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Teen Brains Argument Mini-Unit

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1 Teen Brains Argument Mini-Unit
PowerPoint adapted from materials developed by Beth Rimer, Ohio Writing Project, for the National Writing Project i3 College Ready Writers Program, funded by the Department of Education.

2 Journal 1 What is the claim this image is making about teen brains
Journal 1 What is the claim this image is making about teen brains?   What is your response to this image?   What do you think about this image as a representation of teenage brains or how teens live their lives? Teen Brain

3 Journal continued: Add “For example,
Journal continued: Add “For example, . . .” and refer to either the image or personal examples. Teen Brain

4 Sample Student Response, Grade 9
The picture is claiming that teen brains are very impulsive and that most of the decisions and thoughts teens make are under these main categories. I believe a lot of that is true and that they eventually grow out of it. For example, when a teen gets money the first thing they do is go out and spend it. It's an impulsive decision.

5 Journal 2: Create a 2-column chart in your notebook. Watch the video
Journal 2: Create a 2-column chart in your notebook. Watch the video. Jot down facts you hear in Column 1. Afterward, add your reactions in Column 2. Teenage Brain Video (We will watch/write 2 times.) It Says I Say

6 Sample Student Response
I say: When does a person switch from using the amygdala to the frontal cortex? This definitely explains the process of maturity, in a more scientific way. Which connections are the ones that most commonly die off? Which ones live on? It says: During childhood, the brain makes billions more connections than we can use. Well used connections are strengthen, and seldom used ones die off. Teen brains work differently than adult brains. Teen brains use the amygdala. Adult brains use the frontal cortex instead. Frontal cortex is where planning, reason, and moral decisions reside.

7 Journal 3: Add to your journal writing
Journal 3: Add to your journal writing . . .use your “They Say / I Say Chart to add a paragraph or more to your writing about the Teen Brain. Use sentence starters like these: “As _____ says, “ “The video text explains …” “ According to …” “Supporting my example, …” “Just as the video …” “Although the video says …” “While the video text explains …”

8 Sample Student Response
According to the diagram of the teen brain, most of the decisions teens make are impulsive ones. I agree with this, but I don't necessarily think that's because of their age. Although the video says most teens use their amygdala to make decisions while adults use the frontal cortex, I don't agree with this. What about the adults that still haven't matured and act like they are teenagers?

9 Journal 4: Read what you have written so far
Journal 4: Read what you have written so far. Then write what you are now thinking/wondering about teen brains . . .

10 Journal 5 Marking the Text with Sticky Notes (paper ones or HD app)
READ “The Teenage Brain” by Amanda Leigh Mascarelli / October 17, On sticky notes, capture information (blue) and your reactions (green). NEW Information: Yellow Notes words, lines, phrases, sentences or sections that provide more information for understanding how a teen brain works REACTIONS: Green Notes words, lines, phrases, sentences or sections that strike you in some way because you have something to say – it extends, challenges, supports or questions what you already think about teen brains. Quote the text!

11 Sample Student Responses: Annotations of the article
NEW INFORMATION (yellow notes) One region deep inside the brain shows more activity in adolescents then is does in children or Adults. The prefrontal cortex is important because it teaches the rest of the brain the rules about how the world works. In axons, the insulating tissue allows information to zip back and forth between brain cells much more quickly. ☺ REACTIONS (Green notes) They actually use mice for experimenting this. ☹ Ms Mascarelli supports what I’ve noticed about my little cousin. She says that in their first three years of their lives, children develop seemingly endless connections in their brain circuitry. My cousin seems to learn everything so quickly. Now I wish I had learned more math as a little kid, so maybe it wouldn’t be so hard now.

12 Add your sticky notes to the journal writing you have completed so far
Try to find places that this information “fits” and stick your notes there. OR Add it to the end of your journal writing if your sticky note is something you haven’t talked about yet.

13 Journal 6: What’s your claim?
Make a claim about teenage brains and the connection between the brain and behavior or choices. Good claims Show the writer’s position on the issue We should or we should not … It would be better/worse to …. Narrow the topic (for example, applying the research to one area of teen life or one recommendation) Try a claim starter: Because the research says _____, we should or should not _____. Although the research says _____, we should or should not _____.

