Reflection: High Expectations Close Reading Review - Section 3: Re-Establishing Rigor


This lesson, which took most of the period, certainly served its purpose in re-setting the standards of rigor, but also showed me which of the elements students were uncertain of.  The way students were able to quickly answer the first few questions led me to believe that there was a combination of them rushing through it and simply needing a model (I don't often use worksheets with boxes for answers, so they may have seen that as a signal of hey, I don't have to write a lot!).  The first one we spent a lot of time on because of legitimate confusion was “how does the author assert his/her presence and knowledge?”  The students didn’t seem to make the connection that this was asking about how the author establishes ethos.  This led to a broader conversation about ethos; most students are stuck on understanding ethos as credibility in a very literal way-believable or not based on the evidence they use, rather than seeing it as kind of the theoretical framework from which an author is speaking, and in which persona plays a large part (I introduce ethos in 10th grade honors, so I will have to take a closer look at how I did that to counter this as well).  So we spent some time looking at what specific language constructions show the writer asserting herself with her knowledge and voice, and how that leads to a broader understanding of where she is coming from on the issues.

The other particular issue we spent a lot of time on was looking at the organization of a text and how it contributed to the overall rhetorical appeal.  I was a bit surprised at how students struggled with this, given they had to do it for their last essay.  So, this is something I will make sure to emphasize going forward--breaking texts into parts and looking at how the author shifts from one strategy to another to build a whole appeal.

  Rigor Re-established; Understanding Ethos
  High Expectations: Rigor Re-established; Understanding Ethos
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Close Reading Review

Unit 4: Thematic Unit: Education
Lesson 4 of 18

Objective: SWBAT explain the rhetorical situation and strategies of a text by completing a series of tasks that breaks down this process.

Big Idea: Before entering academic discourse, you should know where writers are coming from.

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