Wednesday, September 12

Day 10 (Wednesday, September 12)

Lesson Objectives
Students will

Connection to Course Goals
Today’s class emphasizes writing as a series of rhetorical choices.

Connection to Students’ Own Writing
To write the letter, students will need to not only choose which article to write about but also consider how each article advances their inquiry into the question-at-issue.

Re-read and annotate "The Modern Hunter-Gatherer."  Finish grading summaries to return (if you have not already).  Gather all of Pollan's articles.

Assignment sheet
Pollan articles
Overhead transparencies:
      group activity

By today, students will have read all of Pollan's articles (five or six) and have a good sense about how he approaches inquiry into our question-at-issue.  They've also discussed the writer.  They should be ready to discuss how and how well Pollan contributes to their inquiry.


Begin class as usual, remembering to keep the inquiry list going.

While you may elicit some general responses to get today's discussion going, move students toward discussing this article rhetorically.  Ask them, as well, to consider how this article is similar to and different from the previous articles they've read by Pollan. 

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

In five or six small groups, ask students to consider one of the Pollan texts in light of what they learned last time about Michael Pollan.  Ask them to use notes from last time to help answer the questions:

What does Pollan know about his subject?
How does his frame of reference affect how he views his subject?
How does Pollan’s frame of reference affect his choice of audience,
context, and genre?
So what?  That is, what conclusions can you draw about the text, given
what you know about Pollan, his frame of reference and his rhetorical choices?

Give students about 10 minutes to discuss and jot down answers to the questions, and then ask each group to present their findings.

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

Remind students of the letter-writing assignment, and ask for ideas about how they could use what they’ve just done as they write their letter. Connect to the assignment sheet and to your discussions about what promotes effective inquiry and stimulates further conversation.

Ask students to share which article they might choose, and why.  You might ask a few students to discuss their possible choice of audience as well. Help students see connections among subject-audience-purpose in their article choice.

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

Think through and write down your “if time” and “if I run out of time” ideas here.

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

Homework for Friday
Reread the assignment sheet and decide which of the three texts (“An Animal’s Place,” “Power Steer” or “The Modern Hunter-Gatherer”) you will use for your letter.  Choose your audience as well, and write a description of that person as a reader: describe your reader’s knowledge about the subject, and describe your reader’s frame of reference as best you can.  Explain what about the essay you have chosen will interest this reader, and why.  Explain what your reader will need to know in order to understand your letter.  Bring your audience description to class with you on Friday.

You might begin drafting your letter; a complete draft is due on Wednesday of next week.