Module 2 -> Lesson 1

Close reading, rich discussions

Confirm or Challenge

Private Companies have the right to use Facial Recognition Technology for undisclosed reasons.

Anchor Texts for this Lesson


Supporting Text(s)/ Resources for this Lesson

Lesson Overview

This lesson highlights language we use to describe where we stand on a particular issue on a continuum from full support to full rejection. Notably, the emphasis is on nuance. Students will participate in a barometer activity with language marking various points of the barometer: opponent, largely in opposition of/ largely opposed to; arguing for a middle ground, balancing act; proponent, largely in favor of. This activity is typically used to give students an opportunity to represent their personal opinions on a topic (source); we will use this as a close reading strategy that allows for movement and conversation with integrated language instruction as the class evaluates excerpts from the anchor text.

Nota Bene

The barometer activity should use excerpts from whichever anchor text you choose to feature in this lesson. The sample slide deck includes excerpts from the article A Case for Facial Recognition Technology, which is linked in the supporting texts section above. If you prefer to use the barometer activity to scaffold the newly recommended focus text for this lesson, Facial Recognition is Improving Customer Experience while Enhancing Security, consider pulling excerpts from that text for the barometer activity, particularly if your students need comprehension support.


Students will be able to...

  • Preview a text and make predictions

  • Identify language in a passage that indicates the author's position.

  • Use specific academic language to describe the position an author is presenting.

Suggested Duration

45 minutes (adjust according to your students' needs)

NYS Next Generation ELA Standards

  • R1 Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly/ implicitly and make logical inferences; develop questions for deeper understanding and for further exploration.

  • RH9: Compare and contrast treatments of the same topic in several primary and secondary sources.

  • L6: Acquire and accurately use general academic and content-specific words and phrases, sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening; demonstrate independence in applying vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression.

  • L4c: Consult general and specialized reference materials (e.g., dictionaries, glossaries, thesauruses) to find the pronunciation of a word or determine or clarify its precise meaning, its part-of-speech, or its etymology.

NYS Computer Science & Digital Fluency Standards

  • 9-12.IC.5 Describe ways that complex computer systems can be designed for inclusivity and to mitigate unintended consequences.

  • 9-12.IC.3 Debate issues of ethics related to real world computing technologies.

  • 9-12.IC.1 Evaluate the impact of computing technologies on equity, access, and influence in a global society.


  • opponent (noun): a person who is against something and tries to change or stop it

  • proponent (noun): a person who supports an idea or a course of action

  • oversight: the state of being in charge of someone or something

  • rectify (verb): to fix something that is wrong

  • balancing act (noun): a process in which someone tries to please two or more people or groups who want different things

  • middle ground (noun): a set of opinions, decisions, etc. that two or more groups who oppose each other can agree on; a position that is not extreme


As a warm-up, present the titles of the anchor text articles for this week--Facial Recognition is Improving Customer Experience while Enhancing Security and Madison Square Garden Uses Facial Recognition to Ban its Owner's Enemies-- and ask students to make predictions about what position each article is likely to argue. These predictions can be made in conversation with a partner/ small group or independently in notebooks. Then facilitate a brief conversation inviting students to share their predictions. As you elicit students' predictions while inviting them to share out, use this as an opportunity to practice the language you have posted in the classroom for the barometer activity: opponent, proponent, largely in favor of, largely in opposition to. This will transition into the mini lesson, where you will present the barometer activity.


Building from the share out of the warm up conversations, explain to students that they will closely evaluating, as a group, excerpts from a text to determine where the positions being presented fall on the barometer. Walk through the language of the barometer, using vocabulary listed above and any other language you want to highlight, and explain to students that the class will read and excerpt together and then move to a place on the barometer that they think reflects the author's position. For example, is the position being presented one that is strongly opposed to facial recognition technology, or is it presenting a middle-ground perspective? Model this with students using the first one or two excerpts. Also be sure to model for them the expectations for explaining why they have chosen to stand at a particular point on the barometer. Students will benefit from having a lot of language supports in the form of anchor charts posted along the barometer, so they can make use of those when they explain their reasoning. Be sure to model for students to anchor their reasoning with evidence from the excerpt presented.


Teacher(s) facilitates the barometer activity by moving through the selected excerpts. Invite students to engage in conversation among themselves and then as a group as they articulate why they have chosen to stand at a particular point on the barometer. The focus should be on drilling down on the text, practicing academic language to describe the positions being presented, and fostering an openness to change your mind/ position when your understanding deepens/ shifts.


Invite students to return to the seats for a written reflection. Ask students to return to the prediction(s) they made at the beginning of class. How accurate was their prediction? What surprised them as they moved through the excerpts? What questions do they have?

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