Division 4 has been spending time discussing healthy food and nutrition, and we’ve been working on improving our writing and persuasive communication skills. To cap it off we are trying to put it all together to write a really convincing piece for a real audience. That real audience could be parents, an individual like a government minister, a company, teachers or any other group of people that we believe needs to hear our ideas about this topic. 

Publishable draft due: Friday, November 4.

Learning Goals:

  • Demonstrate understanding of healthy eating choices and consumption.
  • Plan, organize and draft a convincing argument for an authentic audience.



Persuasive Words

Lately we’ve been working on improving our persuasive communication. The students have been working very hard on organizing their thoughts to support a clear argument. Here’s one student’s draft of a message she felt people needed to hear!

Why Kids Should Not Be Graded In Art

Today I will tell you about why I think kids should not be graded in art at school. I think they should not be graded in art because everybody has different talents and kids could be made to feel depressed. I also think that kids should be graded on effort. Kids should not be graded in art at school.

First of all, everybody has different talents and those different talents are used for many different things, some not including art. I also think that everybody is at a different level of skills. I believe that all students have different techniques of art they are good with. Therefore, because of the different skills students possess it would be more beneficial if students were not graded.

Besides kids having different talents they can also feel very depressed if they don’t get a good grade. Many kids feel very depressed when they get  a bad grade and won’t feel very good about themselves. Some kids might get teased for art and that also leads to feeling bad. This can lead to anger as well.

Additionally, I think kids should be graded on effort. One of the reasons kids should be graded on effort is because is because many kids might try very hard, but not get a good mark. Also, many people start to give up. When people start to give up they might start rushing through their work thinking they will get bad marks.

Finally, there are many reasons why I think kids should not be graded in art, because everybody has different talents and kids feel depressed. And I also strongly think they should be graded on effort at school. Hopefully teachers will consider this the next time they assign something in art class.

Written by KL




To help us better understand how to think like scientists, division 4 students are designing their own science experiments. They will test ordinary, everyday products that we use such as the stretchy-ness of bubble gum, taste of coffee, or how quickly different kinds of milk might sour.

Before you begin, make sure you understand how an independent variable (i.e. temperature) might change a dependent variable (water particles).

Next, step… Complete a draft of your ideas using the template below. You will get feedback on your ideas before beginning your experiment next week.






Evaluating Sources Online

I am trying to answer some important questions I have about kids and the nutritional value of the drinks we consume or can buy in stores in our community. Here’s my questions: 

  1. What are some healthy drinks for kids? 
  2. Is drinking caffeine in drinks like Coca-Cola safe for kids? 
  3. What are the health effects of soft drinks? 


When searching on Google, I quickly found the sources below. What can you find out about them? Evaluate them to determine whether they are helpful sources for answering our questions. 

SOURCES TO EVALUATE (source-evaluation):


I have synthesized your (students) ideas below.

SOURCES: PROS (+) CONS (-) Conclusions
Source A
  • has a lot of scientific data on how soft drinks affect kids
  • says clearly where information came from
  •  reading level is too high
  • confusing
  •  Not overly helpful for students to use, but has well supported and reliable information
Source B
  •  none

  • not helpful
  • information is false
  • is a fake/hoax site
  • products don’t exist
  • links don’t work
  • has Paypal link to trick people into paying money
  • can’t tell who created it

  •  good example of how some information on the web can mislead people
  • not helpful or reliable
Source C
  • easy to determine who made it and why
  • provides nutritional information of their soft drinks
  • tries to create good image for Coca-Cola
  • has some misleading information
  • tries to get people to think Coke is doing healthy things
  • helpful because of nutritional information
  • somewhat not credible because they want to sell you products
Source D
  •  aimed at kids and parents
  • can figure out who made it
  • authors are doctors and experts
  • lots of ads and some are uncomfortable for kids
  • has helpful information for research
  • trustworthy authors who have expert knowledge


The Scientific Method

As we’ve learned, scientists provide us with really useful information and discoveries about the world around us by asking important questions, formulating hypotheses or predictions, and then creating an experiment to test their predictions. Last week we designed our own division 4 experiment:

How can we improve push-up performance?

We created an experiment to test five different independent variables to see how they impacted the dependent variable (number of push-ups). We had a number of controlled variables in place – for example, the same person had to perform the push-ups to determine improvement. We predicted which of the following variables would have the greatest impact on performance.

  • energy drink

  • visualization

  • stretching

  • warm-up run

  • training (4 days)

Our results and data are posted below. Some important questions good scientific-thinkers would want to know include the following. Discuss them at home:

  • What interventions worked to improve performance? Which ones did not? Why?
  • What can we learn from this about physical performance? What advice could we give people who want to improve strength and performance?
  • Was this a fair test? Explain why
Subjects Independent variable Push-ups last week Push-ups this week Results
MS visualization 1 5 +4
AD visualization 0 11 +11
TN visualization 10 17 +7
SC visualization 3 21 +18
AB visualization 5 10 +5
AVG: +9.0


Subjects Independent variable Push-ups last week Push-ups this week Results
KL sports drink 0 1 +1
AL sports drink 21 26 +5
RN sports drink 20 25 +5
AS sports drink 10 3 -7
JY sports drink 13 23 +10
AVG: +2.8


Subjects Independent variable Push-ups last week Push-ups this week Results
DK training 4 days 13 21 +8
MB training 4 days 6 14 +8
MK training 4 days 6 11 +5
ML training 4 days 5 8 +3
RG training 4 days 1 6 +5
KP training 4 days 8 15 +7
GS training 4 days 5 12 +7
AVG: +6.14


Subjects Independent variable Push-ups last week Push-ups this week Results
BL stretching 5 mins 1 3 +2
JL stretching 5 mins 1 0 -1
JM stretching 5 mins 4 5 +1
JC stretching 5 mins 5 10 +5
DG stretching 5 mins 0 0 0
AVG: +1.4


Subjects Independent variable Push-ups last week Push-ups this week Results
IQ warm-up run 5 14 +9
JT warm-up run 5 6 +1
RP warm-up run 15 9 -6
AVG: +1.3



Persuasive Essays

Persuasive communication is an essential skill in our world today, and probably has always been throughout history. Some of the most famous Greek and Roman thinkers spent lots of time practicing the art of convincing people to think a certain way. The first modern essay writers changed how we think about democracy, freedom, education, public health and lots of other important issues. Essay writers have even started revolutions! Being able to present a convincing argument will help you convince someone to hire you, change someone’s mind, get you a better deal on a new car or inspire people to help you come up a new ideas about how to do something.


WRITING TIP: Use Transition Words!!!

  • Transition words or phrases help us move from one paragraph to the next one without disrupting the flow of our writing or speaking. They also help us use a variety of words so our writing and speaking sounds more convincing.