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Student: Michelle Lithgow

Professor: Dr. Giouroukakis
Course: EDU588
Date: 2/21/2015
Grade: 8
Topic: Argument Writing
Content Area: English

INSTRUCTIONAL OBJECTIVE(S)
After defining the key terms in argument writing and practicing writing claims and textual evidence,
students will argue for or against a topic of their choice and complete an argument graphic organizer
by including one additional claim and textual evidence with 100 percent accuracy.
Key Concepts: arguments, claims, evidence
STANDARDS AND INDICATORS FROM NEW YORK STATE
COMMON CORE LEARNING STANDARDS
New York State Learning Standard for Writing: Grade 8 Standard 1
Students will read, write, listen, and speak for information and understanding. This includes students
identifying appropriate format for sharing information with intended audience and comply with the
accepted features of that format.
Indicator: This will be evident when students are able to organize their writing by
filling out the graphic organizer for formulating an argument.
New York State Learning Standard for Writing: Grade 8 Standard 3
Students will read, write, listen, and speak for critical analysis and evaluation. Students will present a
hypothesis and predict possible outcomes from one or more perspectives. Also, students will select
content and choose strategies for written presentation on the basis of audience, purpose, and content.
Indicator: This will be evident when students formulate claims and counterclaims for
the same topic, as well as when they are able to shape their own arguments based on
topic of their choice.
Common Core Learning Standard W.8.1
Students will write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.
Indicator: This will be evident when students complete an argument graphic
organizer on topic of their choice.
Common Core Learning Standard W.8.8
Students will gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, using search terms
effectively; assess the credibility and accuracy of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and
conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and following the standard format for citation.
Indicator: This will be evident when students include secondary sources into their
arguments from articles read in class.

MOTIVATION
Students will view a YouTube video of a little girl arguing with Gaston in Disney World about
whether he or the Beast is going to marry Belle. Students will relate this video to everyday
arguments within their own lives by explaining what they think an argument is and listing three
attributes of an effective argument. This will evoke prior knowledge and get students thinking about
how to formulate arguments.
MATERIALS
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.

Handouts
Articles
Pens
Highlighters
Internet
Computer
PowerPoint Slides
YouTube Video
Overhead Projector

STRATEGIES
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.

Guided Practice
Cooperative Learning
Direct Instruction
Modeling
Group Discussion
Do-Now
Formative Assessment
Graphic Organizer
Divergent, Convergent, Evaluative and Reflective Questioning

ADAPTATIONS
Students who are English Language Learners will be provided with a key vocabulary sheet with
simplified versions of the vocabulary to use as assistance during the cooperative learning activity.
Students who are English Language Learners will be given role of coach within the group so they
will feel like a major part of the group without having to write down ideas in a fast pace.

Students who are English Language Learners or at a lower level of writing skill will be provided a
scaffolded organizer for formulating their claim and textual evidence.
Students who are English Language Learners or struggling students will be placed in groups with
students who can support them.
DIFFERENTIATION OF INSTRUCTION
Groups will be assigned to include students with various learning styles and abilities so that jobs can
be assigned based on students’ strengths.
Students who are auditory or visual learners can practice acting out arguments of their choice with a
partner to practice the different key terms before writing their answers down.
DEVELOPMENTAL PROCEDURES
Time

Activity

Key Questions

Assessment

(mins.)

1-10

10-15

Motivation and Do-Now:
Students will write down their
definition of an argument and three
qualities they think an effective
argument involves while watching
a YouTube video of a child arguing
with Gaston in Disney World.

Students supplied key definitions of
claim, evidence and examples via
PowerPoint.

What is an
argument?
What makes a good
argument?

Students’ responses to
do-now will gauge
prior knowledge and
understanding of
arguments.

How do you prove
you are right in an
argument?

Did the girl win her
argument?
What evidence could
support this claim?
What would an
opposing view point
make as his or her
claim?