14 Sample Student Response #1
According to scientists, the teen brain is slower than an adult brain. That's why they say that all teens make bad decisions. In my opinion I think that what the scientists say does not apply to every teen. There are teens that know how to speak for themselves and make good decisions and stay out of trouble. There are other teens whose attitudes and decisions do apply to what scientists say. Celebration: The writer has formed an opinion after reading the 3 texts. Area for growth: Remove “In my opinion” and “I think.” Just state your claim. Try to use the claim starter: Although the research says teen brains are slower than adult brains, we should not assume that this applies to every teen.

15 Sample Student Response #2
Teenage years are a time for experimenting and testing the limits. It’s the time in our lives where we can make mistakes and learn from them. Even though brain studies now show that teen brains tend to be impulsive and emotional, we should not change the rules and laws relating to teens just to protect us from negative consequences. To do that would eliminate important opportunities for us to try our wings. Celebration: The writer has formed an opinion after reading the 3 texts. Next Steps: Make a more specific reference to the research behind this (such as a quote, a scientist’s name, etc.)

16 Share claims with a partner and provide feedback.
Has the writer taken a position or stance on the issue of teen brains? Has the writer NARROWED the topic to one idea about teen brains? Would the claim starter help this writer be more concise?

17 Journal 7: Read what you have written so far
Journal 7: Read what you have written so far. What Key Words or Phrases might you want to provide definitions of for your reader?

18 Sample Student Response
(Circled words that need to be defined.) Sample Student Response The teenage brain seems to be a more complex system than adult brain. Their hormones and chemical balances go off the walls during that period of time. I mean even the tiniest thing can cause us to lose our flipping minds and freak out. For an example the chemical dopamine is released when something good happens to a teenager like finding money or getting a compliment these chemicals can make us feel amazing but other ones that are released can make us dreadful and down right disgusted with our self. Our bodies are affected by emotions but are controlled by chemicals that's why some things affect some people differently than others. You can't be a very emotional person if you're gonna join the military which also means your brain can't release too much of a chemical that releases sadness or irrational thoughts. And I agree with the article but our brains aren't affected by emotions they are affected situations. The situations cause the emotions or the spikes in certain chemicals such as dopamine. But people often forget that our emotions are real but they are purely chemical and they tend to misunderstand how the brain and body usually works. So maybe if people were to understand their brains and body more maybe they can control themselves more. Granted you can't change the chemicals balances by turning a faucet hose but you can THINK about a situation.

19 Then add to your writing . . . (use your lists of key words and phrases)
“As Ms Mascarelli says, “ “The article “Teen Brains” in Science News explains …” “ According to the scientist [name] ” “Supporting my example, …” “Although the article about teen brains in Science News says …” “While the scientist [name] explains …” “In addition …” “Corroborating …”

20 Key Words (student sample)
-adolescence is a transitional stage of physical and psychology development that begins at the onset of puberty, usually between ages 11 and 13, and ends with adulthood -prefrontal cortex: the front portion of the brain, just behind the forehead, which controls executive functions in the brain.

21 Journal 8: Practice with the Harris Moves Forwarding and Countering

22 Using Evidence to SUPPORT our Claim
FORWARDING: (Yes, and …) Illustrating Authorizing Extending We’ll look at an example, then try to find a quote in the article that we can use to support our own claims about teen brains.

23 Illustrating—Use as support or find examples in other texts
Original: “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi Illustrating: “Gandhi’s words are true even in every day life. My mom wanted a neighborhood bike parade, and rather than waiting, she just did it. She became the change she wanted.” Try it! Skim “The Teenage Brain” by Amanda Leigh Mascarelli to find a quote that helps ILLUSTRATE your claim. In other words, it provides an example.

24 Authorizing—Use the expertise or status of another writer
Original: “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi Authorizing: As Gandhi, a key leader of nonviolent civil disobedience in India, explains, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” Try it! Skim “The Teenage Brain” by Amanda Leigh Mascarelli to find an expert (such as a scientist or researcher) that you can describe like this, to show “it’s not just me saying this, here’s a famous researcher who says this.” Then copy or paraphrase what this expert says. Be sure to tell his or her credentials (university or organization, for example).

