Wednesday, September 17

Day 10 (Wednesday, September 17)

Lesson Objectives
Students will

Connection to Course Goals. Discussing the role of the writer furthers understanding of rhetorical situation, and discussion of article authors prepares students to approach Letter assignment.


For today’s class, spend time on Friedman's, Komanoff's and Specter’s websites, so you can add to the information students bring to class. 


All three major articles we’ve read so far
Notes from your research on Friedman, Specter, and Komanoff's websites


Attendance and Lead-in (3-5 minutes)

Take attendance your usual way and introduce class, focusing on how today’s activities will help students understand the rhetorical situation of the letter they are writing.

Tip/Transition. Since students just discussed their reactions to “Whither Wind” last time, you might prompt students to discuss Komanoff’s background and talk briefly about what affords him the credibility to make the argument(s) that he makes—this helps students begin to think about the Letter, and also introduces the ethical appeal, which comes up later.

Share author research (20-25 minutes)

Gather student research on the board by giving students a moment to review what they brought and choose a few pieces of information to share.  Ask students to think of ways in which the information they have found illuminates the text in some way.  Knowing that Friedman writes “Foreign Affairs” columns for the New York Times, for example, explains in part why “The Power of Green” takes such a global perspective, weaving issues of natural security in with energy and resource conservation; Komanoff’s background in energy policy analysis, economics, and environmental activism explains his interest in wind power and lends credibility to the data that he uses as evidence; etc. 

Go around the room, asking each student to contribute something that hasn’t already been said.  Write their ideas on the board.  When you finish, assess what you’ve learned.  You can probably make some general statements about these writers, and how and why they make the rhetorical choices they make.  Ask students who the audience appears to be that each author is talking to, and see if they can find examples from the various texts.

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

Small group discussions (15-18 minutes)

In five or six small groups, ask students to consider Freidman, Specter, or Komanoff’s article in light of what they’ve just learned about these authors.  Ask them to answer the questions:

Tip. Since students will need to see the board, provide these questions as a handout or overhead transparencies with the questions already written out.

Give students about 10 minutes to discuss and jot down answers to the questions, and then ask each group to present their findings, or have a whole class discussion to which each group contributes

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

Prepare for Audience Analysis (5-7 min)

Now that students have considered how the author’s frame of reference influences his choices as a writer, ask them to think about how what they are learning about the author’s role might influence their choices in writing the letter.  Remind them that they will not only need to think about that but also about the author they choose as their audience for the letter.  What have they learned today that they should keep in mind as the choose a supplemental article?  What should they consider as they draft the letter?  This discussion is crucial to preparing students for the homework for Friday, so be sure you allow time for it!

Homework for Friday

Tip. Students will likely groan at the amount of work they’re doing at this point in the semester. Remind them that this is how it feels when your brain grows really fast. :)