Reflection: Lesson Planning Comparing Rhetoric: Carson vs. Bill McKibben - Section 3: Close Reading and Discussion


I remember earlier in the year using comparison to teach rhetoric, and I wish I had done it more often, because comparison worked here very well—particularly regarding tone.  We looked at a number of words and phrases from McKibben, and compared some to the slightly different diction Carson uses, seeing how McKibben is a bit more fatalist in his approach.  We also, interestingly, talked about the role gender has—McKibben’s aggressiveness was very masculine, and Carson more maternal.  We didn’t get to explore this a lot, but it is something I might consciously get into a bit more in the future.  I wonder, for example, if we read both of these without names attached, if the majority of students would in fact guess the gender, or if we are influenced by knowing the gender of the writer up front.  This is why jotting down reflections is a good idea after teaching new material—the five minutes of writing down good ideas for the future has been a great way for me over the years to improve my practice and not kick myself when I forget to add material.

  Comparison as a Strong Teaching Strategy
  Lesson Planning: Comparison as a Strong Teaching Strategy
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Comparing Rhetoric: Carson vs. Bill McKibben

Unit 12: Rhetorical Review: Politics and the Environment
Lesson 3 of 5

Objective: SWBAT recognize how the rhetorical strategies used by authors exploring the same topic can change the central idea and reader response.

Big Idea: Rhetorical choices have a strong influence on central ideas.

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