Create an activity
that allows students to share topics/articles they've been following
and reading about in the NYT
You might make this
sharing or writing about topics a standard way to start classes
from here on out. You can vary the activity as much or as
little as you please; just keep in mind that repetitiveness or
activities without reward can squash student motivation.
a Transition to the Next Activity
Up Analytical/Evaluative Concepts (15-20 minutes total)
Answer any last questions
about Brooks' or Krugman's articles or analyzing/evaluating a
text (3-5 minutes)
Strategies to Brooks and Krugman (7-10 minutes)
Once everyone is on
the same page, walk students through an application of the skills
we have learned to Brooks' and Krugman's articles.
might cover the following:
Brooks and Krugman effectively accomplish the purpose in the
text? What was each one's purpose, and why or why not were those
the argument meet the needs and interests of the intended readers?
Who are they? What are their values? What are their beliefs?
Would they oppose or support his argument? Why or Why not? Is
the article truly argumentative (challenging the audience in
some way) or is it simply "preaching to the choir"?
can you say about the organization of the argument? Was it easy
to follow? Did it progress in a logical order? Where did you
falter as you read?
about the reasons used to support the argument?
does each author support the main points (evidence)? What is
the quality of the sources referred to? Are they reliable? Does
the author support all claims? What kind of evidence does the
writer(s) use? Which claims are left unsupported?
can you say about Brooks' and Krugman's tone and approach in
the essay—that is, does it seem fair and reasonable, humorous
or inappropriate to the subject? Does it contribute to the text's
effectiveness? Why? Pinpoint locations that cause the
effect you describe.
that analytical responses can serve to: praise a writer for the
effectiveness of their text; point out the problems or shortcomings
in a writer's argument; praise some parts of a writer's argument
and challenge others. In short, however, the task of this response
type is to evaluate and judge the text based upon a limited number
of criteria that are then fully developed in support of the overall
prepared for students to be adept at indicating that a choice
the writer made is effective but to need work on showing how
or why that choice is effective or contributes to the text's
effectiveness. You may want to design an additional activity
that supports this if you feel it necessary.
would be a good idea to ask students to take a look at the PHG
example of a text effectiveness response, on pages 164-65. This
example is particularly good at showing the specificity with which
the analytic response must be conducted.
Have a few students
share their claims from homework (5 minutes)
You might have 3 or
so students write their claims on the board. Have the class
constructively discuss the effectiveness of each claim.
Be sure that the purpose of the response is clear in the claim
and that the criteria are indicated clearly as well.
a Transition to the Next Activity
for Development of Analytical/Evaluative Response
students with time to develop their Analytical/Evaluative Responses
their homework, instruct students to freewrite for about 5 minutes
(then give them longer if they're on a roll).
students do a freewrite/looping activity where they write for
3 solid minutes, stop, pick up an idea from the first chunk of
writing and write on it for another 3 minutes, stop, then pick
up on an idea from the second chunk of writing and write on it
for another 3 minutes.
a Transition to the Next Activity
Claims for Focus and Development (15 minutes total)
goal for this activity is to help students make an overall point
with their writing by considering how claims can "map out" a response.
(In the past, students have written analytic responses that read
like "generalized lists" - i.e. the author's tone is good…the
organization is effective… the evidence could use some work…).
Here, we are trying to help students move beyond generalized responses
to think more about their purpose/focus and organization.
Practice unpacking the
Turkey sandwiches are
healthier than peanut butter sandwiches because they are lower
is a classic American novel and should be read by every student
at the high school level.
Viewers watched Star
Trek during the 1970s because it alleviated their fears about
the ability of races and genders to get along.
u se the claims below (or ones that you generate) to model how
a claim can help the writer connect their points and create an
outline by which to organize their writing. Put these claims on
an overhead and ask students to outline what the paper might look
like based on what the claim says. Take the claim apart, phrase
by phrase; you might refer to this activity as "unpacking a claim."
Ineffective claim: Krugman's essay is pretty good, but I didn’t
like the tone he used and he seems biased against other countries.
Overall, I found his attitude to be sarcastic or even a little
cynical. I did like that he talked directly to the audience, though.
Why this is ineffective. Have them unpack each section of the claim to
reach these conclusions:
essay is pretty good, but I didn’t like…" The language
is too generalized - what does the writer mean by "good" and
"I didn’t like" and "attitude"?
does a bias against other countries have to do with the effectiveness
of the text? This may be difficult to explain.
found his attitude"… The writer can comment on tone but it is
very difficult to impute attitude where we have no real knowledge
of the writer’s internal life. Changing the word choice
here may help.
Just because we "like" something doesn't make it
effective. Rephrasing to something more concrete that
the writer could support would be more effective here.
The writer has named too many criteria to develop any sufficiently.
Proving all of these items is too diffuse (not focused) for
a four-page essay that provides sufficient evidence for all
of its claims and subclaims.
More Effective claims:
Krugman appeals to readers of the
New York Times by using language that they can relate
to and by taking a position they’ll be inclined to agree with,
but his argument loses focus at the end as he never truly argues
for why a tax on consumption would be ineffective."
Brooks cleverly grabs
our attention through a lively style and by creating a discussion
that seems to be, on the surface, about silly magazines.
This "false superficiality" enables him to avoid alienating
his audience when he delivers his cutting punchline about one
of the flaws in democracy.
Why these are effective:
use specific language and make demonstrable claims about the
combine their observations to make an overall point that indicates
whether or not the essay was/was not effective (avoids sounding
like a list)
focuses can reasonably be handled in four-page papers.
Ask students how each
response might look based on these claims. How would the reader
develop these points? What examples from the text could he/she
use to develop each point? You might draw up an outline for each.
Finally, you might ask what would make each claim better.
Today you might
have a student recapitulate the main objectives you discussed
today or you might write your own conclusion. Be sure to
cover the main ideas in the articles discussed today and to highlight
what aspects they'll need to use to complete their Analytical/Evaluative
Responses. Remind students where they can access their homework.