Reading the Ellipses: Science Plays as Models for Inquiry Projects

Lucy Arnold Perkins, English teacher, North Mecklenburg High School




This curriculum unit is intended as way to introduce researched writing to students using a “mentor text” approach; this means that students will first be introduced to published works based on research, then ask to consider the important qualities of good researched writing as they develop their own questions and explore possibilities for form and audience. I have based this unit around Michael Frayn’s “science play,” Copenhagen, because he provides a postscript detailing his sources, but I also provide alternatives to using Copenhagen as a mentor text. I teach all levels of eleventh grade English, including Inclusion, Standard, Honors, International Baccalaureate, and Advanced Placement, and provide options for adapting the unit to any group of students.