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World Lit: Justice and Culture, Day 1

Standard: ELAGSE9-10RI8 Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is valid and the evidence is relevant and sufficient; identify false statements and fallacious reasoning.

Learning Target: I can analyze and synthesize details from two texts about justice.

Opening Session: So far this unit we’ve focused on cultural perspective told through stories and narratives. For the remainder, we will focus on cultural perspective through argumentation. And you guessed it – that means we will be writing an argument! So let’s start this unit by unpacking Embedded Assessment 2, The Counterargument Assignment!

Work Session: Today we’re going to start out with a little pre-reading activity on page 177 in your Springboard. I would like for us to complete the chart by yourself, then we will go over it aloud.

We’re going to be reading two articles about something controversial that happened way back in 1994, the Michael Fay case. As the background info in the book explains, the controversy was about whether or not an American citizen should be beaten (caned, technically) for a crime he committed in Singapore. Although this type of punishment can be considered “torture,” there is no denying that Singapore has a much lower crime rate than the United States.

We will read the first article today, “Time to Assert American Values”. After reading, I want you guys to do the Second Read questions, and I also want to examine the author’s argument. What points did he make? Can you make any arguments that refute those points, or explain why they are wrong?

Tomorrow we will read the next article in the book, which takes the opposing viewpoint, and have a little silent debate!

Closing Session: Share out! What do you think?

Assessment: Informal (book check)

Differentiation: Process (scaffolding), Student Choice

World Lit: Justice and Culture, Continued

Standard: ELAGSE9-10RI8 Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is valid and the evidence is relevant and sufficient; identify false statements and fallacious reasoning.

Learning Target: I can analyze and synthesize details from two texts about justice.

Opening Session: Let’s review what we discussed yesterday with a video from 1994!

Work Session: Today we’re continuing with what we were doing yesterday, reading about the Michael Fay case from 1994. The article for today is entitled “Rough Justice: A Caning in Singapore Stirs Up a Fierce Debate About Crime and Punishment”. We will read this article aloud, briefly do the Second Read questions aloud together, and then have a little silent debate!

For this debate, you and the person sitting across from you will need a single sheet of notebook paper to share. One of you will be “for” the caning punishment, and one of you will be “against.” Decide now who is taking which side.

Once you’ve chosen sides, take 3 minutes to mentally come up with 3 reasons that support your side. Then, when I say go, one if you will write that reason down. You have one minute!

Now trade papers, and you have one minute to read the reason your partner wrote and explain why that reason is wrong. You may recall that this is known as refuting an argument.

Now we repeat! The second partner (person who just refuted) will keep the paper and write down their first reason why they’re write, then trade, and the first partner will refute the argument.

This will go on until each partner has written their 3 reasons down and the other partner has refuted them. The idea here is to practice refuting your opponent’s argument, in preparation for our next Embedded Assessment!

Closing Session: Let’s reflect! How did you like today’s activity? Was it difficult? Annoying? Did it make you mad at your partner?

Assessment: Informal (book check)

Differentiation: Process (scaffolding)


Welcome to Thursday, everyone!!! Anyone else really ready for the weekend?!


Learning Target: Students will read through Act III scene i in Julius Caesar and read and discuss articles on the modern-day #blacklivesmatter civil rights movement.


Work Session: 

Today we will start out by reading!! I believe we need to finish act II, and then we will read act III scene i…which is where Caesar dies. Sorry, Caesar.

After we finish reading today, we’re going to read a couple articles about the new #blacklivesmatter civil rights movement, and about the class struggle in modern America.

First, the class struggle is real:


Second, a new civil rights movement:


After we SQPRRS the articles, we’re going to talk about them as a class. Do you agree? Disagree? Why?

Closing Session:

Ticket out the door: Would you join a protest? What issues are important enough to you personally that would make you get out there?

Differentiation: Articles in 2 different lexiles (process).

Assessment: SQPRRS will be graded.



  • SL.9-10.2. Integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) evaluating the credibility and accuracy of each source.
  • SL.9-10.3. Evaluate a speaker’s point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric, identifying any fallacious reasoning or exaggerated or distorted evidence.

