Responses to The Communist Manifesto: Disecting Arguments

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SWBAT analyze how an author unfolds an argument paying specific attention to order of evidence by deconstructing the logical arguments of the Communist Manifesto.

Big Idea

Marx is very logical in his reasoning. Today we will analyze how and why he presents his ideas about a Communist system.


10 minutes

We will start class with ten minutes of reading time. I will read with the students during this time.

Class Discussion: Marx's Overall Purpose

20 minutes

To wrap up our reading of The Communist Manifesto, we will move from close reading to thematic and rhetorical analysis today. Our chief goal for today's work is to deconstruct Marx's style to look at how he creates logical argument through his organization (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.9-10.3 ) and then support his argument with specific claims/ideas, being sure to take note of which are valid and which are not (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.9-10.8).

The bulk of this work will be done with the excerpts from "The Bourgeoisie and the Proletariat" section that we've been reading the past few days, but I will also model the specific kind of analysis I want students to do with an additional, small section from later in the text, which lays out Marx's vision for a Communist society.


Disecting Logical Arguments

20 minutes

After our whole class discussion, I will ask students to move into their Faulkner Squares to dissect Marx's argument together. To give them guidance for this process, I will specifically ask them to use the note sheet I gave them prior to all of our reading and analysis. I am going to have them focus on the mathematical equations to restate Marx's arguments/evidence (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.9-10.1). I will explain each statement using modern examples such as: 

  • A + B, then C: If you add Kim Kardashian to Kanye West , then you run a higher risk of a low IQ (sorry North West)


  • A > B, then C: Since pirates are greater than ninjas, pirate movies are always more entertaining than ninja movies 

These are obviously silly examples, but they help kids get their head around logical reasoning, which they have a hard time understanding.

I will ask students to record their ideas in their reading notes, which I will allow them to use on a quiz in class tomorrow.

Wrap Up and Next Steps

5 minutes

If there is time left at the end of class, I will ask students to share out one of their equations. I will also remind them to review their notes and reading to be prepared for their quiz tomorrow.