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Author

The All We Can Save Project

Grades

9th, 10th, 11th, 12th

Subject

English Language Arts

Resource Types

  • Lesson Plans
  • Projects

Regional Focus

Global

Format

PDF

Craft a Climate Op-ed

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Synopsis
  • In this rich and well-crafted writing activity, students will learn about op-ed writing and write about a climate topic that is meaningful to them. 
  • Students will learn about the reasons people write op-eds, how to write an op-ed, what makes this writing form unique, and the power of op-eds to create change. 
Teaching Tips

Positives

  • This resource is an excellent introduction to writing op-eds.
  • Students will enjoy the lesson because they get to choose a climate topic they care about. 
  • This activity calls for at least two days or sessions, but can easily be scaled up into a more lengthy writing unit. 
  • The lesson plan provides links to the OpEd Project website and to two excellent video lectures, which will help prepare students for the lesson.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should be familiar with persuasive writing techniques. 

Differentiation

  • Science or social studies classes could use this lesson during units on climate change or creating change in communities. 
  • While some of the components of the lesson are designed for students to do outside of class, teachers could use them in the classroom. This would be especially helpful for students who have had little experience with persuasive writing.
  • As an extension, teachers can provide students with a way to share their op-eds with a larger audience, like the school or local newspaper. 
  • Other related resources include this writing activity on writing to members of Congress, this activity on writing persuasively about climate change, and this video on talking effectively about climate change. 
Scientist Notes
The resource provides a guide to writing op-eds for climate conversations. The lesson will develop students' skills for effective communication and thought leadership and give them a new perspective on raising their voices for climate justice. This is recommended for the classroom.
Standards
  • English Language Arts
    • Reading: Informational Text (K-12)
      • 11-12.RI.1 Analyze what the text says explicitly as well as inferentially, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain; cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis. Identify areas where the text leaves ideas unclear or unexplored.
      • 11-12.RI.5 Analyze or evaluate the effectiveness of the structure an author uses in their exposition or argument, including the purpose of the structure.
      • 11-12.RI.6 Determine an author's perspective or purpose in a text in which the rhetoric is particularly effective, analyzing how the rhetoric contributes to the text.
    • Writing (K-12)
      • 9-10.W.1 Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
      • 11-12.W.1 Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
      • 11-12.W.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.
      • 11-12.W.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
      • 11-12.W.10 Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences.
    • Writing: History, Science & Technical Subjects (6-12)
      • 11-12.WHST.7 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.
      • 11-12.WHST.9 Draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
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