Reflection: Connection to Prior Knowledge Students Teaching Rhetorical Strategies (6 Days) - Section 5: Day 4: The Rhetorical Appeal of Images and Text


These students probably had the toughest spot on the bill, as they taught their lesson the day after the students did a three and a half our practice AP exam; needless to say, the students were a little silly in their mood.  Nevertheless, I thought the first half of the lesson went quite well, as it was a good learning experience about images and allusions.  The students had interesting responses to the Satrapi piece, talking about the emotional appeal of the first part due to the child point of view (I took the opportunity as a participant to mention that the child point of view, while usually appealing emotionally, also was logical in this particular slide because this is a logical reaction from kids:  (Veil Explained-1.m4v).  This turned out to be a learning moment for the students teaching as well, since they were really focused on the pathos of the piece, and hadn’t thought of the fact that the emotional appeal of the images can lead to the logical appeal.  The piece lost momentum for the class, though, in the second half when it starts to focus on religion as a central idea rather than gender and authority issues.

One of the cartoons the students showed the class was one that had no words except on the spine of a book (living with autism); the rest of the frames were seemingly of a woman telling her husband that she thinks their youngest son has autism, and him denying it.  I understood the cartoon much more than the students because of the situation; I am a parent and husband, and am quite familiar with issues surrounding autism from being a teacher.  So my prior knowledge and experience informed my understanding.  They did not really understand all that was going on because the emotions being conveyed were not ones they were particularly familiar with (one of the presenters has a brother with some severe disabilities, so she “got it,” but didn’t realize others would not).  So, like the students who worked with the second person point of view, this was a lesson of really considering the connection your audience will have with the topic when considering resources for a presentation.  The other interesting thing with this cartoon is that some of the students in class were considering it as a more comical scenario, which led to an interesting discussion of how our expectation of animation or comics tends to be humor.

While the humor point came up, it didn’t prevent some of the students from going that route when we were asked to write our own comics.  I stepped in and modified the assignment a bit by giving students the option to add dialogue to the cartoon we worked with for those who are skittish about drawing.  However, most of the students kind of went the silly route when we looked at the pieces on the document camera at the end of class.  The learning moment for me with this (since I also tried to write a cartoon) was that it is really hard to just come up with something good on the spot—it was a good reality check for me as a teacher!!!

  Connection to Prior Knowledge: Challenges of Drawing
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Students Teaching Rhetorical Strategies (6 Days)

Unit 12: Rhetorical Review: Politics and the Environment
Lesson 5 of 5

Objective: SWBAT recognize a key rhetorical strategy utilized by an author by preparing a lesson on the particular strategy and teaching it to their peers.

Big Idea: A great way to deeply learn a topic is to prepare to teach it. . . and then teach it.

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