Quebec Competencies Chart - Scientific Detectives

Author: Shelagh Wallace/Chris Worsnop
Level: Elementary Cycle Three, Secondary Cycle One
Subject Area: English Language Arts, Science
Lesson Link: Scientific Detectives

Description: In this lesson, students use science and critical thinking to test the legitimacy of advertisers› claims about their products. The lesson begins with students viewing and discussing a series of ads that make claims about their products. Students read a case study about two girls who replicated experiments from advertisements as a science fair project, and discuss their findings. Then students conduct their own experiments to see if products live up to their claims.

Cross-curricular Competencies

Broad Areas of Learning

  • To use information
  • To solve problems
  • To exercise critical judgement
  • To be creative
  • To use effective work methods
  • To work with others
  • Consumer Rights and Responsibilities
  • Media Literacy

 

This lesson satisfies the following English Language Arts Competencies from the Quebec Education Program:

Competency 1: To Read and Listen to Literary, Popular and Information-Based Texts

Essential Knowledges:

  • Uses prior knowledge and personal experience of the content of a text
  • Questions and talk with others to clarify and enrich interpretations
  • Makes predictions, confirmations and inferences, when prompted by the teacher
  • Makes connections to prior knowledge or to other texts
  • Uses different reading strategies according to the text type
  • Reads, listens to and views a range of self-selected and personally relevant texts that include:
    • Use of personal, social and cultural background and experiences to interpret texts
  • Develops a personal response process in the context of a community of readers through:
    • Discussion of responses with others individually, on small groups and in the whole class
    • Recount of the story and, with guidance, outline of information in a text
    • Development of opinions on literary or popular texts
    • Sharing of responses with others to clarify meaning and enrich interpretation
    • Comparing own responses with those of others at a beginner’s level
    • Discussing own response process at a beginner’s level
  • Moves beyond the initial response through:
    • Responses to texts in a variety of ways that include talking, writing, the Arts, Media
    • Early attempts to explain own views of a text
    • Support for own views with references to the text in small and large group discussions
    • Discussions of structures and features of text and their impact on the reader
    • Discussion of the structures and features of a text and their influence on the meaning of a text
    • Returning to a text to confirm interpretations and understandings in discussions with peers
    • Adjustment of own interpretations in the light of the responses of others at a beginner’s level
  • Understands the influence of familiar structures and features on the meaning of text through:
    • Identification of some structures and features of familiar text types
  • Begins to identify the view of the world presented in a text through:
    • Making of inferences, when prompted, about the view of the world presented by the text
  • Recognizes self as a member of a reading audience

Competency 2: To Write Self-expressive, Narrative and Information-based Texts

Essential Knowledges:

  • Writes to a familiar audience in order to express meaning(s):
    • Specific structures and features of familiar texts incorporated into own writing
    • Selection of ways to influence a familiar audience in self-expressive and narrative texts
  • Experiments with familiar structures and features of different text types in own writing:
    • Based on wide repertoire of texts read, viewed in the media and encountered in her/his community
    • To suit own purpose and audience
  • Develops concept of writer’s craft:
    • Guided discussion and questioning of texts read, listened to and produced in order to discover how the text works

Competency 3: To Represent Her/His Literacy in Different Media

Essential Knowledges:

  • Uses a repertoire of strategies to unlock messages/meanings in various media texts:
    • Use own questions in order to predict and confirm
    • Draw on prior experience with familiar media texts to understand how they are constructed
    • Rereads/looks again in order to clarify and extend understanding of a text
  • Uses structures and features of texts:
    • Compare structures and features of familiar media texts
    • Uses visual texts to communicate information in group productions of media texts
    • Locates similar structures and features in media texts (i.e. a movie and a poster)
    • Uses familiar structures and features to respond to and produce media texts
    • Applies her/his understanding of the structures and features of a range of familiar (media) texts to unlock their messages/meanings
  • Makes meaning of a media text by:
    • brainstorming
    • drawing on prior knowledge
    • sharing responses with peers
    • making connections to own experiences
    • returning to text
    • considering some of the functions of different, familiar media in relation to her/his understanding of the messages/meanings of a text
    • Using structures and features of the medium and text type in order to clarify meaning and explain her/his response, in collaboration with peers
    • Confirming, in collaboration with peers and teacher, that a media text can contain more than one meaning or message
  • Consider some of the functions of the media through:
    • Collaboration with peers in pairs, small groups and whole class to clarify, decode and respond to media texts
    • Recognizing and naming of familiar media: television, radio, film, magazine, video, Internet, CD-ROM, children’s magazines
    • Identifying her/his understanding of the messages/meanings of familiar media texts
    • Looking at some functions of different, familiar media in relation to her/his understanding of the messages/meanings of a text
  • Understands that texts are social and cultural products through:
    • Own response and responses of others:
      • Compares own response with those of peers in order to support and enrich own understanding
      • Investigates, with teacher’s guidance, how different media text types construct reality for us
      • Explores, with guidance, some of the structures and features for communicating and presenting information in age-appropriate popular and information-based media texts

Production Process

  • Pre-Production:
    • Selection from the following text types (NOTE: The texts listed below are the same as those that are referred to throughout the Production Process):
      • short research project (with guidance)
      • Immersion in the text type to be produced and discussion of its structures and features
      • Creation of criteria for guiding production:
        • Initial consideration, based on her/his knowledge of familiar text type
      • Exploratory planning in a risk-taking environment that promotes trial and error and includes:
        • Discussion about purpose, audience and context, in collaboration with teacher and peers
        • A familiar audience of peers, family and teacher
        • Writing of script, storyboard or rough draft of project
  • Production:
    • Production of the texts listed above in groups with peers that:
      • Incorporate appropriate communication strategies and resources given the text type and the context
      • Function as information-based text type:
        • Communicates information to familiar audience
        • Follows an appropriate, prescribed procedure to locate, organize and present information, with guidance, on a familiar topic
        • Gathers and sorts information, as a beginner and with guidance, on a familiar topic from various media
  • Post Production:
    • In collaboration with group members:
      • Review of texts produced in order to focus on message/meaning
      • Seeking of feedback from peers
      • Presentation of text to intended audience
      • Self-evaluation of text produced

Competency 4: To Use Language to Communicate and Learn

Essential Knowledges:

  • Shares information with peers and teacher
  • Talks about responses and point of view with peers and teacher
  • Asks and answers questions from peers and teacher
  • Participates in collaborative improvisation and role-playing activities to communicate experiences and responses:
    • Spontaneous creation of a scene
    • Creation of a scene, given a framework
    • Enactment of a specific solution or problem, during a process of discussion or problem solving
  • Responds to the ideas and points of view of others with sensitivity and interest
  • Talks through new ideas and information
  • Examining of alternative points of view and providing reasons for choosing one over the other
  • Uses language (talk) for learning and thinking by:
    • Participating in collaborative reading, writing, viewing, visually representing, listening and talking activities:
      • Writing, producing and reading together
      • Planning of a project
      • Brainstorming
      • Planning of a cross-curricular or mixed media project
    • Participating in role-playing, improvisation and storytelling activities to try out new ideas in new situations and for other purposes
    • Questioning and challenging of different points of view/perspectives
  • Use of technology resources for collaborative writing, producing and publishing projects for peer audiences
  • Listens critically