15-35

Cooperative Learning Activity:
Students will be broken up into four
groups with each group given a
graphic organizer with a topic of a
common argument between parents
and children. The first round each

Teacher will monitor
group work to make
sure all students
contribute and
understand each
viewpoint.

group will write 3 claims and
evidence to support the viewpoint
of the child. After five minutes, the
groups pass their graphic organizers
to the group to their right. The next
group will create a list of the
parent’s 3 claims and evidence.
The rotation continues until all four
groups have taken a turn creating
claims for either the child or parent
in each topic.
The claims and evidence will be
based on articles read the previous
day on the selected topics. The
children will have the articles with
them to use during the activity for
textual evidence.
4 rounds of 5 minutes for each topic
20 minutes total
Example:
Topic: Extended Curfew
Child
Claim: Not having a curfew would
allow children to learn
responsibility in real life scenarios.
Evidence: Children will have to
think for themselves on what time
is appropriate to come home or go
to sleep.
Parent
Claim: Children should have a
curfew to ensure their safety during
the late hours of the night.
Evidence: After a certain time it is
no longer safe for children to be
roaming around unsupervised.
Group Roles:
Recorder: writes as group dictates
Time Keeper: keeps track of time

35-40

40-45

Coach: keeps group on track
Reporter: presents ideas during
class discussion
Materials Manager: gather and
distributes needed materials and
supplies
Each group will get back original
graphic organizer. The groups will
review and evaluate all of the
claims and evidence for their topic.
Each group will pick the top two
claims and top two evidence
choices for both the parents and
children based on teacher criteria (4
choices in total). Each group shares
decision with class and why they
thought those arguments were the
most effective.
Students given an argument graphic
organizer to complete on a topic of
their choice. They will pick a side
of the argument to argue and will
fill in the first two claims and
evidence lines based on the top
choices they picked within their
groups. For homework, students
will create an original third claim
and support with textual evidence
based on the articles used in class.
The students should also base their
claims and evidence on the strong
criteria discussed in class. This
assignment will be collected and
assessed by the teacher the
following day.

What qualities made
your choice the best
argument?
Does your choice
include all of the
important criteria?

Students’ choices will
show they understand
an effective claim and
data to support each
viewpoint.

What other evidence
could you bring into
the argument?
How would you back
up this claim?
What is another
important piece of
evidence that has not
been touched upon
yet?

Students’ ability to
complete graphic
organizer with a strong,
supporting claim and
textual evidence.

ASSESSMENT
1. Students will participate and add to class discussions.
2. Students will participate effectively in cooperative learning activity and be able to support
ideas when prompted and share idea with class.
3. Students will complete graphic organizer to demonstrate understanding of writing an effective
claim and textual evidence as support.

INDEPENDENT PRACTICE
Students will complete the graphic organizer on the topic of their choice and write an original claim
and piece of textual evidence to further support their topic. This assignment will be collected and
reviewed the following day to assess students understanding.
FOLLOW-UP: ACADEMIC INTERVENTION AND ACADEMIC ENRICHMENT
Academic Intervention: Students who are struggling formulating ideas will be given more common
everyday topics so they can think about it in terms of their own lives. They can also be provided with
scaffolded or simplified worksheets and vocabulary list if necessary.
Academic Enrichment: Students who excel in grasping concept will be given more controversial,
higher level debate topics for individual practice which enhances ability to think critically and
analytically.
TEACHER REFERENCES
Gunnars, Kris. (2015). 7 proven health benefits of dark chocolate. Retrieved February 20,
2015, from http://authoritynutrition.com/7-health-benefits-dark-chocolate/
Lynch, P. (2015). Learning packet #3: Instructional strategies review listing. Rockville Centre, NY:
Molloy College Productions Dept.
Lynch, P. (2014). Learning packet #5: Student centred instruction cooperative learning. Rockville
Centre, NY: Molloy College Productions Dept.
Organizing your argument. (2014). Retrieved February 20, 2015, from
https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/588/03/
JonasAlmost Famous. (2014, November 9). Little girl puts Gaston in his place: Disney World 2014
[Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Bdyzc5sdQo

Do Now!
While watching the YouTube video answer the following questions.

