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Omnivores Dilemma

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Omnivores Dilemma
Michael Pollan, The Omnivore’s Dilemma: The Secrets Behind What You Eat (Young Reader’s Edition) - Grade 7

Originally published in New York: Dial Books, 2009.

Learning Objective: The goal of this two day exemplar is to give students the opportunity to use the reading and writing habits they’ve been practicing on a regular basis to unpack Pollan’s investigative journalism of industrial farms. By reading and rereading the passage closely combined with classroom discussion about it, students will identify why and how farming practices have changed, as well as identify Pollan’s point of view on the subject. When combined with writing about the passage and teacher feedback, students will begin to appreciate investigative journalism, as well as question from where their food is coming.

Reading Task: Students will silently read the passage in question on a given day—first independently and then following along with the text as the teacher and/or skillful students read aloud. Depending on the difficulties of a given text and the teacher’s knowledge of the fluency abilities of students, the order of the student silent read and the teacher reading aloud with students following might be reversed. What is important is to allow all students to interact with challenging text on their own as frequently and independently as possible. Students will then reread specific passages in response to a set of concise, text- dependent questions that compel them to examine the meaning and structure of Pollan’s reporting. Therefore, rereading is deliberately built into the instructional unit.

Vocabulary Task: Most of the meanings of words in the exemplar text can be discovered by students from careful reading of the context in which they appear. Teachers can use discussions to model and reinforce how to learn vocabulary from contextual clues, and students must be held accountable for engaging in this practice. Where it is judged this is not possible, underlined words are

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