Social Commentary Genre Analysis: Station Rotation (Day 2 of 2)

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SWBAT analyze the cumulative impact of words, structure and style on overall message and meaning of a text by participating in a whole group analysis of various genres of social commentary.

Big Idea

Now that we've had a broad overview of the many genres of social commentary, it is time to narrow in to our analysis of WHY and author chooses the medium he or she chooses.


10 minutes

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

Social Commentary Station Wrap Up

10 minutes

Rather than taking time to have students finish the last two-three stations they might have missed on Friday, I will ask students to help each other gather the last bits of information they might need to fill in their charts by participating in a random/chaotic jigsaw. To do this, I will ask students to wander the room and check in with their peers about information they need or have to share. 

This actually serves two purposes. It will allow students to get the info they need. Additionally, it will be a nice informal assessment their ability to initiate conversations with their peers outside of my forcing the issue (SL.9-10.1). As we steamroll towards the end of the year, I also want to be mindful of the various nuances of some of the standards that I feel like I've covered well. With this particular standard, I want to watch how independent students are with the initiation of conversation. I will do this by monitoring them as they gather information and watch how they interact with others. 

Social Commentary Genre Analysis

30 minutes

So the main purpose of today is to link the overview of social commentary genres and styles that we started last week to the larger purpose and strategy that a social commentator has when thinking about message and structure (RI.9-10.6). To do this, I will lead students through a discussion (SL.9-10.1) asking them to complete two column notes that draw connections between the form and function of social commentary. My main goal with this is to help students think about (so they can mimic) how and why an author chooses the language, structure, style, tone, etc. to create/enhance his or her intended rhetorical message (RI.9-10.4RI.9-10.5, and RI. 9-10.6)

I will start this by reviewing the Chris Jordan art we looked at last week and asking them to think about how everything about this art, even down to the materials he uses, are connected to his intended message. 

I will then show them the following clip from John Green's vlog (video blog) and ask them to think about how his message (nerds win at life) is enhanced by his chosen genre (a video of him showing pure nerd delight). 


Finally, I will show them this slam poem by Anis Morjgani and ask them to share their thoughts on how the chosen genre enhances his intended message. 

I chose these two videos for a couple of reasons. First, I have a serious professional crush on John Green. That aside, though, I think that both videos show how a social commentary argument can be made using this particular art form in vastly different ways. I hope that some of my students will try to create social commentary using video and think that each of these artists show unique ways to use this genre well. 

Once we're finished looking at these genres, I will have students look back to their notes from the stations last Friday and continue to fill in their two-column notes with observations about how other genres/forms of social commentary work for different types of messages/ideas. 

Wrap Up and Next Steps

5 minutes

I will remind students that their homework tonight is to begin generating ideas about topics or messages for their own social commentary.

Tomorrow in class, students will be writing a proposal for their choice and will have to explain why they are choosing the genre that they choose to better convey the message they are trying to convey. I will encourage them to have a few options of topics/messages so that they have lots of options to work with.