1. What is an argument?

2. What are 3 qualities of an effective argument?

Do Now!
While watching the YouTube video answer the following questions.

1. What is an argument?

2. What are 3 qualities of an effective argument?

Group 1: Should teenagers have a curfew?
View
Point

Claims

Evidence

1. ________________________
__________________________
2. ________________________
__________________________
3. ________________________
___________________________

1. _______________________
__________________________
2. _______________________
__________________________
3. ______________________
__________________________

1. ________________________
__________________________
2. ________________________
__________________________
3. ________________________
___________________________

1. _______________________
__________________________
2. _______________________
__________________________
3. ______________________
__________________________

1. ________________________
__________________________
2. ________________________
Children __________________________
3. ________________________
___________________________

1. _______________________
__________________________
2. _______________________
__________________________
3. ______________________
__________________________

1. ________________________
__________________________
2. ________________________
__________________________
3. ________________________
___________________________

1. _______________________
__________________________
2. _______________________
__________________________
3. ______________________
__________________________

Children

Parents

Parents

Group 2: Should teenagers have smart
phones?
View
Point

Claims

Evidence

1. ________________________
__________________________
2. ________________________
__________________________
3. ________________________
___________________________

1. _______________________
__________________________
2. _______________________
__________________________
3. ______________________
__________________________

1. ________________________
__________________________
2. ________________________
__________________________
3. ________________________
___________________________

1. _______________________
__________________________
2. _______________________
__________________________
3. ______________________
__________________________

1. ________________________
__________________________
2. ________________________
Children __________________________
3. ________________________
___________________________

1. _______________________
__________________________
2. _______________________
__________________________
3. ______________________
__________________________

1. ________________________
__________________________
2. ________________________
__________________________
3. ________________________
___________________________

1. _______________________
__________________________
2. _______________________
__________________________
3. ______________________
__________________________

Children

Parents

Parents

Group 3: Should teenagers be on social
media?
View
Point

Claims

Evidence

1. ________________________
__________________________
2. ________________________
__________________________
3. ________________________
___________________________

1. _______________________
__________________________
2. _______________________
__________________________
3. ______________________
__________________________

1. ________________________
__________________________
2. ________________________
__________________________
3. ________________________
___________________________

1. _______________________
__________________________
2. _______________________
__________________________
3. ______________________
__________________________

1. ________________________
__________________________
2. ________________________
Children __________________________
3. ________________________
___________________________

1. _______________________
__________________________
2. _______________________
__________________________
3. ______________________
__________________________

1. ________________________
__________________________
2. ________________________
__________________________
3. ________________________
___________________________

1. _______________________
__________________________
2. _______________________
__________________________
3. ______________________
__________________________

Children

Parents

Parents

Group 4: Should the driving age be raised to
18?
View
Point

Claims

Evidence

1. ________________________
__________________________
2. ________________________
__________________________
3. ________________________
___________________________

1. _______________________
__________________________
2. _______________________
__________________________
3. ______________________
__________________________

1. ________________________
__________________________
2. ________________________
__________________________
3. ________________________
___________________________

1. _______________________
__________________________
2. _______________________
__________________________
3. ______________________
__________________________

1. ________________________
__________________________
2. ________________________
Children __________________________
3. ________________________
___________________________

1. _______________________
__________________________
2. _______________________
__________________________
3. ______________________
__________________________

1. ________________________
__________________________
2. ________________________
__________________________
3. ________________________
___________________________

1. _______________________
__________________________
2. _______________________
__________________________
3. ______________________
__________________________

Children

Parents

Parents

Key Vocabulary Terms
Argument

– fighting for or against a specific topic

Example: Everyone should eat dark chocolate.

Claim

– proposals that show the writer’s beliefs about a certain topic
Example: Eating dark chocolate can enhance someone’s health.

Evidence

- proof collected to support claim

(Taken from experience or text)
Example: According to Authority Nutrition, chocolate comes with
many health benefits, including lowering one’s risk for
cardiovascular disease.

