Sunday, February 2, 2014

Claims - Support - Question

Claim - Support - Question  (CSQ)

At the beginning of our science unit, "Human Body" we had an opportunity to share our ideas about products and services that claim to promote fitness. Students were asked to be skeptical of products and services that claim to promote fitness with or without exercise. To be skeptical students would need to critically analyze advertisements that promote fitness and changes to the body. Students worked in small groups to identify assertions made by selected advertisements. Each student could develop their own claim about what the advertisement represented, but the claims presented should be focused on specific evidence (support). The purpose of presenting the support was to be sure that students were not making a claim based on opinions, reactions or feelings.

Focus Question: Would you believe this ad if you read it in a magazine?
 What makes you say that?

 Students had a number of magazine ads to practice their CSQ activity. As the I observed the activity I realized that my focus question was not going to give me the results I was hoping for. I worked on generating what I thought were topical questions.  My hope was that students would make claims based on the evidence rather than opinions.
Topical questions:
What generalizations do these ads make?
What evidence supports your claim?
What would make someone question your claim?

Introducing these new questions allowed my students to begin asking questions and determining importance while discussing these advertisements. Making me feel like we were going in the right direction, but we need more practice analyzing direct and indirect evidence.I believe this thinking strategy is a great way to see if students can process information analytically.


  1. Phyllis, thank you for sharing your reflection that your initial question was not getting you the thinking that you desired. I appreciate your new questions. How is it going now?

  2. I agree...I think the hardest thing in teaching is being flexible. I also think it important to always ask oursleves if what we are doing requires deeper questioning or clarification. I like how you admitted that your original question was perhaps too broad and left room for your students to use opinion as opposed to critical anaysis and evidence based judgement. From your explanation I can absolutely see the subtle difference between the questions and how even such a small adjustment makes for a vast difference in meaning. Thanks for sharing your process and I too wonder if you have tried this again with your students.