Tag Archive for rhetoric

AP Lang: Debate Time!


  • ELAGSE11-12SL4 Present information, findings, and supporting evidence, conveying a clear and distinct perspective, such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning, alternative or opposing perspectives are addressed, and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and a range or formal and informal tasks. Georgia ELA
  • ELAGSE11-12SL3 Evaluate a speaker’s point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric, assessing the stance, premises, links among ideas, word choice, points of emphasis, and tone used. Georgia ELA
  • ELAGSE11-12RI5 Analyze and evaluate the effectiveness of the structure an author uses in his or her exposition or argument, including whether the structure makes points clear, convincing, and engaging. Georgia ELA
  • ELAGSE11-12W1 Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence. Georgia ELA

Learning Target
Students will debate on a controversial topic, with a focus on using valid, logical reasoning and avoiding logical fallacies.

Opening Session
Those of you who are going today, take ten minutes to prepare. Everyone else, get out a sheet of paper and be ready to write your responses to the debates!

Work Session
It’s DEBATE TIME! Again, here is how we will structure the debates:

  • Coin flip to see if pro or con goes first
  • Approximately one minute “opening statement” from each side (about a page of writing)
    Whoever went first gets to respond to the other side’s points, and then vice versa.
  • Approximately one minute closing statement from each side (about a page of writing – For partners, if you gave the opening statement, your partner must give the closing statement).

After our debates, take a couple minutes to write a short response. Who do you think won and why? Which arguments were most persuasive and why? Did you hear any logical fallacies?

Closing Session
Let’s draw for who will go next! Next SIX will be going on Thursday morning (our half day)!

Formative (debate)

Interest (student choice of topics)

AP Lang: Humor Week, Day 2

Standard: ELAGSE11-12RI6 Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text in which the rhetoric is particularly effective, analyzing how style and content contribute to the power, persuasiveness, or beauty of the text.

Learning Target: I can analyze how an author uses rhetoric to create humor in an essay.

Opening Session: VOCAB! We skipped it yesterday since we had a short class, but let’s get into it now!

  1. —Allocate
    1. —(verb) to set apart or designate for a special purpose; to distribute
  2. —Ardent
    1. —(adj.) very enthusiastic, impassioned
  3. —Assiduous
    1. —(adj.) persistent, attentive, diligent
  4. —Brash
    1. —(adj.) prone to act in a hasty manner; imprudent
  5. —Capricious
    1. —(adj.) subject to whims or passing fancies
  6. —Chastise
    1. —(verb) to inflict physical punishment as a means of correction; to scold severely
  7. —Copious
    1. —(adj.) abundant; plentiful; wordy, verbose
  8. —Deviate
    1. —(verb) to turn aside; to stray from a norm
    2. —(noun) one who departs from a norm
    3. —(adj.) differing from a norm, heterodox, unconventional
  9. —Emaciated
    1. —(adj., part.) unnaturally thin
  10. —Exult
    1. —(verb) to rejoice greatly
  11. —Gnarled
    1. —(adj.) knotted, twisted, lumpy
  12. —Indemnity
    1. —(noun) a payment for damage or loss
  13. —Inkling
    1. —(noun) a hint; a vague notion
  14. —Limpid
    1. —(adj.) clear, transparent; readily understood
  15. —Omnipotent
    1. —(adj.) almighty, having unlimited power or authority
  16. —Palatable
    1. —(adj.) agreeable to the taste or one’s sensibilities; suitable for consumption
  17. —Poignant
    1. —(adj.) deeply affecting, touching; keen or sharp in taste or smell
  18. —Rancor
    1. —(noun) bitter resentment or ill-will
  19. —Sophomoric
    1. —(adj.) immature and overconfident; conceited
  20. —Spontaneous
    1. —(adj.) arising naturally; not planned or engineered in advance

Work Session: Another funny essay today! I’ve got a copies of an excerpt from a book I just finished reading, Life Among the Savages by Shirley Jackson. This is just a little story about a family having breakfast together, told from the mom’s perspective. I’m going to pass around the highlighters and as you read this story to yourself, I want you to annotate it – that is, mark up the text with insights, references, circle or highlight things you don’t know, and since this is our humor week, highlight anything you think is funny.

After everyone reads and annotates, we will talk about what we found funny and why 🙂

Closing Session: Journal entry: how did Jackson create a humorous essay out of a regular, day-to-day experience? What techniques did she use to create humor? Is the story relatable? Why or why not?

Assessment: Formative – Friday Journal Check

Differentiation: Process (Scaffolding)

Homework: Read 20 minutes in your Independent Reading book

AP Lang: Living Like Weasels, Day 4

Standard: ELAGSE11-12RL1 Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain.