Criteria for Best Claims and Evidence
 Claim evokes logos (logic), ethos (ethics), or
pathos (emotion)
 Claim reasonable based on research
 Clam supported by factual evidence based on
articles
 Evidence taken from sources
o Look for STAR evidence!
 Strong (important information)
 Trustworthy (taken from reliable source)
 Accurate (information not made up)
 Relevant to claim
(does not bring up another idea)

 Consistency between claim and evidence

Name: _______________________

Topic: ________________________________
Which side are you taking?

 Children

 Parents

Fill in the first two claims and pieces of evidence based on your
group’s top picks from class.
Claim #1 ________________________________________
________________________________________________
Evidence ________________________________________
________________________________________________
Claim #2 ________________________________________
________________________________________________
Evidence ________________________________________
________________________________________________

For Homework: Create an original claim and support with evidence
to further prove your view point on the topic.
Claim #3 ________________________________________
________________________________________________
Evidence ________________________________________
________________________________________________

Scaffolded Name: _______________________

Topic: ________________________________
Which side are you taking?

 Children

 Parents

Fill in the first two claims and pieces of evidence based on your
group’s top picks from class.
Claim #1 One reason why this view point is right is because
________________________________________________
Evidence This can be proven by the fact that according to
________________________________________________
________________________________________________
Claim #2 Another reason why this side of the argument is
right is because __________________________________
________________________________________________
Evidence This can be proven by the fact that according to
________________________________________________
________________________________________________

For Homework: Create an original claim and support with evidence
to further prove your view point on the topic.
Claim #3 Another reason why one should follow this side is
because_________________________________________
________________________________________________
Evidence This can be shown to be true because according to
_______________________________________________

COMPLETED ASSIGNMENT

Topic: The driving age should be changed to 18.
Which side are you taking?

 Children

[X] Parents

Fill in the first two claims and pieces of evidence based on your
group’s top picks from class.
Claim #1 Teenagers younger than 18 do not have the intellectual
maturity to assess dangers of driving.
Evidence The brain isn't fully developed at 18; that doesn't happen
until a person's mid-20s. Therefore, they may not be able to process
all that is needed to understand when driving.
Claim #2 Driving at a younger age can increase the risk for obesity
and unhealthy life choices.
Evidence When teenagers have access to a car, they are less likely
to walk to a friend’s house, therefore, missing out on some healthy
exercise.

For Homework: Create an original claim and support with evidence
to further prove your view point on the topic.
Claim #3 Waiting until one is 18 or over can drive will decrease the
chance of being a part of a fatal car crash.
Evidence According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety,
16-17 year olds are twice as likely to get into a fatal car crash as 1819 year olds.

Teenage Curfews
From http://apecsec.org/teenage-curfew-pros-and-cons/
Does having a curfew really keep kids from getting into trouble? The stated goal of the
average curfew also includes trying to prevent kids from becoming the victims of a crime.
Teenage curfews are standard in many cities around the world today and many parents
aren’t afraid to assign their own curfews as well. By evaluating the pros and cons of these
laws, each community can decide for itself whether or not the advantages outweigh the
disadvantages.
Here Are the Pros of a Teenage Curfew It reinforces parental expectations. Teens and
parents have a difficult relationship as it is. By having teenage curfew laws on the books,
the community can help to reinforce the expectations that parents have for their kids and
give them tools for their parenting toolbox that might actually work.
It creates fewer opportunities for crime. Since teens out past curfew are automatically
subject to detainment, it means that kids will have a more difficult time committing crime in
their community. The moment they step out of the shadows and are observed, they can be
arrested and taken home or to a holding facility.
It may promote less teen drug use. Illicit drug use, drinking, and other bad teenage habits
can be curbed a bit when the ability to sneak out of the house in the middle of the night is
taken away. Although kids could still obtain items before or after school and take them
home, using drugs or drinking at home is at least safer than doing it on a street corner with
a stranger.
Here Are the Cons of a Teenage Curfew The overnight hours of a curfew are not when
most teenage crime takes place. The most violent teenage crime tends to take place
between 7-11pm in most communities. Kids are generally the most at risk of becoming a
victim of a crime from the time they leave school until the time they head for bed at night.
It isn’t going to stop teens who want to commit a crime. Some teens are known to drive
over to other communities that don’t have a curfew in place so they can continue doing
what they want to do. Others just snub their nose at the local law and stay out past curfew
anyway. Although curfew laws give police the opportunity to arrest a teen in violation, the
teens have to be found to be arrested in the first place.
It places restrictions on everyone. Teenage curfew means that those teens who just want to
find a good job to support themselves and their family can’t do it if the timing isn’t right. A
curfew essentially punishes everyone because of the actions of a few.
By weighing the advantages and disadvantages of a teenage curfew, the possibility of
stopping violent crime can at least be discussed. Is it the right decision for your community?
By evaluating this information, you’ll have more tools to make an informed choice.