Learning Target: Students will learn about circle 7 of Dante’s Inferno (Violence), and participate in a fishbowl discussion to mimic the structure of the circle.


Welcome to class, everyone! You might have noticed that the desks are arranged a little differently today…. We are going to be doing what’s called a fishbowl discussion in a few minutes. Don’t get too comfy, because I’m probably going to rearrange you!!

BUT FIRST! Let’s talk circle 7: Violence! This circle is structured a little differently than the others, because there are three “types” of violence, and Dante punishes each one differently. Let’s look at the Shmoop summary of these cantos, describing circle 7.

After we talk about what’s going on in this circle, I want everyone to do your collaborative poster activity for the day!!! Tape it up to the board, and while everyone is up and moving around anyway, gather your stuff because we’re having a FISHBOWL DISCUSSION!

You guys will be set up into three rings, just like circle 7 was in 3 rings. The innermost ring is going to be our speakers. These four people will be throwing their opinions out there and responding to questions from people in the middle circle, the questioners. The questioners will ask anything they want to the people in the middle circle. Finally, in the outermost circle we will have the recorders. The recorders will be taking notes over everything that’s going on between the questioners and the speakers.

You can move between circles if you so desire 🙂 We will switch it up if people want to.

After we finish our debate, I want everyone to pair off with a note taker and discuss and copy the notes, so that everyone has a written copy of the notes. Why? Because your notes are fair game for using on our assessment next week. At the bottom of your notes, I want you to write a short paragraph summarizing the discussion we had today, and turn that in. I’ll grade it and give it back to you!

So what’s the topic of our discussion? Well, some of you might have seen a viral video of  Jasper County, GA, boy. He’s a kindergartener in trouble and about to be paddled. If you’re not familiar, let’s check out the news stories:



So here’s the topic of your debate: Corporal punishment (aka spanking) in schools. Keeping with our theme of “the punishment fits the crime” and Dante’s law of Symbolic Retribution, do you think paddling in schools is acceptable? Do you think it fits the crime? Who should be allowed to paddle a student?  Do you think it is an effective punishment? What about the mom going to jail for truency? Is that an appropriate punishment? If not, what would have been? What if the kid were a high schooler who was skipping?

In case you couldn’t tell, I’ll be in the center ring 🙂

Assessment: Notes and summaries will be graded

Differentiation: Students will be set in different rings of the debate based on interest and readiness. Learning styles (auditory, visual, kinesthetic).

Flood Day Tuesday

Standard: RI.9-10.7. Analyze various accounts of a subject told in different mediums (e.g., a person’s life story in both print and multimedia), determining which details are emphasized in each account.

Learning Target:  Students will look at modern coverage of massive floods and write about the similarities in a modern flood and an ancient one.

Activator: A look back: Hurricane Katrina News Coverage

Welcome to Tuesday, everyone! I hope you all had a good time doing your summer reading essay yesterday!


As you might have guessed from the daily video, today we’re going to continue talking about flood stories. The difference today, though, is that we’re talking about floods that actually happened. We’re going to talk a bit more about Hurricane Katrina, as well as the Japanese tsunami of 2011, and the Indian Ocean Tsunami (the Christmas Tsunami) of 2004. All these massive floods are pretty close to current, right? So I thought these articles and pictures might hit home for you guys.







After we read the articles together as a class and have a bit of discussion about what it might have been like, I would like for you guys do to a bit of narrative writing for me in the form of a journal.


Flood Journal Assignment

  1. Choose one of the modern flood stories we talked about in class – Hurricane Katrina, the Japanese Tsunami, or the Christmas Tsunami.
  2. Pretend you’re in the middle of that flood as it’s happening.
  3. IN PEN, write three journal or diary entries from three days as you experience what it was like to live through that flood. Each entry should be about 2 paragraphs long. Don’t forget to sign your name at the end.
  4. When you’re finished, turn in your journal to me.

…And that’s that! Be creative with your journal entries, guys! After I grade them, we’re going to have some fun making them into “flood” artifacts.


I’ll see y’all tomorrow!!