25 Extending—Put your own “spin” on others’ ideas or examples
Original: “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi Extending: The idea of change is often thought to be about something big like world peace or social action, but what if it also means just changing our everyday lives: stop complaining, clean up the kitchen, drive the speed limit in school zones. If we changed little things in our lives would the big things also change? Try it! Skim “The Teenage Brain” by Amanda Leigh Mascarelli to find a quote that you have something more to say about, a quote that you can make a connection to. Explain how the quote applies to the claim you have made.

26 Using Evidence COUNTERING: (Yes, but …) (On the other hand …)
Arguing the other side We’ll look at an example, then try to find a quote in the “Teen Brains” article that we can acknowledge and then refute.

27 Arguing other side—Shows the usefulness of the original argument before countering
Original: Mahatma Gandhi said, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” Countering: Although Gandhi’s words seem like a good idea, in reality, changing one person cannot really change that much. I might change my behavior but that has no effect on the choices that someone makes in a far away part of the world. Try it! Skim “The Teenage Brain” by Amanda Leigh Mascarelli to find a quote that you disagree with. Then explain why that quote is not applicable to the situation you are writing about or to your claim. Be sure to use a word like “Although.”

28 Key Phrases to use as EVIDENCE (student sample #2)
Pushing limits help teenagers to confront the world on their own Mice brains work the similar to how teenager brains do Experts believe that taking chances is a necessary phase growing up Teen experiences can lead to powerful advantages later on in life Teens often find themselves trapped between their impulsive tendencies and their newfound ability to make well informed and logical choices. Teenagers are sensitive and responsive to influence by friends, desires, and emotions.

29 Journal 9: Completing a Draft: Option 1
Go back through your writing to see how it flows. Have you started a new paragraph every time you have a new speaker? A new topic? Move pieces around if needed so that you are leading your reader from your claim to your evidence and finally to your conclusion. Type or retype your draft to save in your writing folder.

30 Completing a Draft: Option 2 Drafting Organizer
Review your notebook entries and notes. Select the most compelling and relevant pieces of evidence and try to apply them to your claim. Evidence Connection Possible Outcome or Result The text says… I say… If we do this… Then turn each row into a paragraph for your essay. Add your claim paragraph from Day 6 and draft a closing paragraph in which you make clear what readers should now know, do, or think.

31 Completing a Draft: Option 4
Using one of the Kernel Essay organizational structures, draft a mini-essay in which you develop a claim with source material.  

32 Moves Writers Make—Adapted from Gretchen Bernabei’s Kernel Essays—Fun-Size Academic Writing for Serious Learning Overview of the problem... Some people think... Here's what I'm thinking... In the end, I say... Choose one and write a flashdraft. Be sure to use your journal entries and notes in developing each section of the essay. Use your sources! And be sure to identify where your information comes from. B. Overview of the problem... My view on the problem... One response to the problem... A question that arises... In the end, I say... C. Something Happened Here's what I am thinking... A question other people have ... My answer to that question In the end, I say... D. Something Happened Here's what I'm thinking... Someone thinks... Someone else thinks... In the end, I say...

33 Completing a Draft: Option 5
Stopwatch Essay 1 minute: Write about something that strikes you as important about teens or teen brains

34 Develop Your Writing Stopwatch Essay 3 minutes: Write about what you know about the way teen brains work (use the source material you already have)

35 Develop Your Writing Stopwatch Essay 3 minutes: State and then write about your claim (use both the source material you have gathered and a personal example)

36 Develop Your Writing Stopwatch Essay 3 minutes: Write about implications, extensions or connections your claim could have for you or your reader: “Because…” “So, perhaps …” “Now I am wondering, …” “So, next time, …” Start a new paragraph for each implication, extension, or connection.

37 Revise Go back and add quotes from the article to your writing. Develop a concluding paragraph that leaves your reader thinking or that makes clear what you want readers to do, think, or believe.

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