Teenagers and Smart Phones
From http://www.socialmoms.com/tech/teens-and-smartphonesthe-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly/
Teenagers and smartphones are an unstoppable force. In 2011, 36 percent of US
teens had a smartphone. One year later that number had skyrocketed to 58 percent—a
solid majority of the total youth market. It would be hard to find a single high school in
North America where the hallways aren’t crowded with teenagers texting and chatting
away. Is all that time spent texting, listening to music, playing games, and fiddling with
apps really good for kids? Some of the answers may surprise you.
The Good Scientists have uncovered new evidence that today’s teenagers are able to
adapt to their environment faster than people in their twenties and thirties. Their
neurological agility—which many attribute to heavy use of technology, including
smartphones—is helping researchers to identify mental illnesses while they’re still in their
infancy.
85 percent of mothers say that their children’s smartphones “definitely ease the
back-to-school strain, making this time of year less stressful overall.” Smartphones help kids
by empowering mothers to maintain contact with their children, keep tabs on their
whereabouts, monitor their social media accounts, and plan their schedules.
When parents aren’t around, kids can use smartphones to capture video and photos
to share with family later. Without access to that technology, families would miss out on
many precious moments.
Teachers are discovering that apps for mobile devices like smart phones are some of
the best, most engaging ways to teach difficult subjects like math and science. For
example, the free NASA app offers videos, images, and interactive displays that bring space
to life in a way that a lecture never could. Squeamish students or those with strongly-held
ethical principles about animal cruelty can dissect virtual frogs on their phones, and mathphobic students can practice their multiplication tables via games and puzzles.
The Bad Excessive use of smartphones, especially at nighttime, may cause teenagers to
develop sleeping problems.
Smartphones can be costly for parents. From data packages to cellular service, inapp purchases to online gaming, and cell phone accessories to music downloads, it adds up
fast!
Smartphones present a huge distraction in classrooms, where teachers are forced to
compete for students’ attention. Most teachers ask their classes to put phones away or set
them to “silent,” but students are inevitably tempted to look at them.
The Ugly Some teenagers believe that smartphone dependency may be making them more
lazy and preventing them from unlocking their potential.
Federal privacy laws don’t fully protect kids, so the information they send and receive
through their smartphones can be sold. This has prompted calls for reform legislation.

Smartphones have been implicated in a number of high school cheating scandals.
Students can surreptitiously look up information on their phones or even text answers to
their classmates.
New and young drivers are particularly susceptible to driving while distracted by their
cell phones. This has led to an upsurge in car accidents involving teenage drivers.
Parents know best whether their kids can handle smartphones. Smartphones are
becoming ubiquitous among young people, but some kids, especially tweens and very
young teenagers, might not need the capacities of a smartphone and might do just fine
with a regular cell phone. But it’s equally clear that smartphones offer a number of
important advantages that shouldn’t be overlooked. It’s up to parents to make the call—so
to speak.

