To look at the rhetorical situation (context, audience, purpose) for Hanson and Hacker and to generate summary points for each article. To critically examine the effectiveness of each article.
Discussing the rhetorical situation and main points for the assigned articles will help students prepare to write their academic summaries for either Hanson or Hacker for Portfolio I – Part B. Then, the discussion or debate involving the effectiveness of each article should generate ideas for developing thoughtful responses to Hanson and Hacker. The work with claims should reinforce the earlier lesson on writing claims from Portfolio I – Part A, but here the claims will take on an evaluative focus.
The goal of this discussion is to outline each article’s purpose, audience, context and main ideas. Tell students that they should take notes on this discussion since they’ll need to write a summary for either Hanson or Hacker for Portfolio I – Part B.
You should outline the information for each article on the board in the same fashion we used for Olsen, Elmasry and Martin on Friday of week 2. Ask students to fill in a similar grid: What are the context, audience and purpose for each of these articles? What other main ideas or arguments do the authors provide?
Some of the main ideas you discuss might include:
Sample Transition: Now that we’ve established the key summary points, let’s move into response. Please take out your homework responses.
Here we are trying to get students to look at the effectiveness of each writer’s argument. We want students to begin to locate the strengths and shortfalls of each article.
Begin with a general discussion. Call on a few students and ask them what they wrote about. Which author did they find more persuasive and why? During this conversation, try not to put students on the spot by questioning or criticizing their ideas. Right now, you’re just getting a feel for how they initially reacted.
After some general discussion, you might put students into groups to share their responses and develop them further. You could create two groups for Hanson and two for Hacker and place students in groups according to how they responded. For example, if students thought Hanson was more persuasive, put them in a Hanson group and have them discuss why. Or, have them focus on why they did NOT find Hacker to be as persuasive. Do the same with those who wrote about Hacker. Encourage students to use the terminology for an evaluative response (purpose, audience, clarity of ideas, evidence, logic, tone, etc…). And require them to support their ideas with clear examples from the text. Finally, explain that one student should keep notes and the group should plan on presenting their findings to the class.
Here each group should present their ideas to the class. You might have them present formally in front of the class; or, you might lead a discussion and call on groups as your “expert groups”; or, you might engage students in a mini-debate on who was more persuasive. If you choose to have a debate, ask Hacker fans to sit on one side of the room and Hanson fans sit on the other side. Ask each side to offer a persuasive idea (from the article); then encourage the other side to refute it, using textual evidence or their own logic. However you choose to conduct this activity is fine. The goal is to encourage students to think critically about the strengths and shortfalls of each article and to support their findings with clear textual examples.
Write a conclusion for class. You might ask students to conclude the class by summarizing what was covered for today and articulating the expectations for workshop and for Portfolio I - Part B.