Monday, September 15

Day 9 (Monday, September 15)

Lesson Objectives
Students will

Connection to Course Goals. Discussing and evaluating another complex article will help students get a firmer grasp on critical reading and rhetorical situation.


Because today’s class will focus on a rhetorical reading of Komanoff’s article, your preparation should include not only re-reading and annotating Komanoff’s article for its argument but also doing a thorough rhetorical analysis of the article (using the questions above).  Learn as much as you can about the context of the article (e.g. Orion magazine).  Of course, you have been grading and commenting on the summaries so you can return them today.

Tip. Return assignments at the end of class, or students will think of nothing else during class.


Inquiry list
Overhead transparencies:

Handouts with instructions for small group activity
Graded Academic Summaries


Students have read one more piece—“Whither Wind.”  They’ve practiced critical reading some more.  They may have questions about the letter-writing assignment.


Attendance and introduction (2-3 minutes)

Take attendance and introduce class as usual.

Conduct a reading quiz or assign a WTL (8-10 minutes)
Develop questions or prompts that focus on the Komanoff’s main argument and that call for critically thinking as well.  Review these to “nail down” Komanoff’s argument—to read closely first.

Tip. If you do a WTL, be sure to provide an overhead with directions, and remind students that these are just prewriting ideas.

Transition. Let’s go over the quiz answers, and then talk about your responses to “Whither Wind.”

Conduct a general discussion of the homework (8-10 minutes)

Ask for reactions to “Whither Wind.”  Having read the piece critically, students should have more to say than “I liked it” or “I didn’t like it.”  They can talk about the ways in which it appealed to them (or not) and the questions it raised for them. 
Check in with students about the critical reading work—be sure they understand that they need to turn in one double-entry log and one critical reading guide with their Writing a Letter paper.  Now that students have had a chance to practice both, they can discuss which they prefer, and why.

Transition. Write a transition here that will connect this activity to the next.

Discuss the rhetorical situation, focusing on the writer (10-12 minutes)

Show the rhetorical situation model once more, and explain why it’s important to consider the writer as you read (so that you can evaluate a text’s credibility and authority, so you can understand why a writer says what he/she says, so you can make better decisions about how the text fits into the conversation, etc.).  Also, explain how you can consider the writer as you read (research him/her; use the text to infer the writer’s experiences, values and beliefs, etc.).

Transition. Write a transition here that will connect this activity to the next.

Reflect on inquiry so far and the questions it raises (8-10 minutes)
You might ask students to write, or to suggest questions the readings so far have raised that they would like to add to the inquiry list.  The goal of whatever you do here is to get students thinking about the conversations surrounding these texts, and what could be added to the three major texts.  This will prepare students to look for/at a text from the supplementary pool and to place that text in conversation with the text they will choose to focus on for the letter-writing assignment.

Transition. Write a transition here that will connect this activity to the next.

Assign homework, collect inquiry list, and conclude (2-3 minutes)

Assign the following for homework, collect the inquiry list, and wrap up today’s class.

Homework for Wednesday

Tip. Since Specter’s website is just an archive of his past articles, you might suggest students do some searches—there are several online interviews and podcasts with these authors.

Return summaries (2-3 minutes)

Before you hand graded work back, it’s important to explain to students how to read your feedback.  For the Academic Summary, tell students about how you commented, where they can find the grade, etc.  Remind them that this is a small assignment and that you’re available to talk about the summary with them.  Also remind students of any relevant policies (such as revision), and explain the ways that the Academic Summary connects to the new assignment.

Tip. Many instructors have a “24-hour rule” requiring students to wait a day before asking questions about the returned assignment; this way they have the time to read and digest your comments.

Connection to Next Class
Today, students have been thinking about what they read rhetorically, which they’ll need to do as they write their Letters.  Wednesday’s class will focus on the authors’ “frames of reference” so students can start thinking about how they will address the audience for their letter: Friedman, Specter, or Komanoff.