LESSON 5.9
Brainstorm Why Ideas

A subject consists of two parts: a What section and a Why section.  The What statement tells what the subject is, and the Why statement tells why the What section is true or important.

WHAT STATEMENT

WHY STATEMENT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The What section consists of two variables connected by a verb phrase.

WHAT STATEMENT

WHY STATEMENT

LH

Verb Phrase

RH

 

 

 

 

 

For example:

WHAT STATEMENT

WHY STATEMENT

LH

Verb Phrase

RH

 

Polio

could not stop

Wilma Rudolph from becoming America’s first great female sprinter

 

The Why

Why Statements show why the What Statement is true or important.  There should be 1-4 whys. More than that makes the paper complicated, since you must cover each Y thoroughly.

Tautology

Your Ys cannot describe, define, or otherwise duplicate any part of the What Statement. If they do, you will have a tautology, also known as circular reasoning.     

WHAT STATEMENT

WHY STATEMENT

LH

VP

RH

Because

Y

OLD

Verb Phrase

NEW

because

 

Polio

could not stop

Wilma Rudolph from becoming America’s first great female sprinter

Her achievement are especially important because

she overcame a life-threatening illness as a child.

Same thing

Task 5.9.1 – Tandem

Which of the following is the best Why Statement among the following?  Why? What is wrong with each of the others?

Billy Mills had to overcome the racism that was often directed at Native Americans.  His achievements were especially important because—

    1. he became the only American ever to win the 10,000 meter race in the Olympics.
    2. he symbolizes what Martin Luther King Jr. said as “judging a man by his character and not by the color of his skin.”
    3. they helped him raise the quality of life in Native American communities.
    4. an excellent movie, Running Brave, was made about him.  

Repeating because

Sometimes you will need to repeat the word because. That will happen when—

    1. The Ys are long and/or complex.
    2. The shorter or shortest Y must go last.

For example:

Billy Mills had to overcome the racism that was often directed at Native Americans runners.  His achievements were especially important because they helped him raise the quality of life in Native American communities and because he became a role model for Native American youth.

Task 5.9.2 – Tandem

Using the computer, research your three top “finalists.”  Look in—

  • Wikipedia
  • Your favorite search engine
  • A short biography

Find an idea for their “legacy.” For example—

  • What did the person’s successes do for the greater good of the world?
  • What does the person’s success tell us about a controversy associated with their “speech”?
  • What did the person’s success inspire researchers to examine?

New Idea

Possible Idea

Name

Why Important

(legacy)

X

White slavery

Florence Baker

Shatters myth that only Africans were enslaved

X

The Old West in 1820

Jim Bridger

Opened up the West for migration and settlement

X

Newly discovered ancient cities in the Amazon

Percy Fawcett

Revolutionized how we think of the Amazon

X

Polio

Wilma Rudolph

Revolutionized sprinting for female Americans

X

Racism against Native American runners

Billy Mills

Helped raise awareness and funds to Native American communities

X

The creation of Nike shoes

Steve Prefontaine

Inspired a generation of American runners

X

The history of the marathon

Eliud Kipchoge

Made researchers ask why so many great runners come from one valley in Kenya

X

White slavery

Florence Baker

Shatters myth that only Africans were enslaved

X

The Old West in 1820

Jim Bridger

Opened up the West for migration and settlement

Task 5.9.3  – Tandem

If you cannot find the legacy of your three top people from Lesson 5.7, then add more of the 5.7 people until you find a Why.