Reflection: Organizational Systems Students Teaching Rhetorical Strategies (6 Days) - Section 6: Day 5: The Pathos of Terry Tempest Williams


While I would have liked the students teaching to have the class explore the actual essay more deeply (I love the book, so I’m probably being a little selfish!), I thought the individual parts of the lesson were strong, but that some of the connections were not as cohesive.

For example, the photos activity at the beginning was interesting, and really spoke to how the rhetorical triangle comes into play all the time—as we were trying to figure out what word went to what picture, we were considering the person in association with the subjects of the pictures (I noted this in the processing of the activity).  The students said they wanted to get us thinking about the emotional impact of words—I guess as an activator it did do that to some extent, and I could certainly see what they were going after (I appreciated the creativity, too!).

I also liked how they had us re-read the section of the text they were focusing on because I could tell looking around that for a couple students, it was the first time they had read it.  It elicited some interesting conversation, particularly about how they were a bit confused by the section—it took some a while to figure out that it was in fact a dream sequence.  We also talked about how it transitions to a narrative of her actually being part of a protest, so we were able to address how organization can be used as a rhetorical tool.

It was not a clean transition to the writing activity, but this activity, too, had rather exciting results.  The teachers read off a list of 15 words from the section of text we just read, and we had to write them down.  Then we had about ten minutes to write a paragraph about anything we wanted using the 15 words, before a few people shared.  The sharing was fascinating, because everyone who read did some really cool writing—just having that list of emotional words pushed the students to some powerful, emotional pieces.  It made me think of a future activity where I have students, after they’ve written a draft, write down a list of emotional words associated with their topic, and then have to revise by using all of them in the writing (or something like this!).  The students in the class were also surprised by the power of the writing—they saw the effectiveness, too, so maybe this activity could be a model before doing what I just explained.  In any case, this is another example of why I’m quite excited about this students teaching week; they have a lot of exciting ideas, and it is cool to get a glimpse of what they have learned by how they are approaching their lessons.

  Emotional Power of Words
  Organizational Systems: Emotional Power of Words
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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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