What is the basis for the belief that justice will ultimately prevail in American society?
DAY 1 - SEED 1
DAY 2–3 - SEED 2
DAY 4–8 - PLAN 1
DAY 9–10 - SEED 3
DAY 11–15 - PLAN 2
DAY 16 - SEED 4
DAY 17–22 - SEED 5
DAY 23–25 - SEED 6
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Lesson seeds are ideas that can be used to build a lesson aligned to the CCSS. Lesson seeds are not meant to be all-inclusive, nor are they substitutes for instruction. When developing lessons from these seeds, teachers must consider
the needs of all learners. It is also important to build checkpoints into the lessons where appropriate formative assessment will inform a teachers instructional pacing and delivery.
This lesson, which requires multiple class periods to complete, focuses on a close reading and analysis of "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The goal of this lesson is to read a text closely in order to determine the central idea and how it is developed over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details. Additionally, students read to determine the meaning of words as they are used and developed in specific segments of the text and analyze the writer's use of specific rhetorical devices and the cumulative impact of precise word choice on the meaning and tone of the piece. Initially, the teacher models a close reading of the seminal U.S. document, "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" in order to demonstrate how to determine the author's purpose and the central idea of the text. Subsequently, students participate in small group discussions on the central idea of Dr. King's letter and the evidence that supports it throughout the text. While all students will analyze how Dr. King crafts his language throughout the text, the student group tasks can be differentiated so that one group analyzes Dr. King's use of rhetorical devices and their purpose, and the second group analyzes how word choice creates tone and reveals the purpose of the text. Finally, the student groups present their findings to the whole class.
NOTE: This lesson has been adapted from a Teachingchannel.org lesson entitled Evidence and Arguments: Multiple Ways of Experiencing a Text. To view the instructional video of the lesson, click on the link below:
Suggested Texts for Extension Tasks:
Instructional Materials Included:
Teacher should pre-assess
Students should read "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" independently, perhaps for homework, and use Meta-cognitive Markers (a system of cueing marks which includes a ? for questions about the text; a ! for reactions related to the text; and an * for comments about the text and underline to signal key ideas to track personal responses) which will be used as a point of departure for talking about the text. Teachers should use the information from the students' Markers to evaluate their comprehension of the text.
Students will provide an objective summary of the last paragraph of "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" and explain whether they think the last paragraph is an effective conclusion to the letter.
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Reading: Informational Text
Speaking & Listening