Multiple Central Ideas: James McBride's "Hip-hop Planet" Day 2

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SWBAT recognize how an author develops more than one central idea in a text through a close reading of James McBride's essay "Hip-hop Planet."

Big Idea

An author can weave multiple central ideas into one text by using different types of evidence and intricate structure.


Today we will view about fifteen minutes of a documentary on the origins of hip-hop before launching back into discussion about “Hip-hop Planet.”  Yesterday I realized that the students needed some visual historical context to help deepen their thinking of McBride’s arguments.  Additionally, realized that there is no way we’ll get through all of the questions in a discussion format.  Because writing the answers were in part a summative assessment, and trying to discuss too many will lose the focus of learning on author purpose and development of multiple central ideas, I will focus our attention on the questions that do that. 

Two of these questions also contain quotes as part of the question, asking students to analyze the quotes as part of answering the question.  I know from working on this skill in my tenth grade class that students struggle with this type of question—they tend to jump right to an answer without explaining the quote itself, and therefore don’t address the question in-depth.   Additionally, analyzing a quote from another writer about a similar topic and seeing another point of view can deepen understanding of the topic itself, allowing students to see what the writer of study is leaving out (this is a step we do unconsciously; making students conscious of this will help develop this skill so it is second nature for them eventually).

History of Hip-hop Video Excerpt

25 minutes

Before continuing our work from yesterday in exploring how James McBride weaves a number of central ideas together in his essay, we will watch about fifteen minutes of this video on the history of hip-hop.  It contains many of the references McBride makes, but adds video and music for a more complete context--something it seemed yesterday that the students needed.  After watching the video, we will discuss its contents for a few minutes, particularly how it is a good representation not only of how pop culture trends develop, but also how pop culture can't help but be intertwined with other cultural and social issues like economics and education.

Continued Group Discussion: Analyzing Multiple Central Ideas

45 minutes

After we watch the video and have a general discussion regarding the history and the context of McBride’s piece, we will continue our work from yesterday.  I will put the digital version of the textbook on the Smartboard today, however, because we will work with two questions  that refer to quotes from other people (these are discussed in this video: hip hop questions mp4.mp4) ; I want to spend the time analyzing the quote in the question first, showing students how important it is to really establish meaning like that before launching into actually answering the question (this is an important step they need to learn for standardized test essay prompts, too).

The group responsible for each question will still take the lead and begin discussion by sharing their responses, but given yesterday’s class, I will expect to be asking some probing questions that get the whole class considering the various ideas McBride carries through the piece, with the primary goal of establishing that there are a couple clear central ideas in this piece, and citing evidence that supports these notions.