notes and prepare an annotated bibliography of useful sources.

AE 4: Slogan and Icon. Students will create a memorable, appropriate slogan and they will design a logo or icon to symbolize the campaign.

AE 5: Public health/education campaign Students will create a campaign that includes the following:

  • A memorable, clear, sincere slogan that captures the main idea, like “Hydrate for Health!”
  • An icon that simply, clearly, and professionally portrays the problem/solution
  • Two different public health messages for two different audiences. The text must be at least two paragraphs long (each) or equivalent, and accompanied by appropriate, reinforcing images or music. You may choose to make a webpage, video, pamphlet, fact sheet, flyer, poster, radio announcement or whatever else seems appropriate. All forms must be made digitally.




Group members will be evaluated for listening, contributing ideas, teaching about research answers, producing assigned products, staying on task, and treating each other respectfully. OTHER EVIDENCE:Group Collaboration. Students will work with others to plan, research, share, write, design, revise, and present.
Stage 3 – Learning Plan
Summary of Key Learning Events and InstructionPrior to beginning the public health writing activities, students will read a bestselling science/health or nature book. Titles may include Stiff, Hot Zone, Demon in the Freezer, The Concussion Crisis, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, and others.Lesson 1: Identifying Writing Strategies in Non-Fiction. During week 2’s discussion of the reading of a science, health, or nature best-seller in literature circles, students will discuss and identify methods of bringing science facts to non-expert readers.   Teacher will circulate among student groups to help students find labels for the common techniques–using comparisons or metaphors, case studies, narratives and characters, humor, vivid, sometimes gross descriptions, and others.Lesson 2: Reading for Information.   On Week 2’s second discussion day, students will be directed to begin collecting essential information from their books about the health/environmental concern:   causes, affected population, spread, symptoms, complications, solutions or mitigating factors.   Students will also formulate questions for further study.Lesson 3: Exploring World Health Sources of Information. In Week 3, teacher will model a search for further information, offering new sites and sources, based on student topics. These might include the World Health Office site, the CDC, the CIA World Factbook, BBC Country Profiles, the FDA, UN, or EPA, or Amnesty International websites. Students will have remaining time to explore any of these or related sites.

Lesson 4: Using Research Strategies to Learn. Also in Week 3, students will continue to search for needed information. Teacher will demonstrate an effective note-taking method that utilizes summaries, essential facts and quotes, and bibliographic information. Students will use work time and homework time to collect and process information.

Lesson 5: Exploring Multimedia Health Campaigns. At the end of Week 3, teacher will assign public health campaign and demonstrate examples.   These will include the Hydrate for Health, Let Girls Learn, and Whooping Cough campaigns, among others.   Students will discuss the effectiveness of the slogans and the icons, and they will identify the intended audience and the types of included information.

Lesson 6: Exploring Perspectives with Local Issues. Students will read two recent news stories about two increasing local drug problems: synthetic marijuana psychotic episodes and heroin deaths. In small groups and then in the large group, students will explore the reasons behind the increased use of these drugs and the assumptions and habits that must be addressed in an effective health education campaign about them.   Students will then explore the cultural assumptions that may influence the intended audience of their health campaign.

Lesson 7: Health Education Writing Principles. During Week 4 teacher will demonstrate models of health messages for two different audiences.   Students will discuss the features and take time to assess the information and style needs for their two audiences.

Lesson 8: Campaign Critique.   At the end of Week 4, students will share their rough drafts of campaign materials with two other groups and their teacher. All will offer questions, suggestions, and corrections.   Groups will use the next day to make changes and corrections of their own work.

Lesson 9: Take Action. After revision, students will present their campaigns to their classmates.   The campaign materials will also be shared with another class section of English 10H. Students in each section will respond to the campaigns and vote for a Most Effective Campaign.




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