Teenagers and Social Media
From
http://socialnetworking.lovetoknow.com/Advantages_and_Disadva
ntages_of_Social_Networking
Advantages of Social Networking
1. Worldwide Connectivity
No matter if you are searching for that former college roommate, your first grade teacher,
or an international friend, there is no easier or faster way to make a connection than via the
social network. Although Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and MySpace are probably the most
well known social networking communities, there are new websites popping up regularly
that are dedicated to allowing people to connect and to interact via the Internet. Through
such sites, individuals make new friends or business connections or extend their personal
base by connecting and interacting with friends of friends and so forth.
2. Real-Time Information Sharing
Social Networking for Business
Many social networking sites incorporate an instant messaging feature, which means you
can exchange information in real-time via a chat. This is a great feature for teachers to use
to facilitate classroom discussions. A study by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur
Foundation shows these networks can be used as effective vehicles for students to pursue
self-paced online learning. In addition, the Internet is the ultimate online textbook. Students
no longer need to take out six library books at a time. Much of what they need to know
they can find online.
School is not the only setting where this type of real-time information sharing can be
beneficial. Social networking can provide a tool for managers to utilize in team meetings, for
conference organizers to use to update attendees and for business people to use as a
means of interacting with clients or prospects.
3. Increased News Cycle Speed
Social networking has revolutionized the speed of the news cycle. Many news organizations
now partner with social networking sites like Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook in order to
both collect and share information. One can get a sense of what is going on in the world
just by watching trending topics from many of these sites. This has led to the development
of a near instantaneous news cycle as millions of social networking updates rapidly spread
news and information.
Disadvantages of Online Social Communities
1. Face to Face Connections are Endangered
A huge advantage of these social communities has a reverse side effect that is also a
big disadvantage of social networking: they reduce or eliminate face-to-face socialization.
Because of the autonomy afforded by the virtual world, individuals are free to create a
fantasy persona and can pretend to be someone else.

It is hard to say no, be rude, or ignore someone when you are looking them in the
eye. It's incredibly easy and quick to unfriend or unfollow someone or simply block their
efforts to make a connection. Just one click of the mouse and your problems are over.
Unfortunately, this feature of online socialization cheats people of the opportunity to learn
how to resolve conflicts in the world outside the Internet and it could retard or cripple one's
social skills developments.
Tweens and teens are at higher risk because those years are when they are learning
to interact with others or build and maintain relationships. A report from the National School
Boards Association shows that of the children in these age groups that use a social network,
41 percent spend their time posting messages. They are not spending this time in face-toface interactions with their peers or others nor are they developing the necessary social
skills for future success.
2. Cyberbullying and Crimes Against Children
Use of social networks can expose individuals to harassment or inappropriate contact from
others. Unless parents are diligent to filter the Internet content to which their families are
exposed, children could be exposed to pornography or other inappropriate content.
The Pew Center, in their Cyberbullying 2010 report, states that 93 percent of teens
aged 12 to 17 use the Internet. Of that 93 percent, 63 percent of them use the Internet
daily. Such high usage increases the risk of their being victims of cyberbullying or other
cyber crimes.
3. Time Waster
A Nielsen report explains that social networking can be a big waste of time that sucks 17
percent of our Internet time down the non-productivity drain. While it is true that some of
that time is likely spent in making and maintaining important business, social or professional
connections, it is also true that it is easy to become distracted and end up spending
valuable time on games, chats or other non-related activities. Dorie Clark of the Huffington
Post reports Facebook users spend about six hours each month on the site, while social
networkers spend three times as much time on those communities as they do on other
online activities like email.
Are Social Networks Harmful to Society or Not?
Because networking in online social communities is still a relatively young online trend,
whether or not social networking is harmful is still unknown. Like any other type of
networking or social club with which individuals become involved, it is a good idea to do
your homework and make sure that you know what you are getting into. Understand the
terms of use, the rules and regulations, and be clear on issues like security and privacy.
Take responsibility for your own safety and integrity and never join something just
because it is trendy or all your friends are doing it. In evaluating the advantages and
disadvantages of social networking, it's best to err on the side of caution and information.
After all, the lack of both can have a devastating effect.

