May 9, 2012

Green Court Claims Freebie

Common Core Aligned for Reading Informational Text and all Speaking & Listening Standards

About a month ago, I shared a special activity I developed for Earth Day called Green Court Claims. You can read my blog post, "Green Companies? Let the Jury Decide!" for a full explanation of the activity. For now, I'll just share that students investigate companies' claims that their products are "green" or earth-friendly. Students research the facts behind the claim, discuss the arguments on both sides, and present those claims to their classmates. Their classmates become the jury and decide whether those claims are valid in order to reach a verdict. You'll find everything you need in this free lesson packet on my Science page on Teaching Resources. You'll find the Common Core Alignment details at the back of the packet.

The first time I shared Green Court Claims, it was completely untested in the classroom. The only reason I shared it without testing it was because Earth Day was fast approaching and I felt it would be a perfect activity for that special day. So I asked a few bloggers to test out the lesson with their students, and Mandy Neal of Teaching with Simplicity immediately offered to try it with her 4th grade class. I was excited to learn that her class loved it, and that she felt it was a really worthwhile experience for them. You can read about their green claim investigations in her blog post, "You Be the Judge."  After I was assured that everything worked out as planned, I compiled all the directions and student printables in one packet to share with you.

You'll find this activity along with loads of other free materials on my Teaching Resources Science page. Even if you don't teach science, I think this lesson would make a terrific class activity for a study of propaganda, or an excellent jumping-off point for a lesson on writing persuasive essays. If you use the lesson, I'd love for you to return and leave a comment to share how it worked for you. What "green" claims have you read or seen recently that you suspect are not particularly friendly to the environment? When you start looking for them, they are easy to find!

Laura Candler
Teaching Resources

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