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Critical Thinking and Writing - GMO's

GMO's (or Genetically Modified Organisms) have presented quite a controversy forcing governments to create legislation concerning their use as well as inhibit funding for research in the development of drought and pest resistant crops for underdeveloped countries.  Words like "Frankenfoods" have been coined by green activists to convey what they believe is a threat to the human race.  While on the other hand, proponents of genetic modification tout that GMO's such as miniaturized crop varieties will be needed to feed an increasing world population faced with climate change. 

In this activity you will examine several press articles and videos, then write a composition of your own using the sources provided below.

Activity

  1. Read and understand the articles
  2. Watch and understand the videos
  3. Write a one-page composition based on ONE of the following topics.
    1. An impartial newspaper article for your local newspaper
    2. An argumentative essay choosing one side of the controversy
    3. An analysis of the credibility and motivations of the articles and videos below.

Activity

  1. Read and understand the articles
  2. Watch and understand the videos
  3. Write a one-page composition based on ONE of the following topics.
    1. An impartial newspaper article for your local newspaper
    2. An argumentative essay choosing one side of the controversy
    3. An analysis of the credibility and motivations of the articles and videos below.
- See more at: http://www.englishcaddy.org/belomonte.htm#sthash.tG4Kg48u.dpuf

Activity

  1. Read and understand the articles
  2. Watch and understand the videos
  3. Write a one-page composition based on ONE of the following topics.
    1. An impartial newspaper article for your local newspaper
    2. An argumentative essay choosing one side of the controversy
    3. An analysis of the credibility and motivations of the articles and videos below.
- See more at: http://www.englishcaddy.org/belomonte.htm#sthash.tG4Kg48u.dpuf

Activity

  1. Read and understand the articles
  2. Watch and understand the videos
  3. Write a one-page composition based on ONE of the following topics.
    1. An impartial newspaper article for your local newspaper
    2. An argumentative essay choosing one side of the controversy
    3. An analysis of the credibility and motivations of the articles and videos below.
- See more at: http://www.englishcaddy.org/belomonte.htm#sthash.tG4Kg48u.dpuf

Activity

  1. Read and understand the articles
  2. Watch and understand the videos
  3. Write a one-page composition based on ONE of the following topics.
    1. An impartial newspaper article for your local newspaper
    2. An argumentative essay choosing one side of the controversy
    3. An analysis of the credibility and motivations of the articles and videos below.
- See more at: http://www.englishcaddy.org/belomonte.htm#sthash.tG4Kg48u.dpuf

Articles

Questions to think about while reading the following articles:
  • Credibility: Is the author or publisher reputable?
  • Bias: Does the author or publisher exhibit a vested interest in their subject matter.
  • Balance: How well balanced is the article in the presentation of the arguments?.
  • Sources: Are the sources of information cited?

Videos

While you're watching the videos below, think about the following questions:

  • What is the goal each video is trying to achieve?
  • What are the scientific facts presented in the video?
  • Are the claims backed up with evidence? 
  • What is the level of neutrality in which the information is presented?

GMO A-Go-Go

An animated video sponsored by Natural News

The Eyes of Nye - Genetically Modified Foods

Bill Nye Investigates Genetically Modified Foods

Other Activities

Open Discussion Questions

 With a partner or in a small group discuss the following questions.

  1. Are governments correct in passing laws regulating the sale of genetically modified food?
  2. What are the overall benefits of GM food products?
  3. Which foods do you currently eat that are genetically altered?  Which foods are not?
  4. What are the dangers of genetically modified food?
  5. What have been the consequences to the populations of countries with high production levels of genetically modified foods?
  6. How might a small farmer, a poor consumer, a grocery store owner, and a Greenpeace activist each feel about genetically modified food, and how would their viewpoints differ?
  7. What practices in the genetic manipulation of food are acceptable?
  8. What practices are unacceptable?
  9. What is your overall opinion of the GMO controversy?

Download the discussion in PDF

MIni Debate

With a partner or in a group divided into 2, conduct a debate adopting the two positions outlined below.  Once you have chosen your positions take some time to prepare your debate based on the materials presented above.

Position A.  You think that since the human race has been genetically manipulating its food supply for generations, that modern genetic manipulation is perfectly safe and necessary to for the future.  Cite examples from the texts and videos above or from your own research.

Position B. You believe that the modern methods of genetic manipulation of the world's food supply are potentially dangerous and that only natural alternatives should be relied upon. Find examples to support your argument from the texts and videos above or from your own research. 

Download the mini debate in PDF

Printables

  Open Discussion Questions

  Mini Debate

Comments

What are your thoughts or views on the use of GMO's?  Express yourself here.

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