Teenagers and Driving
From http://www.ehow.com/info_8359682_pros-changing-drivingage-18.html
Watching your child get behind the wheel when you don't yet trust him to do his own
laundry is a daunting moment. Driver's licensing ages vary between states. While many
states require drivers to be 16 or 17, some states allow 14- or 15-year-olds to drive alone.
Safety experts and politicians have proposed raising the driving age to 18. High schoolers
craving independence aren't the only ones who question the wisdom of such a change.
Safety
Keeping teens safe is the primary argument for raising the driving age. According to
the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the fatal crash rate per mile driven is nearly
twice as high for 16-17 year-olds as it is for 18-19 year-olds. Keeping minors from getting
behind the wheel unsupervised could prevent injury and death not only to these teen
drivers but for their passengers and drivers in other cars.
Many high schoolers don't have cars or even driver's licenses but do have a friend
with wheels. Teens are most likely to have fatal crashes when they're driving with
passengers, according to the IIHS, and the risk of a fatal crash increases with each
passenger. So if your child's lab partner or crush can't load the gang into his car for a fastfood run because he's not old enough to drive, you don't have to worry about her safety as
a passenger in the car with him.
Health and Development
Health concerns factor into driving age debates. Even if a teen can safely walk to a
friend's house or school, it's unlikely he'll choose that option if he can hop in the car
instead. With more than one-third of teenagers classified as overweight or obese,
eliminating an opportunity for exercise is a negative.
The brain isn't fully developed at 18; that doesn't happen until a person's mid-20s,
typically. However, emotional maturity increases with age and experience. While a 16-yearold may drive faster than is safe because her friends tease her for being slow, at 18, that
same teen may have the maturity to consider consequences and resist peer pressure. And if
a younger teen's friends can't drive, she's not at as much risk of making the poor judgment
of getting into a car with a peer who's impaired.
Getting Where They Need to Be
Many teens are busy with extracurricular activities, jobs, volunteer work and
socializing. When teens younger than 18 can't drive themselves to and from these activities,
those responsibilities fall onto their parents, who may not have the freedom or willingness
to shuttle their teens from place to place.
In rural areas or areas that lack adequate, safe public transportation, high schoolers
who can't get rides from their parents aren't able to get around. If a teen can't get to the

job he needs to earn money for college or to get to an SAT prep course, that can limit his
options after high school.
Education and Experience
While in high school, teenagers can receive driving lessons from experienced
relatives and take driver's education classes, which are offered at some schools. If a teen
can't start driving until he's close to leaving home or has already left, he may not have
anyone nearby to teach him to drive safely. It's careful and extensive training, more than
age, that prepares teenagers to be safe drivers, argues Kate Willette of Seattle's SWERVE
Driving School.
And raising the driving age won't necessarily prevent teen driver crashes -- it could
just delay some of them. An 18-year-old who is a new driver has just as little experience
behind the wheel as a 16-year-old new driver. The IIHS offers an example using
Connecticut, where drivers can be licensed at 16, and New Jersey, where the minimum
licensing age is 17. The death rate is higher among 16-year-olds in Connecticut, but higher
among 17-year-olds in New Jersey. No matter the driving age, inexperience always leads to
some accidents.

Annotated Reading
Argument Essays

For each article use the following note taking strategies.

Green Highlight = Point of View for a topic
(Example – person in favor for having dogs as pets)

Yellow Highlight = Point of view against a topic
(Example – person who would not want a dog as a pet)

!! = Anything to make a personal connection with
(Write what that connection is briefly in the margins)

?? = anything you have a question about
(Write question in margins)

Example:
There is a common debate on whether dogs are the best type of pet
!! My dog
is very
loyal and
protective
of my
family.

for people to have. Dogs make great companions and are known to
be man’s best friend. They are also extremely loyal and are known
to love their owners unconditionally. On the other hand, dogs are
very messy and often track dirt into one’s home. They also are very
dependent pets and require a lot of attention and time to take care
of them. The debate will continue on whether or not dogs make the
perfect pet due to the strong arguments for both sides of the
controversial topic.

?? Why do
dogs bring
in more
dirt than
any other
animal?

Slides of PowerPoint for definitions and examples