Learning Target:  I can critically examine a text for details that support my analysis of the inferences I draw from the text.

Opening Session: Continue reading in Anthem. When the timer goes off, we will go around the room and share what interesting animal we learned about on Wikipedia last night.

Work Session: Today we’re going back to the weasel story! We’re going to be discussing the rhetorical devices in the text. I have a series of questions for you to guide us through a class discussion, and then, yes, a journal prompt for this piece. I would like for you to write about the sentences in the essay, and discuss how Dillard gets her ideas across through not only the content of her essay, but also through the way she composed it.

After you finish writing the journal entry, I want you to do another kind of writing. Look back at the first paragraph of the weasel text. I would like for you to write about the animal you looked up on Wikipedia last night and use this first paragraph as an inspiration (or mentor text) to write your own paragraph. For example:

A tiger is wild. Who knows what he thinks? He hunts solitary, day or night, ranging through his territory. Sometimes his roar is heard miles away. Outside, he stalks deer, chital, boar, and female tigers, killing two-hundred pound beasts, and sometimes eating nearly half of that weight. Obedient to instinct, he bites the throat and wrestles his pray to the ground, and then he drags it away to eat it in peace. One group of men observed a tiger kill a gaur and drag it nearly forty feet away. Later on, the men tried to drag the carcass themselves, and twelve of them had to pull together, all their backs into it, to drag him like children playing tug-of-war.

Closing Session: After you write your mentor paragraph, you will all share what you wrote with your tablemates. Then, I will go around table to table and each group will nominate one person to read their paragraph aloud to the class.

Also, VOCAB REVIEW!! We will play Vocab Bingo today. You guys will make a Bingo Card on a sheet of paper by folding it in half four times and then writing a vocab word in each square (there will be sixteen squares). I’ll call out definitions of words. If you wrote the matching word down, cross it out. When you get a bingo, bring it to me and I’ll sign it. A signed bingo card is worth 1 extra credit point (so it’ll raise your score by 1) on a Friday essay.

Assessment: Journal entries and paragraphs will be graded for completion.

Differentiation: Students extra time for journal entries as needed; extension activities for independent reading texts.

Homework: Read 20 minutes in your Free Choice book;

American Lit: Reading and Writing a Letter to the Editor

Standard: ELAGSE11-12RI4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings; analyze how an author uses and refines the meaning of a key term or terms over the course of a text (e.g., how Madison defines faction in Federalist No. 10).

Learning Target: I can evaluate the effectiveness of multiple editorial letters based on criteria.

Opening Session: Let’s go over the “How to Write a Letter to the Editor” list on page 253 in your book!

Work Session: Today we’re going to read an article called “Why I Hate Cell Phones,” which is a letter to the editor of a newspaper. As you read, consider the tone of the writing and why the author feels the way she does.

When we finish reading, you guys will have the rest of class to compose your own letter to an editor in which you go against Sara’s position in “Why I Hate Cell Phones.”

Closing Session: I’ll take 3 volunteers to share their letters!

Assessment: Informal (book check)

Differentiation: Process (Scaffolding)

American Lit: The Bias of Rhetoric

Standard: ELAGSE11-12SL2 Integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) in order to make informed decisions and solve problems, evaluating the credibility and accuracy of each source and noting any discrepancies among the data.

Learning Target: I can analyze how language can be used to manipulate readers or viewers.

Opening Session: Let’s check out this video called “Peace, Little Girl” from the 1964 presidential campaign. This ad was only aired once, but it was highly controversial and most people think it helped President Johnson win reelection. As you watch, write down which elements of the ad you think made it SO powerful:

Work Session: As it says in your Springboard book, “sometimes a writer compensates for lack of evidence and logical argumentation by using slanted language and emotional appeals that present a prejudiced depiction of a subject.” Today we’re going to study these slanters, which are clues you can use to determine if the source you’re reading is biased or not.

Let’s review the slanters and their definitions on page 234 and come up with some examples. Then, we’re going to flip over to page 326 and read an article called “Abolish High School Football.” After you read, we will do the Second Read questions and then the chart in question 4 using the SMELL strategy:

  • Sender-receiver relationshio
  • Message
  • Emotional Strategies
  • Logical Strategies
  • Language

We will also complete the chart on page 239 together.

Closing Session: Share Out: How do you think a writer uses tone to advance an opinion?

Plus, VOCAB!

  1. Vulnerable
  2. Indictment
  3. Irrelevant
  4. Delusions
  5. Decisive
  6. Abstain
  7. Rigors
  8. Remediation

Assessment: Informal (book check)

Differentiation: Process (Scaffolding)