Aquarius Lesson Plan

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Aquarius Lesson Plan

Aquarius Lesson Plan


Aquarius Program and argumentative writing skills.

Grade Level

9th -English

Focus Question

Should UNCW keep Aquarius and why?

Discuss Aquarius and why it is an important asset to UNCW and science as a whole. Formulate an argument and design a well-structured argumentative and persuasive essay to argue a stance with support.

Learning Objectives:

9-10.W.1 Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence. Through argumentative paper.

9-10.W.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content. Through argumentative paper.

9-10.W.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences. Through creative writing choice.

9-10.W.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. Through argumentative paper.

9-10.W.5 Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on addressing what is most significant for a specific purpose and audience. There will be drafts of the paper and work-shopping before the final draft is completed.

9-10.W.6 Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products, taking advantage of technology’s capacity to link to other information and to display information flexibly and dynamically. Learning about Aquarius, posting papers or thoughts, use links in papers or presentations.

9-10.W.7 Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation. Through argumentative paper and activities.

9-10.W.8 Gather relevant information from multiple authoritative print and digital sources, using advanced searches effectively; assess the usefulness of each source in answering the research question; integrate information into the text selectively to maintain the flow of ideas, avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation. Through argumentative paper and sources.

9-10.W.9 Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research. Through argumentative paper and sources.

Learner Objective(s): At the completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

Write effective argumentative papers, research topics using a variety of sources, edit papers, work in groups.


Paper, pens, computers (not necessary and either in lab or at home)

Audio/Visual Materials

Computer, Internet, Projector

Teaching Time

90 minutes

Seat Arrangement

Groups for discussion and group work, if not groups a circle would be conducive to class discussion.

Maximum Number of Students


Key Words


Background Information (Prior Knowledge)

9th grade level writing skills, and we will be learning about Aquarius in class before they have to write the essay

Opening Activity

Motivator: (5 min.)

(strike interest, get the thinking about subject) What’s the longest any of you can hold your breath? Has anyone ever been scuba diving (tell us about your experience) … What’s the longest you’ve been underwater?

Introduce UNCW and Key Largo Aquarius Center and the situation and issues around it. Segway to teacher input.

Learning Procedure ( Activity)

Teacher input: (25 min.) After the motivator, bring up the Aquarius videos and website, students may take notes. Discuss Aquarius, its purpose, benefits, any consequences, as a class using the videos and website as a guide. Introduce the prompt of the argumentative paper to the students.

Prompt: Make an argument to keep funding or phase out (students have the option to argue against after further research) the Aquarius program, and support your argument. How is relevant, why does it matter, what will be the consequences of losing it? Is it an asset or liability? Further research will probably be required. Your paper an include pictures, charts, and various sources. Should be over two pages, with 200 word paragraphs, 12pt Time New Roman, Double Spaced.

Guided practice (35 min.) Have the students divide up into groups to discuss Aquarius and their ideas, and work out ways to argue the issue. They have to come up with points of argument and share them with the class. I will be walking around the room monitoring, talking with students, asking them questions about their arguments stirring up discussion. If the group finishes early which will probably happen, have them come up with a creative writing story or skit (where they can be realistic or not) of what would happen if they were to be an Aquanaut and their experiences underwater at Aquarius. (this can be in song form, or illustrated by pictures)
Independent practice (15 min.) Individually, have the students write their plans for their argumentative paper. The homework assignment is to write the full rough draft of their paper, they have had substantial study, discussion, and planning time. The paper can be work-shopped later and be turned in as a final draft at a later date.
Multiple Intelligences reached: intrapersonal, interpersonal, visual, linguistic, auditory, musical, and kinesthetic.

Connections to Other Subjects

Science, history

Closing Activity and Assignment

Closing: (10 min.)

Write down on a slip of paper (students may share if time allows) their argument for their paper. A thesis statement if developed, with at least two supporting reasons; or a general outline for their paper by paragraph (intro, p1 etc, closing; all containing a summary of what will be presented and discussed in the paragraph or the main points). This will be their “ticket” out of the classroom. It will also be a mini assessment that they learned a few facts about Aquarius, have been actively thinking and participating in discussion during class, and at least have ideas and a plan for their paper. By thinking about their paper or sharing their ideas for the direction of the argument there is a review of everything we have learned about Aquarius and what was discussed in their groups.


The major assessment for the lesson will be the argumentative paper. This will showcase their ability to have a strong and organized argument with support. It will also demonstrate their skills to complete research, work in groups, and revise. By the final drafts of their papers they will prove to me they have a good understanding of Aquarius, as well as their stance on the issue. The rubric is at the bottom.

Other Links and Resources

What is it?



Website: -Live Video

Aquarius Argumentative Essay Rubric

Clear Thesis Statement ___________ out of 5

Organization ___________ out of 3

Transitions ___________ out of 3

Grammar, Spelling, Mechanics ___________ out of 3

Specific Examples and Support ___________ out of 6

Paragraph length ___________ out of 5

Total ___________ out of 25

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