backReturn to Unit 2: MWF

Unit 2, Day 23:  Wednesday, October 10


What you’ll do today in class:


-         Begin generating types of textual evidence to support claims about TV shows

-         Practice “reading” a TV show to generate other claims



Connection to course goals:  The first activities demonstrate the types of evidence that students can use to find ideas for writing their own analyses.   The practice in viewing a show to generate claims based on cultural messages students identify is exactly the process they’ll need to go through to develop their own claims.




1.      Discuss types of evidence available for supporting an analysis of a TV show (10 minutes):


-         Review qualities/characteristics of effective evidence from Unit 1.  In general terms, what makes a writer’s evidence effective?  (relevant, specific, explained)

-         Ask students about the kinds of “textual” evidence and “outside” evidence Durbin and Zeisler use to support their claims.  List students’ responses on the board.  Try to generate an inclusive list of all of the different types of evidence these writers use, including textual examples from the show and “outside” examples such as references to other shows or cultural occurrences.  Here are some types of evidence students should offer:


·        “visual language” such as dominant images or repeated images/patterns

·        specific character dialogue

·        character “interactions” and behaviors

·        references to other shows

·        references to recent articles, books, viewer polls, etc.

·        what else?


2.      Discuss evidence students used in their practice analyses (5 minutes):


·        What kinds of evidence did people use in their practice ad analysis (textual and “outside” evidence)?

·        How might those same types of evidence apply to analyses of TV shows?  What types of evidence might be available to a writer in a TV show that are perhaps not with a print advertisement?




3.      Practice viewing a TV show to generate new claims (35 minutes):  For this activity you can use a clip of Ally McBeal and contrast it to the claims Durbin and Zeisler make about the messages and implications of the show.  However, feel free to use a clip from any other show that you think would work well for this activity. Whatever you decide, you’ll need a 5-7 minute segment of the show that lends itself to the type of analysis we’re asking students to do (i.e. one that can be seen as reproducing and challenging a few shared cultural beliefs). 


A.     Have students view the show segment once just to see what’s happening and get initial reactions for their focus.  (5-7 minutes)


B.     Once they’ve watched the segment, generate a list of possible shared cultural beliefs that the show addresses on the board.  (10 minutes)


C.     After you have a list of 2-3 cultural beliefs on the board, divide the class into 4 groups.  Have the groups write a claim about how the show reproduces and challenges a particular cultural belief from the list.  Have each group choose ONE cultural belief from the board.  Give each group an overhead and pen to write their claims.  (10 minutes)


D.     Once the groups have finished writing their claims, have them share them with the rest of the class on the OH.  While each group offers their respective claims, record each on the board because you’ll be using some of the claims in the next meeting.

(5-7 minutes)




Assignment for Day 23:


-         Read pages 8-11 in RC, including “Viewing Strategies” and “The Viewing Audience.” Also read the “Images” section in RC (173-79).  We’ll be using these strategies next meeting to find textual evidence to support claims about a TV show.

-         Choose a TV show to focus on for your Essay 3 and begin watching and recording it this week.