Analyze a Partner’s Writing: Make Your Voice Heard — Captive or Wild?

Aligned to standards RI.4.1: Refer to details and examples in a text, W.4.1: Write opinion pieces

Very few of us have the privilege to see animals in their natural habitat. In fact, without zoos, most of us might only see animals in photographs. But even though zoos offer us educational value, others argue that they are a cruel environment for animals. Keeping animals in captivity exposes animals to factors such as increased light and noise levels that contribute to stress and reduce an animal’s lifespan. Predators are deprived of opportunities to hunt and animals might get locked up with an animal they are not compatible with. Should we advocate for captivity or leave animals in the wild?

We’re featuring a mini-project that explores the pros and cons of zoos. Our project is aligned to state standards and students are challenged to apply rigorous thinking skills to research and argue their case. The project will culminate in an opinion piece featured in a class blog.

The complete project plan is available here for download in Word or PDF format.

Here’s an overview of activities that you’ll find in the project plan/packet:

  • Through close reading, note taking, and discussion, students will determine whether they think that animals are better off in captivity or in the wild.
  • Students will write an opinion piece using evidence from the research and share their findings on a class blog.
  • The project also includes resources to assess student performance and differentiate as needed.

The detailed project plan/packet on Goalbook includes:

Engaging hook — Students will be introduced to the debate on captivity by watching a video clip that examines how zoos are harmful to animals

Differentiated resources — Resources such as guided opinion templates help students of all levels formulate and defend their opinion

Partner editing template — Students will use this template to constructively analyze and critique their partner’s writing and in so doing reflect on their own writing as well

The complete project plan is available here for download in Word or PDF format.