The media coverage of the presidential race this year has reached epic proportions. No doubt our colleagues in social science and civics are working tirelessly to engage students in the electoral process, but I think we have our bit to play too. I think that is important to be as impartial as reasonably possible and also allow students to form educated positions based on the lens of their own experiences as well as rhetorical analysis of primary documents. Today I wanted to share with you a lesson that I created to help students break down the language used by the candidates. We'd love to hear your ideas and feedback in the comment section below!
Many teachers find it daunting to help students deal with informational texts with the regularity that brings confidence and skill. It is important for students to read longer, more complicated texts and primary source documents; however, small daily doses can also be a strategy for student success with informational texts. Today, I am sharing an idea to incorporate these texts into a short, daily warm-up activity.
As we continue to grow in our common core competencies and take on new informational texts, we need tools to help students read closely and analyze texts that may be outside of their fiction plot structure comfort zone (and ours!). At a conference many years ago, I picked up a valuable strategy called the arch method, which I believe can do just that. I learned it from Valerie Stevenson who is a high school English teacher from San Diego, accomplished conference speaker, and incredible fount of knowledge. Originally, I used it as a way to help AP students answer prose analysis prompts, but with the common core emphasis on informational texts at all levels, I want to show you how it is an appropriate and valuable tool for all of our classes.
I have posted a few of my annotated Common Core Standards, returning to our examination and analysis of Informational Texts and helping you to find ways to tackle the standards and integrate them into your lessons and activities. This post focuses on exploring how key individuals influence and are influenced by events and ideas, and how authors make connections between such individuals, events, or ideas.
Suppose you are teaching a novel rich in historical context, such as Mildred D. Taylor’s Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. Clearly, it would be obvious to look at the era in which the story takes place – during the Great Depression. Having students read an article or complete research on the Great Depression would give students a clear background of the struggles of the era, helping them to comprehend the book on a deeper level.