Alice Walker and Beauty in Truth: Practice with Rhetorical Analysis

Alice Walker and Beauty in Truth: Practice with Rhetorical Analysis
Alice Walker and Beauty in Truth: Practice with Rhetorical Analysis
Alice Walker and Beauty in Truth: Practice with Rhetorical Analysis
Alice Walker and Beauty in Truth: Practice with Rhetorical Analysis
Alice Walker and Beauty in Truth: Practice with Rhetorical Analysis
Alice Walker and Beauty in Truth: Practice with Rhetorical Analysis
Alice Walker and Beauty in Truth: Practice with Rhetorical Analysis
Alice Walker and Beauty in Truth: Practice with Rhetorical Analysis
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Students learn about The Color Purple musical, inner beauty, and the writings of Alice Walker.

This lesson encourages students to write a rhetorical analysis essay.

Students will read, listen to and view supporting video and audio clips while learning the necessary elements to establish the argument on the theme of beauty and truth. Students will show mastery of the standards at the end of the lesson through a SOAPSTONE Analysis, short paragraph assessments, a Socratic seminar, and a written timed essay scored on an AP English-style rubric.

The central text is the essay is “Beauty: When the Other Dancer is the Self,” by Alice Walker. The students will complete an evaluation on a purpose graphic organizer on The New York Times Review: ‘The Color Purple’ on Broadway, Stripped to Its Essence” by Ben Brantley. The long video used is, “Beauty in Truth,” the documentary of the life of Alice Walker. Links to different NPR, New York Times articles and many videos showing the themes of the unit. There is a short paragraph writing opportunity writing as Alice Walker, explaining her reasoning for a documentary based on her life and writings. The students will be listening to an interview and Q/A session on the film, “Beauty in Truth,” and on charts provided in the appendix; they will complete the evaluation of ethos, logos, and pathos. There is a lesson on rhetorical situation on a 1996 interview with Alice Walker by Charlie Rose. The students will complete a PAPA Square for Rhetorical Analysis for “Beauty: When the Other Dancer is the Self,” by Alice Walker.

There is opportunity for debate using The New York Times Room for Debate series on beauty and truth. There is an opportunity to complete an audience analysis on The New Yorker essay, “Dream Girls: John Doyle’s fresh and vital revival of The Color Purple” by Hilton Als. The entire lessons act as a building of context for a rhetorical analysis on “Beauty: When the Other Dancer is the Self,” by Alice Walker.


These seven daily lessons fit any Honors Literature class, Pre-AP, American Literature, AP English Language or Literature class to prepare students for AP English Language exams, Common Core extended response assessments, American Literature Course exams, the SAT and ACT essay and critical thinking activities.


There are sources for teaching the Socratic Seminar, as the lessons act as support for the rhetorical analysis. The packet includes complete lessons, Common Core standards, essential and key questions.
Total Pages
32 pages
Answer Key
Rubric only
Teaching Duration
1 Week
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