Reflection: Routines and Procedures The Power of Rhetoric (Day 2 of 3) - Section 3: Building Knowledge


Throughout the year, we model reading strategies and close-reading fairly often as a group.  I know that my students know how to close-read, but I also know that they will often skip this step and just read quickly through text without critical thought if they are left to their own devices or given a reading assignment independent of any written work accompanying the process of reading.  These during-reading assignments come in many forms for me, and generally they are successful in ensuring that most of the students are actually reading the text.  In addition to assigning these during-reading activities, I spend a large amount of effort to make the close-readings that we do in class very dramatic and engaging.  It's not that I'm acting out what's happening in the text, but I will throw out analogies to their lives during reading (like comparing Patrick Henry's flattering start to his speech to the "Did you lose weight?" flattery that students agreed would start the Costa Rica discussion) and get probably too worked up over restating Henry's summarized ideas.  Students actually laughed during the video clip, because they decided that our class's acting was better than his (though I really enjoyed his version!). 

I suppose the "bottom line" for what I hope to accomplish with modeled close reading is that students are seeing active, critical reading in practice on many occasions, demonstrating that they can apply these skills themselves, and enjoying the text at a deeper level than they would have without a careful reading.  As a kid, I was a great reader from a very early age (thanks, Mom!), but until I saw how much more careful and aware readers got from text, I didn't always put in the time to try to understand it deeply...unless there was a written assignment to make me.  After I started to see how much more you could get with a little more effort, it became like a game to get as much out of the text as possible.  Eventually, I didn't even have to put in extra work to read the text more deeply because it developed into a habit that I just associated with reading.  That's definitely the progression I would like to see with my students, and that feels like the progression that the Common Core hopes to achieve as well.  They could probably stop their obsession with closer reading (or viewing) before they have hit my level of calling friends after viewing the alternate ending of I Am Legend irate about how viewers were supposed to rationalize the symbolism of the seemingly-contradictory endings...but one more crazy critical reader, viewer, or thinker certainly couldn't hurt the world!

  Reflection of a Close-Reading Model
  Routines and Procedures: Reflection of a Close-Reading Model
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The Power of Rhetoric (Day 2 of 3)

Unit 2: A Revolutionary Introduction to Argumentation & Rhetoric
Lesson 2 of 8

Objective: SWBAT evaluate the effectiveness of Patrick Henry's "Speech to the Virginia Convention" by creating clear objective summaries of text and identifying the rhetorical strategies and argument structure employed.

Big Idea: @PatrickHenry If your life depended on giving a speech that successfully reversed public opinion, wouldn't you at least write it out? #crazy

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rothermel s patrick henry painting
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